The Immortal Isolation Of The Chrysanthemums Novel English Literature Essay

The Immortal Isolation Of The Chrysanthemums Novel English Literature Essay

John Steinbeck ‘s short narrative “ The Chrysanthemums ” the chief character Elisa Allen is a pent-up adult females hurting for a opportunity to bring out the intelligent and originative adult females she really is. As the narrative progresses, Elisa has problem widening this power outside of the fencing that surrounds her garden. During her contact with the tinker, Elisa is eager to carry through her demand of self-expression that is urgently losing in her life. Their conversation allows her to experience like a existent adult female ; nevertheless, this feeling does non last. Elisa is one time once more repressed back to her unequal life when she realizes the tinker had merely used her ; and she will ne’er hold a life where she can genuinely show her ideas, feelings and creativeness.

As Elisa Allen is working in her garden, she is surrounded by a fencing that is at that place to physically her flowers from anything or anyone that may ache them. This protective fencing symbolizes her life. She is kept off from the existent universe, from a adult male ‘s universe. As Elisa works on her garden, she looks through the fencing out to where her hubby, Henry Allen, is speaking with two business communities in suits. She wants to be involved in the of import determinations that are by and large a adult male ‘s job.. As she looks at the three work forces through her fencing, Steinbeck begins to depict her. Although she is gardening, typically considered adult females ‘s work, she is dressed in an androgynous mode. She wears a “ adult male ‘s black chapeau pulled low down over her eyes ” ( 301 ) to cover her hair, thick baseball mitts cover her feminine custodies, and “ brogan places ” ( 301 ) covering her little feminine pess. A “ large corduroy apron ” ( 301 ) covers her frock devising “ her figure expression blocked and heavy ” ( 301 ) . She looks through her fencing at the work forces speaking concern and she longs to be in their places where she would really hold importance.

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Elisa horticulture tools are her arms, and she ‘s armed and ready to protect herself and fight off any unwanted visitants of her garden. She is “ over-eager ” ( 301 ) and “ over-powerful ” ( 301 ) when she picks up her scissors, both features normally describe work forces. In this instance they describe Elisa who can merely conceive of herself in a adult male ‘s function. The power that she does posses, which she feels she must conceal, her true power comes from a female beginning, Mother Nature. Mother Nature, a adult female, controls the elements, which in a sense is more powerful than any power a adult male possesses. Elisa inherited her particular green pollex from her female parent, who besides “ could lodge anything in the land and do it turn ” ( 302 ) . She enjoys delving into the soil and acquiring her custodies dirty. She feels a power when she is able to kill the plagues that invade her garden and gets to out her fingers “ into the wood of new green chrysanthemum sprouts that were turning around the old roots ” ( 302 ) . This power she possesses is clear to the reader, but Elisa seems undecided about which side of herself to demo off to the universe.

She wants to be strong, but that ‘s non the manner a good married woman should move. She thinks a good married woman should be mild and respectful and modest. When Henry comes up behind her, and startles her, suggests she could utilize her endowments in the apple grove “ her eyes sharpened the first thing she does is put her horticulture baseball mitts back on. This is to both cover up her soiled custodies and to mask her muliebrity. She is baffled which to show so she expresses neither. But one thing she is certain of is her horticulture, “ in her tone and on her face there was a small smugness ” ( 302 ) when her hubby compliments her chrysanthemums. Elisa shows off her power by stating “ I ‘ve a gift with things, all right ” ( 302 ) when Henry suggests she use her endowments on the apple grove, upon hearing this Elisa ‘s “ eyes sharpened ” ( 302 ) . The apple grove, though it involves seting and horticulture, is truly portion of the adult male ‘s universe since it produces money and green goods. The chance of being involved with the grove is outside of Elisa ‘s fenced off garden.

Next, a tinker enters Elisa ‘s stray universe and offers her an chance for alteration and a opportunity to see a different side of herself. The alien pulls up in his “ funny vehicle ” ( 303 ) to sell his services, which are repairing “ pots, pans, knives, sisors, and lawn mores ” ( 303 ) . Elisa sees the “ thickened custodies he rested on the wire fencing were cracked, and every cleft was a black line ” ( 303 ) . She realizes he besides uses his custodies in the Earth, much like her. The adult male negotiations to Elisa about his itinerant travels from Seattle to San Diego and finally asks her for waies since he ‘s “ off the general route ” ( 304 ) . “ She stood up and shoved the thick scissors in her apron pocket ” ( 304 ) , this gesture signifies Elisa seting her guard down, since her tools are her arms, she feels she does n’t hold to be armed around this adult male. Elisa takes off her baseball mitts uncovering her feminine custodies and repair her adult male ‘s hat to demo her hair, she is trying to demo off her muliebrity, something she does n’t experience comfy making around her hubby. The tinker gets right down to concern inquiring if Elisa needs anything fixed. She understands and turns on the concern adult females in her and tells him she had no demand for his services, “ I tell you I have nil like that for you to make ” ( 304 ) . In her function as a concern adult female Elisa succeeds, but non for long.

Elisa ‘s power with planting is besides her failing. After neglecting several times and merely deriving her annoyance, the tinker inquires about chrysanthemums. This awakens an involvement in Elisa, and her facial look all of a sudden changes, “ The annoyance and opposition melted from Elisa ‘s face ” ( 304 ) . She is able to speak to a adult male about something ; inform him of something ; she knows more about something than he does. Elisa ‘s naivete in the concern universe clouds her judgement and she is unable to see what the reader sees ; the tinker is merely playing her to acquire what he wants. It is evident to us that he is merely asking about her flowers to acquire Elisa to wish him so she will buy his services. The tinker is playing with her emotions to accomplish his ultimate end of doing money. This is clear when he takes back his remark about the “ awful ” ( 305 ) smelling chrysanthemums, and agrees with Elisa who defends them and says they have a “ good bitter odor ” ( 305 ) .

When the tinker fabricates a narrative about another client desiring some chrysanthemum seeds for her garden, Elisa begins to take a liking to him. She welcomes him into her stray universe, her garden, “ Come into the pace ” ( 305 ) she says. They are both inside the fencing and Elisa forgets about how her actions look to the outside universe.

The baseball mitts were forgotten now. She kneeled on the land by the starting bed and delve up the flaxen dirt with her fingers and scooped it into the bright new flower pot. Then she picked up the small heap of shoots she had prepared. With her strong fingers she pressed them into the sand and tamped around them with her brass knuckss. ( 305 )

She is now demoing both sides of herself, to a complete alien, the strong side and the feminine side.

As her connexion to him is turning, she begins to depict to him how alive she feels when working with her flowers. She refers to her custodies as “ plating custodies ” ( 306 ) and illustrates to the tinker in a really passionate and intimate mode how she feels one with the Earth. When Elisa asks him if he understands her the tinker concurs by stating “ possibly I know ” ( 306 ) “ sometimes in the dark in the waggon there- ” ( 306 ) . This leads to a scene that has a apparently sexual undertone and leaves Elisa embarrassed, “ Her hesitant fingers about touched the fabric. The her manus dropped to the land. She crouched like a fawning Canis familiaris ” ( 306 ) . She is even more ashamed when the lone remark the tinker makes is when he insinuates that he has no money for dinner. She snaps back to world and eventually gives in to his petitions for work, happening a pot that needs mending. The tinkers mode has now become much more professional as she hands him the pot, “ Good as new I can repair them ” ( 306 ) . Right before the tinker departs, Elisa inform him that she excessively is pretty ready to hand with a pot, “ You might be surpised to hold a rival sometime. I can sharpen scissors excessively And I can crush the dents out of small pots. I could demo you what a adult female might make ” ( 307 ) . This statement reinforces Elisa ‘s feminine strength and shows how avant garde she is for her clip.

With the tinkers issue, Elisa feels freshly revived thanks to her brush with the alien, and hastes to acquire ready for diner with Henry.

She tore off her apparels and flung them into the corner. And so she scrubbed herself with a small block of pumice, until her tegument was scratched and ruddy. When she had dried herself she stood in forepart of a mirror in her sleeping room and looked at herself. She tightened her tummy and threw out her thorax ( 307 ) .

She feels empowered and strong, like she has eventually broken out of her stray, fenced off garden and she wants to demo her refreshed ego to Henry. However she is disappointed by the remark he makes, he merely said she looks nice and strong. But we can still see the alteration in Elisa when she boasts of her freshly found strength. “ I ne’er knew before how strong “ ( 308 ) .

In the auto, on the manner to diner with her hubby Elisa notices “ a dark pinpoint ” ( 308 ) in the distance and in that minute she knew the tinker had discarded her chrysanthemums on the side of the route. He ne’er cared about her flowers he had merely used Elisa to profit himself. Her new found authorization dissipates and the old Elisa is now sitting in the runabout next to Henry. She one time once more feels isolated and incapacitated. “ She turned up her coat neckband so he could non see that she was shouting weakly- like an old adult female ” ( 309 ) . Elisa has returned to her old ego, she is now even worse off than earlier.


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