The Chrysanthemums

In: English and Literature

Submitted By lindsaynguyen
Words 1220
Pages 5
Lindsay Nguyen
Stephanie Denny
November 1, 2015 Portrayals of women in The Chrysanthemums
Throughout history, women have been considered lower class than men. Women have been treated unequally in society. Women’s intelligence and potential have often been undervalued and ignored. Due to this social misconception of female ability, women sometimes struggle to achieve their dream. In “ The Chrysanthemums”, John Steinbeck describes the female role through his character Elisa Allen whose life is limited, isolated and suppressed by the patriarchal society she lives in. “Elisa is an incipient feminist who dresses and acts like a man and is dissatisfied with a woman's conventional role” (Evans 244).
Often times, women have social barriers and limitations that stop them from being able to go out and achieve their dreams. For instance, when a woman is married it is normal for society to see her as a motherly figure/homemaker. If a woman would go out and pursue her own dreams, she would be looked at in a negative way especially in the 1930’s. In the story, Elisa Allen is a strong farm wife who stays at home and takes care of her garden while her husband goes to work every day on the ranch. Elisa is very good at gardening, but she could never work at the ranch like her husband. Her life is limited, and she cannot do anything besides put all her strength into growing the chrysanthemums in her garden. While her flowers are big and beautiful, her husband does not share the same passion for her garden. Instead he only acknowledges her skill by saying, “ you got a gift with thing, and I wish you’d work out on the orchard and raise some apples that big” (Steinbeck 205). This is obvious that he under minds her ability to survive in a patriarchal world because he thinks she is only capable of working with flowers. In a way, from his perspective, it shows that no…...

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