How Does Steinbeck Use Imagery In The Chrysanthemums

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Imagery’s aid in the development of theme in “The Chrysanthemums” The literary element of Imagery refers to visually descriptive or figurative language. Imagery helps the reader put together an image of what is being read. In most cases, the imagery helps a reader to further their understanding of the theme and the story as a whole. In “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck, the imagery of Elisa’s clothing and her emotions helps to develop the theme of American gender inequality throughout the 1930s. In the beginning of “ The Chrysanthemums,” Steinbeck uses imagery to describe the setting: “The high gray-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas valley from the sky and from the rest of the world, on every side it sat like a lid on the mountains and made of the valley a closed pot” (1). This setting relates to Elisa, sheltered from the rest of the world, and very plain in her …show more content…

Elisa sees something on the road: “Far ahead on the road Elisa saw a dark speck. She knew” (9). Elisa realizes that the speck is her seeds, and that the relationship between her and the tinker is all just her fantasy of what could be. The imagery of the seeds on the road shows that Elisa means nothing to the tinker. The tinker just wanted her pot. Elisa grows cold and reverts back to her masculine ways: “Henry, at those prize fights do the men hurt each other very much?” (9) After asking about the fights, Elisa “Turned her coat collar so he couldn’t see that she was crying weakly like an old woman” (10). This imagery portrays that deep down Elisa isn’t strong like her husband thinks. Elisa has feelings that aren’t being cared for, and is also upset with her life. However, Elisa has no say because of gender inequality during the 1930s. Men were superior, and made all decisions based upon what they wanted. Women’s feelings were not taken into

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