The Chrysanthemums Literary Analysis

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Masculine and Feminine Roles in Steinbeck’s “Chrysanthemums”
In the story “The Chrysanthemums”, by John Steinbeck, Elisa Allen lives an unsatisfactory life as she desires more than what is bestowed upon her. The reader learns Elisa’s husband is culpable for not seeing the beauty of his wife, leaving an open door for the antagonist, a traveler, to prey upon Elisa’s. Steinbeck uses Masculine and Feminine roles of the early 20th century, Internal Conflict, and an antagonist, to show Elisa’s struggle for Identity.
Steinbeck illustrates Masculine and feminine roles of the 20th century in the “Chrysanthemums” to show Elisa’s struggle with identity. Elisa role as wife is brought to light through the task she is given as a character and wife. The reader sees this here as she draws her husband a hot bath fulfilling his needs before her own as she isn’t dressed yet for the evening “He entered the house calling, “Elisa, where are you?” “In
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Elisa is experiencing conflict with each person she encounters on several levels, as well as with nature itself as she tends the garden and lives life. The garden itself is changing Elisa’s physical characteristics as the story unfolds. The internal conflict Elisa works through is the most prevalent, allowing for a round character. Steinbeck exposes this in multiple dialogs throughout the short story that reveal a character full of inner turmoil about who she is and what she wants out of life. Steinbeck reveals a sense of lostness and need for something more in Elisa here “Elisa Brought him a fifty-cent piece from the house and dropped it in his hand. “you might be surprised to have a rival some time,. I can sharpen scissors. Too. And I can beat the dents out of little pots. I could show you what a woman might do.”” (851), as the reader see’s she tries to find herself in letting the traveler know she is capable of the same things he
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