Summary Of The Identity Crisis In The Chrysanthemums

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In the story "The Chrysanthemums" by John Steinbeck, the main character, Elisa Allen, exemplifies identity formation by showcasing her change of emotions throughout the story, which allows her to develop an identity crisis due to the constraints that men expect her to follow as a woman in the 1930s. According to Eric Erickson in the article, "Identity Crisis", an identity crisis is a "turning point in which lasting change occurs rather than a time of severe emotional distress"("Identity Crisis" 576). "The Chrysanthemums" is a story follows the life of this (Elisa Allen) thirty-five-year-old woman in a secluded Salinas Ranch with her husband, Henry Allen. In her garden, she plants chrysanthemums, which impresses anyone that sees them due to their amazing size and color. Elisa is a hardworking woman, and although strong, she understands there is no emotional connection between her and her husband – and feels distant from him, therefore she prevents herself from expressing any emotion and feminine-like appearance in front of him. However, when she receives the attention of a travelling pots-and-pans fixing tinker, while her husband is gone, she feels excitement and decides to showcase her personality as a free and adventurous woman to him. She does this by giving the tinker a part of herself, chrysanthemum seeds wrapped into a damp cloth inside a pot. However, as soon as he leaves, she changes her appearance from a masculine to a more feminine one to display her figure for when

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