The Chrysanthemums Theme Of Confinement

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Confinement and women meet once again. In “The Chrysanthemums,” John Steinbeck uses the story of Eliza and her flowers to portray the confinement that she feels; the theme of confinement is found throughout the entire short story. Steinbeck shows Eliza’s confinement using vivid imagery. In this work, the reader gets a glimpse of Elisa feeling free and alive but this is shutdown by the reiterated fact that Elisa is confined primarily because she is a women. The idea of confinement can be seen through the images that the author puts forth for the reader.
Imagery is used throughout the whole short story to convey the theme of confinement. In the first sentence, Steinbeck starts to create a sense of confinement with his visual imagery while describing,
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Steinbeck creates this image when telling the reader, “She turned up her coat collar” and “she was crying weakly”(7). This visual imagery conveys that Elisa is feeling weak and restricted. The turning up of her collar of her coat represents her becoming confined again. Elisa does not feel the same as she did when she thought someone cared about her plants. She feels confined; this connects back to the theme of confinement that is inevitable in this story. Although Elisa sees a glimpse of freedom, it is unavoidable that she is confined to her life. In “Short Stories for Students Volume 6 ,” the analysis supports the theme of confinement; this analysis states that, “The idea of limitation or confinement is presented as the story opens” (62). This continues to assist in establishing the theme of confinement. If this analysis of the story says that the theme of confinement started from the very beginning, it is most definitely a huge contributor to the idea of the short story as a whole. This analysis also suggests that Eliza, “is not strong enough to overcome her limitations” (63). Eliza tries to free herself and become strong and unconfined, yet she is just not able to reach this goal. She is stuck in her limitations and
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