The Birth and Death of a Modern Woman: On the Book "The Chrysanthemums" by John Steinbeck.

Essay by koup70College, UndergraduateA+, December 2005

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The Birth and Death of a Modern Woman

Although the suffrage movement gave women equality and the women's the right to vote; it took some years for a lot of women to evolve into the woman of today. Not only did it take women a long time, but it took men longer to give up the control they had over them in the past and accept them as equal. In "The Chrysanthemums" by John Steinbeck, we see the birth of Elisa Allen as a modern woman. However, her birth is short lived because of her inability to communicate her feelings to a controlling and overbearing husband.

As we enter the story we see Elisa attending to her flower garden. Her house is already clean and tidy; so she is attending to her passion, her chrysanthemums. Her husband Henry arrives on the scene and makes mention of her strong crop of flowers.

He tells her that she should "work in the orchard and raise some apples that big" (Steinbeck 2). When he says this it says that "her eyes sharpened" (2), this is extremely important because we are seeing a brief flash of anger, showing that she knows that although she is highly capable he will not let her. A few lines later he just brushes her off by switching the topic back to the flowers. He is showing us his control over what his wife does, not just on the farm, but in her life in just these few lines.

I used to live on a farm when I was young so I know a lot about the life that these folks live. When I was younger I can even remember my grandmother making comments about my mother going out to help us haul hay wagons. Her idea for a...