Essay by carlwinslo January 2006

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"The Chrysanthemums" was a fantastic story that made you stop and wonder about what really happened in this short story by John Steinbeck. If you had to go back and decipher through the lines to truly feel the impact of Eliza's struggle. Eliza's main struggle is with the monotony of her everyday life which suppresses her freedom, sexuality, and her desires as a women.

What struggles are there? The person who read too fast might ask, because she seems fine. She has a loving husband who goes to work everyday while she goes and becomes involved tendering to her beautiful garden which consist of all sorts of gorgeous flowers. Her troubled feelings are the result of her not having interaction with anyone. In fact, the flowers are the only living things with she interacts, besides the tinker, and they do not talk back. This suppresses her freedom because everyday all day she just work in her garden, even though it is something she loves, it is in some respects like her own personal jail.

She is ostersized from the outside world and has no visitors. This seems like a prison without the bars, but she is still trapped without an exit. She must stay there in solitude by herself and only tend to her flowers.

Secondly, her sexuality has been suppressed by her solitude and by not being needed by her husband. Also you can only imagine when the last time there was a sex life that had a spark in it. This is caused by the clothes she decides to where when she is gardening. She covers herself from head to toe in clothes. But not just any clothes, she decides to drape herself in men's clothing. There is not any skin showing not even a...