The Chrysanthemums - Elisa's Garden

Essay by riersonrCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2005

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Elisa's Garden

With the growing season at hand and the sweet smell of spring in the air a women is lonely. She longs for the day that her husband will show more appreciation and affection towards the things that she so dearly loves. This is the case in John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums". Elisa's loneliness is demonstrated through her words, her garden and her relationship with Henry.

Through the words of Elisa Allen there is a brief sense of unhappiness. Trying to refrain from showing her feminine side Elisa doesn't let her emotions leak exposing her true hostile outlook on life. While the Tinker is searching for a job he swings by the garden where Elisa is working. It is during this time that he shows lots of interest in her handy work. This makes Elisa feel euphoric and she opens her emotions up to this man making herself extremely vulnerable.

While the two speak Elisa mentions to the man that she wishes woman could do such things like live in a wagon. He responds by saying, "It would be a lonely life for a women, ma'am, and a scarey life, too, with animals creeping under the wagon all night." This is ironic because Elisa has a house, beautiful garden and a husband; yet she still feels lonely and neglected. After the conversation is drawn to a close between the Tinker and Elisa the Tinker heads down the road in his wagon. It is at this point in the story that Elisa whispers quietly to herself, "That's a bright direction. There's a glowing there." After these words are mumbled under her breath she looks around to see if anybody heard what she had just spoken, but nobody has heard what she has said while working in her garden.

Elisa Allen's...