Essay by mattyice23305College, UndergraduateB-, March 2014

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Angel 1

Matthew Angel

Robert Stambaugh


21, February 2014

Elisa Allen's World of Entrapment

Throughout the ages, society and the traditional representation of gender roles, have truly masked us from what is morally correct. Things have indeed progressed for the better in the sense of what a woman can stand for and produce to the world, but for the past 1000 years there has been a sense of entitlement and a role of higher importance for men and an undesirable neglect for what a women can contribute to. A bothered and isolated Elisa Allen in the story "The Chrysanthemums", finds herself subject to this phenomenon and is persistently mistreated and in a sense, unnoticed by her traditionally productive, yet dull and dismissive husband. She ultimately breaks down psychologically and shows no signs of hope or freedom from the cobweb she is binded in. With the factors of a misunderstanding husband, lack of sexual fulfillment, and a sense of inequality due to her gender, Elisa finds herself confined within the walls of a depressing foothill ranch on the sunless Salinas Valley and ultimately suffering a breakdown she cannot escape.

One of the worst possible inconveniences , that a hard working married woman should never have to deal with, is the burden of an unsatisfying husband who lacks the ability to please their beloved wives. In The "Chrysanthemums", Henry Allen is a hard working, yet inobservant husband that allows himself to ignore his wife's potential day by day , thus leaving him unable to please his wife to her fullest fulfillment. Although his hard work on the ranch is quite admirable and means well, his concentration on his own role as provider, organizer, and decision-maker has blinded him to the fact that Elisa needs something more in her life...