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Word Count: 739
Quite often the limits that bound a woman to her conventional standards are the cause of womens sufferings The battle for equality has not come to pass because men hinder their ways For a long time this has been accepted in society as the ways things are John Steinbecks The Chrysanthemums mirrors Elisas frustration she feels in a masculine world and her aspiration to enjoy the life that a true woman deserves Elisa has to suppress her identity to conform to a male-dominated society When Elisa works in the garden she is described as having masculine qualities both in her appearance and actions Steinbeck portrays her figure as blocked and heavy in her gardening costume her work with the scissors is over-powerful and her fingers destroyed such pests The home in which she lives has the masculine characteristics of being hard-swept and hard-polished The author uses words such as handsome to prove her not being typically ladylike Elisa feels neglected by her husband Henry who is always busy with handling the ranch and finances He further separates himself from Elisa by saying I wish you do work in the orchard and raise some apples that big His lack of affection and appreciation causes her to become a very strong and determined looking woman This strong look is clearly a barrier of her inner feelings and loneliness Elisa turns to cherish and nurtures the chrysanthemums a symbol of her true female beauty as a result of her strained marriage And to some extent she appears not to be in touch with her own sexuality and is not able to unearth the deep source of her dissatisfaction Elisa instinctively lets go of her masculine side and allows her covered emotions to emerge The arrival of the handyman in the story plays the role of the confidence activation for Elisa This traveler stimulates Elisas femininity and makes her aware of what she wants She keeps saying No
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