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Symbolism is John Steinbecks The Chrysanthemums The Chrysanthemums one of John Steinbecks masterpieces describes a lonely farmers wife Elisa Allen Elisa Allens physical appearance is very mannish yet still allows a hint of a feminine side to peek through John Steinbeck brings symbolism into play to represent Elisa Allens frustrations and hidden passions Isolation is another representation through symbolism found in The Chrysanthemums Elisas failing detached marriage is represented through two symbols The two reoccurring symbols are the chrysanthemums and fences John Steinbeck draws pity from the reader for Elisa Allen who desperately wishes to experience the passions of a fulfilling marriage and the stimulation of a mans life Through symbolism in The Chrysanthemums John Steinbeck creates a sexually repressed and discouraged Elisa Allen who is isolated from society however still retaining their values and is also trapped in a fruitless marriage Elisa Allen and her repressed sexuality are introduced to the readers through a manly appearance with a small clue of a womanly figure making an effort to peer through This suppressed sexuality will eventually symbolically emerge Elisas symbolic clothing shows her concealed passions Her figure looked blocked and heavy in her gardening costume Steinbeck 1463 Elisa tries to subdue her sexual desires by hiding beneath manly clothing tools and even her home Duncun 1 She wore a mans black hat clod-hopper shoesand heavy leather gloves Steinbeck 1463 She carried short and powerful scissors Steinbeck 1463 and her house was hard-swept and hard-polished Steinbeck 1463 Although she had a manly appearance she was still doing the womans job of tending a flower garden All of these manly traits did not hold her back Steinbeck still allowed her suppressed sexuality to shine through Pittmann 1 A figured print dress almost completely covered by a b ig corduroy apron with four big pockets Steinbeck 1463 Steinbeck by allowing the dress to be seen is showing the readers Elisa passion that long to be unbridled
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