scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 618
Symbolism in John Steinbecks The Chrysanthemums In the short story The Chrysanthemums Steinbeck effectively uses symbols to help the reader understand the storys plot and obtain insight into characters thoughts and feelings primarily Elisa As the storys main character Elisa is a lonely thirty-five-year-old woman who serves as the channel in which most of these symbols are used Elisa feels neglected by her husband Henry who is always working cattle on their foothill ranch He shows her little affection and attention which causes her to become a very strong and determined looking woman Her face was lean and strong and her eyes were as clear as water Her figure looked blocked and heavy in her gardening costume a mans black hat pulled low down over her eyes This strong look serves as a barrier to her inner feelings of insecurity Elisa turns to cherish and nurture the chrysanthemums a symbol of her true beauty as a result of her strained marriage Henry further separates himself from Elisa and her love of the chrysanthemums by saying I wish youd work out in the orchard and raise some apples that big p 247 The storys narrator describes Elisas flower garden nearly as a cage wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs and chickens p 247 This symbolizes the love Elisa has for the flowers by wanting to protect them It also suggests to the reader that nothing will destroy her true beauty and feeling of self-worth of which the flowers actually represent The garden serves as a safe-haven for Elisa in that no harm will come to her or her feelings while working it The appearance of the handyman in the story serves as a confidence booster for Elisa It reinforces the very existence of the chrysanthemums and gives Elisa a new outlook on life He shows interest in the flowers that not even her own husband shows Kind of a long-stemmed
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA