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The womens role around the world is influenced by their societyMarriage for some women is considered a fulfilling sensation in theirlife However the protagonists in The Chrysanthemums by JohnSteinbeck and The Astronomers Wife by Kay Boyle are dissatisfiedwith their marriages These women remain within their marriages becausethey are concerned about societys perception of them The women inthese stories find themselves trapped with dissatisfying rules dictatedby their social expectationsSocietys idea of femininity and manhood influences the opinions andbehaviors that men and women show between one another Many women aroundthe world struggle with their femininity within their society JohnSteinbeck reveals to his readers the perception of femininity with hischaracter Elisa Allen The readers learn that Elisa Allen is a workinghousewife and takes pride in her womanliness The narrator includesabout Elisa Allen that She wore heavy leather gloves to protect herhands while she workedSteinbeck 1061 This is an indication that shetakes good care of herself and image She works with flowers in hergarden because its considered feminine in many societies Flowerssymbolize fragility compassion and love which complements ElisaAllens personality The title of the story is a type of flower whichnotifies the reader that femininity is a significant aspect of ElisaAllens character An additional suggestion about femininity within thestory is that When she had dried herself she stood in front of amirror in her bedroom and looked at her body She tightened her stomachand threw out her chest She turned and looked over her shoulder at herback 1067 This shows that Elisa examines herself through the mirrorbecause she likes to be fit The desire to stay fit throughout a womanslife is part of their femininity Elisa Allen likes to stay fit becauseit makes her feel good about herself She takes care of her housegarden and husband as part of her womanhood life Steinbeck includesthat Her face was lean and strong and her eyes were as clear aswater 1061 This shows that the narrator describes Elisasfemininity through her physical characteristics
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