Conflict in the Garden: the Internal Struggle of Elisa

1021 Words5 Pages
Brad Winterton Dr. Gilstrap English 1102 June 17, 2011 Conflict in the Garden: The Internal Struggle of Elisa Elisa experiences internal conflicts in “The Chrysanthemums.” Her conflict seems to be struggling with her relationship with her husband; struggling between how it is and how she wants it to be. We see this conflict in the story through dialogue, by the conversation she has with her husband at the beginning of the story and then the conversation she has with the wagon man. We also see this conflict through the narrative’s symbolism. One internal conflict is Elisa’s longing to expand her role to help her husband in the orchard. Elisa’s conversation at the beginning of the narrative with Henry demonstrates this internal conflict. Henry jokingly asks Elisa to grow some apples as big as her flowers, she replies “Maybe I could do it, too” (Steinbeck, 398) Because of her response we know she wants a chance to try to help her husband in this way. This shows she is struggling between her current place in the flower garden and with her husband helping him with his work. Henry even belittles her abilities when he says “Well, it sure works with flowers.” (Steinbeck, 398) By this statement Henry implies that her job is with the flowers despite her longing to help him outside of her garden. This is further supported by the fact that despite her confidence in growing things, Elisa never gets a chance to help him in the orchard, nor do they ever bring this up again in future conversations within the narrative. This means that Henry is not serious about Elisa helping him grow apples or expanding her role. When Elisa says “It must be very nice. I wish women could do such things” (Steinbeck, 401) this demonstrates Elisa's internal conflict between staying at the farm and leaving and having her own life. By Elisa saying women in this quote she really meant herself. She

More about Conflict in the Garden: the Internal Struggle of Elisa

Open Document