The Chrysanthemums Essay

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The Chrysanthemums It is winter in Salinas’s Valley, California. The smog covers the valley and the sun is not shining. On Henrys Allen’s foothill ranch the air was frigid and tender, but there was little work to be completed. Henrys wife, Elisa Allen, is working away at her chrysanthemums. The story is told in the third person, but almost the entire story is told from Elisa’s point of view. John Steinbeck’s ultimately tries to capture the female consciousness through Henrys wife Elisa. With this story, Steinbeck’s main focal point is on Elisa Allen. He only describes the setting in a few sentences and then turns his full attention on forming Elisa’s character. We first meet our lonesome character, Elisa, when she is amongst her chrysanthemums, awaiting her husband. He is over by their barn constructing a business deal, when he is completed; he goes over towards her and makes plans to celebrate the successful business deal he just completed. Henry first must finish the rest of the day’s work on the ranch. After he leaves, a stranger comes up in a wagon on their road tension starts to ratchets up. His appearance in this story indicates something strange and new in Elisa’s world. She sees the way he lives and starts thinking about her life. In the beginning Elisa is quiet and to herself, but once the stranger asks her about her chrysanthemums it sets a spark off in her and she changes into a completely new person. She starts getting excited and she creates a strange connection with the stranger. A connection she never seemed to have with her husband. With the characters in the story, there were only three significant ones worth mentioning, Elisa Allen, the stranger, and Henry Allen. Elisa Allen is an interesting, intelligent and passionate woman who lives an unsatisfying life. She mentions wanting to see the world but that dream is condemned as an unfitted dream

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