Friday, October 25, 2019
Little Woman, Small World Essay -- Literary Analysis
In a small world, there is not much choice for a simple woman. Throughout history, women often are portrayed as the weaker sex. As a result of this assumption, women try to disassociate themselves from this custom and be more independent with their lives. One of John SteinbeckÃ¢â¬â¢s most accomplished short stories, Ã¢â¬Å"The Chrysanthemums,Ã¢â¬ a story which concerns a married couple and examines ElisaÃ¢â¬â¢s dissatisfaction with her life. The story takes place in the Salinas Valley of California in December at Henry AllenÃ¢â¬â¢s ranch in the foothills. Elisa is a woman whose life is narrow, unexciting and limited in what she can become by geography and opportunity. She is feeling trapped in a life of servitude and is suppressing a yearning for more. Therefore, Elisa takes a bold step towards her own providence. In Ã¢â¬Å"The Chrysanthemums,Ã¢â¬ by Steinbeck, Elisa is portrayed as feminine, subservient, and conservative, but through the reality is that she is instead a masculine, frustrated, and sensual being who wants more out of life than her husband Henry offers her. Her portrayal shows her dissatisfaction in life. First characteristic of Elisa is found in a traditional feminine role, working in her garden; however, the narrator describes her appearance using words associated with manliness. For example, her gardening clothes conceal her femininity with a Ã¢â¬Å"manÃ¢â¬â¢s black hatÃ¢â¬ ¦clodhopper shoesÃ¢â¬ ¦a big corduroy apronÃ¢â¬ ¦and heavy leather glovesÃ¢â¬ (460). Her description does not focus on her feminine characteristics, and she could easily be mistaken as a man from the distance. Elisa is gardening and tending her flowers which symbolize of her femininity, but contradicting this femininity is her strength. Steinbeck illustrates ElisaÃ¢â¬â¢s energy as she works in the garden t... ... Works Cited Akers, Tim, ed. Vol. 6. Short Stories for Students. Detroit: The Gale Group, 1999. 59-82. Print. Mazzeno, Laurence W., ed. Vol. 2. Masterplots The Big Sky- The Confidential Clerk. 4th ed. Pasadena California: Salem Press, 2011. 1011-12. Print. Palmerino, Gregory J. "Steinbeck's 'The Chrysanthemums'." Explicator 62.3 (2004): 164-167. MLA International Bibliography. EBSCO. Claire Carney Library. Schultz, Jeffrey D, and Luchen Li. Critical Companion to John Steinbeck: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Facts On File, 2005. Print. Steinbeck, John. "The Chrysanthemums." Literature Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. Robert DiYanni. Second ed. Boston: New York University, 2008. 459-66. Print. Timmerman, John H. The Dramatic Landscape of Steinbeck's Short Stories. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990. 173-79. Print.