Prof: Mr. Graves
The short story “The Chrysanthemums” favors and differs from the story “The Necklace” in many different ways. Both of these stories are centered upon an unhappy marriage life. The wives of each story are unhappy with the way their husbands seem content with the same lifestyle. In “The Chrysanthemums”, a tinker comes to Elisa’s house at first annoying her with ransom question, but then opening her eyes to realizing she should not settle for being content and try harder to become happy with her life. With the conversation becoming more exciting, Elisa begins to feel appreciated for once and has an immediate attraction for the tinker. In “The Necklace”, Mathilde’s husband surprises her with an invitation to a formal dinner, what at first, makes her excited but then turns into a disappointment knowing she has nothing nice to wear to the dinner because they are not exactly financially stable. Both Elisa and Mathilde are unhappy with their marriages; Mathilde puts on a front of her financial standings and Elisa realizes there is more to life and does not want to just settle.
One of the differences between the two wives is how Elisa lacks the self-confidence unlike Mathilde who has never settled for anything less than what she believes she deserves. In “The Chrysanthemums” Elisa puts so much hard work and time into her gardening while her husband does the same with the selling of his steer, even though this makes her content for the time being, she soon realizes that maybe life has more to offer than the comforts of the ranch. Sadly, what makes Elisa finally realize these feelings are a stranger who comes about at first being obnoxious asking questions but then really gets her attention when he compliments her chrysanthemums. The way the tinker describes the beauty of her flowers and happiness with his life on the road makes Elisa have an immediate attraction for the man wanting to grab him.
They were symbols of Elisa and how her life was. Just like Elisa you could say that the Chrysanthemums are strong, thriving and lovely. Just like the flowerbed her house is tidy and, flawlessly in order. Elisa is almost one with the Chrysanthemums you could say, for instance when the drifter notices how beautiful the chrysanthemums are you notice that Elisa’s mood noticeably changes, as if the drifter had noticed her instead. You can notice that when she all of a sudden try to find something for him to fix. Also when she offers him the chrysanthemums it is as if she is offering herself. His rejection of the flowers also mimics the way the society at the time would reject women as nothing more than a maid…