In the year of 1938, women lived in a man’s world, they were treated unequally compared to men. The responsibilities that women had were plain and simple: get married, take care of the house, cook the meals, care for your husband, and have children. Doing anything besides these jobs was outrageous and should never even be considered. In John Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums,” as a woman who portrays her wishes through her “planters’ hands” (282), Elisa Allen is stuck in a time when her biggest responsibility was to take care of her home and her husband, when all that she desires is to be able to live on her own and be free. To Elisa, home feels more like a prison, and she has been sentenced for life. The opening of this story refers to Elisa’s hometown: “The high gray-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all the rest of the world. On every side it sat like a lid on the mountains and made of the great valley a closed pot,” (281). This quotation shows that, for Elisa, there is no escaping of this boiling pot that she wishes she did not have to call home. It is very clear that Elisa goes day to day doing the same boring routine. As her husband, Henry, approaches her in the garden, he says, “At it again” (282), which shows just how often Elisa spends her time in her garden, tending to her flowers. It is quite simple to get tired of doing the same thing every day, every week, and every month of every year, which is the exact reason as to why Elisa feels so stuck and unable to escape her home. While Elisa is working in her garden, a tinker shows up, and this man acts as a light of hope to Elisa in the cruel world that she lives in. The tinker lives a life that Elisa could only dream of. “I go from Seattle to San Diego and back every year. Takes all my time. About six months each way,” (284). This is something that automatically forms a jealousy within Elisa: “It must be very nice. I wish women could do such things,” (286). This just goes to show how much Elisa would like to be free from her society and be able to live out on the open road, like a man is able to do. The tinker proves how underappreciated Elisa truly is when he tells her that the lifestyle he leads is unfit for a woman. Solely due to the fact that Elisa is a woman living in the 1930’s, her beautiful spirit and passion are ignored by the tinker, but that does not mean that Elisa’s light of hope is put out quite yet. Throughout the story, Elisa’s beautiful chrysanthemums are one of the main focuses, hence the title of Steinbeck’s writing. These chrysanthemums that Elisa has raised from nothing, are simply a symbol of Elisa herself. Her flowers portray the image that Elisa sees as herself, strong, beautiful, but also underappreciated. When Henry approaches Elisa in her garden, he tells her, “You’ve got a gift with things. Some of those yellow chrysanthemums you had this year were ten inches across. I wish you’d work out in the orchard and raise some apples that big, (282). Henry believes Elisa’s flowers to be strong and beautiful, but it is very obvious that he does not appreciate them when he asks Elisa to work in the orchard rather than on her flowers. Until the tinker comes along, Elis is the only one who appreciates her chrysanthemums. Although he is only using Elisa, his fake interest in the flowers keep her going. Upon the realization that the tinker only wanted Elisa’s flowers for the pot, it is shown that the flowers and Elisa are almost treated exactly the same; they were both used. The chrysanthemums were used by the tinker as a…
Lifetime (life and death)
Born February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California
Served as a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune during WWII
Travelled to Mexico with friend who’s a marine biologist, resulting in book Sea of Cortez (1941)
Married 3 times
Two sons with second wife Gwyndolyn Conger
Died of heart disease on December 20, 1968, in his home in New York City
27 years-old during The Great Depression
Grew up with three sisters
Was a happy but shy child
you aint gonna say a word.” Prejudice plays a significant role in Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck. In many instances, characters are pushed aside. Some characters who are pushed aside are Curley’s wife, Crooks, and Lennie. Prejudice destroys people’s lives.
In the novel, Curelys wife is discriminated because of her gender. During this time period, women are basically nothing to the men on the ranch. Steinbeck does not even give her a name. This woman is just simply known as “Curley’s wife.” For…
endure the test of time, we call them classics. John Steinbeck's, The Pearl,
undoubtedly deserves it's status as a classic.
This novella has a myriad of themes and lessons, but a few pop out, and stretch
throughout the entire book. One of the primary themes in The Pearl is Kino's instincts, as Kino
encounters possible danger or deceit, the music he hears in his head changes to something more
sinister and warning. An example of this is when Steinbeck describes how "the music of evil was
situation, but stating reality may wreak havoc, as evidenced by the complex relationship between
George and Lennie in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and AT&T and Verizon’s involvement
in the National Security Agency scandal.
The only basis for a lasting relationship, according to many, rests on honesty, but George
and Lennie’s complicated yet close relationship in John Steinbeck’s classic shows that it may be
better to lie. George keeps damaging facts, including that the reason for moving town to town…
Of Mice and Men
The novel 'Of Mice and Men' was written by John Steinbeck in 1936. It is set in the society of the 1920's.
Steinbeck uses many different techniques to present Curley’s wife such as colour imagery, appearance, metaphors and similes in the early stages of the novel. The effect of these techniques is that the reader creates a mental image of Curley’s wife even before she even enters the novel. The author sets up our perception of the character 'Curley's wife' in a way that allows…
John Steinbeck presents the theme of loneliness mainly through the characters in Of Mice and Men. He does this by exploring their backgrounds, their past and their dreams and throughout this essay I am going to explain the different ways in which he does this.
The two main characters are Lennie and George, they travel around together because George had promised to take care of Lennie and they travel to all different places to work. The two of them both want the same thing to come out of all the…
reality and dream into one, making one not able to distinguish between what is real and what is fake. In the play “ A Street Car Name Desire” by Tennessee Williams, the movie The Glass Menajerie by Tennesee Williams, and the story “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck, select characters in all of these stories successfully use dreaming to on a day to day basis. The common tie between Elisa Allen, Amanda, and Blanch DuBois is that they all use dreaming as a tool to escape their everyday lives that they…
Of Mice and Men was written by John Steinbeck in the 1930s in America,
California, during the Great Depression. It deals with themes of friendship,
loneliness and the American Dream. Through the book, Steinbeck presents the
characters George Milton and Lennie Small as being two completely divergent
people with the same dream. They both dream of a better life, which is to “Live off
the fatta the lan”. Meaning to own their own piece of land, to be self sufficient,
never have to answer to any “boss” again and…
John Steinbeck and Upton Sinclair: A Comparison
“The Grapes of Wrath”, written by John Steinbeck and “The Jungle”, written by Upton Sinclair are two books that have and will forever be impactful on American history and literature. They are both considered very powerful novels. Although these books seem very different, they are much more similar than they seem. Steinbeck tells the story of a family making their way to California amidst the Great Depression and era of the Dust Bowl, while Sinclair…