The Chrysanthemum: A Feminist Perspective
South University Online
In John Steinbeck's story The Chrysanthemum, the story is about a strong and intelligent woman who enjoys working in her garden. The main character in the story is Elisa Allen, who works in her garden everyday and she plants beautiful chrysanthemum's every year. Elisa's garden is protected by a wire fence that keeps cattle, dogs, and chickens away. (Steinbeck, 1938 Pg 376) Her husband is very pleased with her gardening and comments on last year's chrysanthemum's and how they grew nearly ten inches across. “Maybe you can work in the orchard and raise some apples that big.” Her eyes sharpened. “Maybe I can do it too, I've got a gift for all things, all right.” (Steinbeck, 1938 Pg 381) Elisa stated that she has planting hands and she knows exactly how to make something grow beautifully.
The story also talks a little about the men and how they were back in 1938. Men would be the ones who went out and worked while the women stayed at home and took care of the children and the house. In the story, John talks about the men Henry and Scott working on a cattle drive. In the beginning of the story, Henry is on the cattle drive talking to two men in business suits. The two men were from the Western Meat Company and they were interested in some of Henry's cattle. “John sold thirty head of a three year old steers and got his own price for them.” (Steinbeck, 1938 Pg 381)
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