Elisa Allen and the Handyman Different People with a Small Similarity in "The Chrysanthemums"

Topics: John Steinbeck, Salinas, California, Gender Pages: 2 (550 words) Published: March 27, 2007
"The Chrysanthemums" by John Steinbeck illustrates through subtle symbolism a woman's struggle for sexual identity. "The Chrysanthemums" is also a story that examines the unhappiness of the marriage between Elisa and Henry Allen. "The Chrysanthemums" takes place in Salinas Valley, California, which seems like a site of isolation due to the fact that no one or nothing is near there home on this valley. Due to the fact that no one or nothings is near readers can think that Elisa lives her life through her chrysanthemums. Maybe if they had children she would be able to do more with her time and put her focus on something else more important then just gardening. Elisa has an encounter with a handyman in front of her home. The narrator refers to this character as "the man" and nothing else. Elisa has a lot of energy when it comes to garden which she seems to believe that this handyman shares her interest in gardening. They both are very strong willed people, Elisa is strong willed when it comes to her gardening and the man is very strong willed when it comes to the profession. Elisa is the type of person who lives for her work in her chrysanthemums like the handyman lives for his work of mending pots. Elisa has many things around her land that this handyman could sharpen or mend from the readers aspect it seems that she is very good at sharpen things around her farm on her own just as good as this man. The handyman lives a life of exploring and Elisa lives a life of isolation. Elisa looks like she would like to be able to live her life like the handyman. Elisa Allen is a woman capable of doing many things but has no outlet to showcase her skills due to the social implications imposed on her by the males of society. Elisa tries hard to project a tough, masculine image of her rather than the feminine alternative. Elisa has the capability to do many things due to the fact that she is a woman and shows a low self-esteem for herself she sticks to what she knows well and...
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