Empowerment of Women
Most men view themselves as being the superior life-form in society. They justify this belief by saying that they are stronger and more capable; thus, making them more qualify for the more important roles in society. They place themselves on pedestals and force women to believe in their own inferiority to men and their incapability to excel educationally, politically, economically, and domestically. But the truth is that women will eventually advance in all these areas and come to realize that they do not need men to survive. John Steinbeck, in his short story "The Chrysanthemums" depicts the trials of a woman attempting to gain power in a man's world. Elisa Allen tries to define the boundaries of her role as a woman in such a closed society. While her environment is portrayed as a tool for social repression, it is through nature in her garden where Elisa gains and shows off her power. As the story progresses, Elisa has trouble extending this power outside of the fence that surrounds her garden. Elisa learns but does not readily accept, that she possesses a feminine power weak for the time, not the masculine one she had tried so hard to achieve through its imitation. Through the years, women have challenged the traditional female roles and have gradually climbed up the social ladder. They have split up the domestic chores with their husbands and entered the workforce and/or returned to school. They are no longer compelled to become domestic housewives who stay at home to cook, clean, care for the children, and serve their husbands. However, they are given more choices and opportunities, and are becoming more independent. From the time of the women's movement, women have proven to society that they are just as capable and qualify for the same roles that men perform. Since they have been given more educational opportunities, they have also proven that they are just as competent by accomplishing the same educational level as men.