John Steinbeck, “The Chrysanthemums”
Character Analysis: Elisa Allen
Elisa Allen is first portrayed as a woman who can take on any job as well as any man but in the end, becomes a woman of submissive femininity. The plot revolves around her journey of realization and conversion to femininity, which conclusively, labels her as a dynamic protagonist. She works in a garden and farms and cultivates just as well as a man and never fails to amaze her husband of her skills. The story starts with her husband asking her to go into town for a nice dinner date night after he goes into the hills with their sun to look for some steers. As her husband goes off with the son, a stranger comes along their ranch and seeks for directions, as he is lost. His wagon cover reveals that he is a repairman for scissors, pans, and all other sorts of tools. He strikes a conversation and seems to be extremely interested in Elisa. However, there is slight tension within their conversation because it is obvious that he is looking for work to feed himself for the night, but she does not want to give in to his marketing scheme. He advertises that he can make any old tool or pan look brand new and it will be of an advantage to Ms. Allen; it is not until he asks for her chrysanthemums as a gift to an old lady friend down the road that Elisa begin to loosen up. Flattered by his praise to her planting work and feeling as if she should owe him something, Elisa digs out some old aluminum stove pots for him to fix. As he is repairing them, she asks him about life on the road and shows that she would love to live like a man despite his comments that it is dangerous for a woman to live like him. She pays him fifty cents and jokes that he might be coming along some new competition on the road because she too, can ring out the dents of any pots and sharpen scissors better than anyone else out there. They say their farewells and Elisa begins to get ready for dinner. She showers and...
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