John Steinbecks short narrative The Chrysanthemums is about a proud, strong adult female named Elisa, who seems disheartened with her life. Her dissatisfactions stem from non holding kids and from her hubby ‘s failure to look up to her romantically as a adult female. The lone joy in her life is her flower garden where she cultivates beautiful chrysanthemums. In this short narrative the writer uses symbolism to stand for the pent-up life of Elisa, a individual who is non taken earnestly because she is a adult female. There are many illustrations of such symbolism in Steinbeck ‘s work.
The first illustration of symbolism in this narrative is the garden. Elisa longs for a kid and Steinbeck uses the garden is portray that kid. The clip and attention that Elisa takes on the garden represents the attention and clip she would take if it were a existent kid. The writer gives illustrations of this when depicting the work she does at that place, “ she turned the dirt over and over and smoothed it and patted it house. Then she dug 10 parallel trenches ” ( 299 ) .This shows the reader how meticulously Elisa tends to her garden, as if it were a babe she is be givening to. Another illustration the other has given was when he writes about how she tends to the sprouts. Eliza is looking at the land analyzing the country where the new flowers are get downing to turn. The writer so states, “ No aphids were at that place, no snow bugs or snails or cutworms. Her terrie fingers destroyed such plagues before they could acquire started ” ( 298 ) . In this transition, the writer is stating us that she protects her flowers infinitely. The flowers are like her babes and she would ne’er allow anything ache them. Steinbeck uses the garden as a symbol in the narrative to portray the kid that Elisa is hankering for.
The 2nd illustration of symbolism is the description of the vale. The Saline Valley symbolizes the emotional life of Elisa. In the drawn-out gap scene Steinbeck defines the vale as a “ closed pot ” ( 298 ) . He illustrates this by saying “ the high gray-flannel fog of winter closed off the Saline Valley from the sky and the remainder of the universe ” ( 298 ) . This implies that Elisa possibly trapped inside the universe she lives in. The reader besides discovers that although there is sunshine nearby, no light penetrates the vale. It is December and there is a prevailing ambiance that the writer describes as “ a clip of quiet and waiting ” ( 298 ) . The writer is saying that Elisa is unhappy and that she is softly waiting for her life to alter. As a individual reads the gap scene the portraiture of the vale seems about lyrical. However, it is so revealed to be a powerful symbol of Elisa ‘s suffocating, doomed, yet hopeful life.
The last and most clear logical symbol that Steinbeck uses is the chrysanthemums themselves. The chrysanthemums are used to typify the inadequacies of Elisa ‘s life every bit good as, Elisa herself. The chrysanthemum flowers, like Elisa are strong, thriving and lovely. Elisa identifies herself with the flowers ; one could even state that she becomes one with the workss when she tends to them. The garden in which the flowers grow, like Elisa ‘s house are tidy and conscientiously in order. The writer illustrates this with the house by saying, “ It was a difficult swept looking small house, with difficult polished Windowss and a clean clay mat on the front stairss ” ( 298 ) . In this subdivision the writer is demoing us that Elisa keeps her life, in a clean orderly manner merely like a flower garden would be kept. Then in the narrative when the tinker notices the chrysanthemums, Elisa face brightens. As if the adult male had noticed her alternatively. The writer so states, “ Her eyes shone. She tore off the battered chapeau and shook out her dark pretty hair ” ( 301 ) . Throughout the narrative Elisa has been a conventional and conservative adult female. Then when the tinker notices the flowers she all of a sudden changes as revealed in the quotation mark. Eliza so offers him the chrysanthemums. However, at the same clip she is offering herself. The tinker ignores her offering and tosses her progresss aside. It is n’t until Elisa sees the works starts on the side of the route that she feels the sting of rejection and isolation. Until that minute her horticulture had protected and distracted her from her feelings of insufficiency, her solitariness and the privacy in her life. Just like Elisa, the flowers are fiddling and undistinguished. They are merely embroideries and add small value to the universe depicted by the writer. By giving the reader these passages the writer is demoing how Elisa identifies herself with the flowers as a symbol of the narrative.