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Sunday, November 2, 2008
The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck
Like all flowers, the chrysanthemums in this story symbolize sex organs. Elisa Allen works in her flower garden to create beautiful flowers. This story has gender tones to it as the woman feels like she could do anything that a man could do. A travelling salesman stops to offer his services to sharpen tools or fix pots. During the conversation that ensues, the travelling salesman tells her of a woman who has a beautiful flower garden but no mums. This gives Elisa a start who gladly offers to send some roots in damp sand along with him. Elisa then instructs the man how they are to be taken care of. After repairing some old pots he goes on his way. Henry, Elisa’s husband comes home to get ready so they can go out. There is a verbal give and take as she challenges his choice of words. This story is just too rich in symbolism and information to do it justice in this brief analysis.