English III- 1
2 Mar 2010
In October of 1937 the author by the name of John Steinbeck, a great and talented writer, wrote a short story called “The Chrysanthemums.” In this short story he uses a variety of themes and literary devices. He uses one theme and device that sticks out the most in his story. Women’s limitation was a big part of women back in Steinbeck’s time. Women could not do all the things they get to do now. Now they get to vote and they have the ability to work and speak a lot more now. They got all these rights when the Supreme Court voted to pass Amendment # 19. Women’s role back then was staying home and taking care of the house and not having to work. Women took care of the gardens and make all the food in the house. Steinbeck uses setting to show how women’s limitation was very huge back in that period of time.
Steinbeck uses Elisa’s house and farm to show how limited she is. Elisa’s house is on the opposite side of the river and the town is on the other side, so she is very limited to how she is not able to go to town whenever she wanted and needed. Steinbeck says that, “Across the river, on Henry Allen’s foothill ranch there was little work to be done, for the hay was cut and stored and the orchards were plowed up to receive the rain deeply when it should come. The cattle on the higher slopes were becoming shaggy and rough-coated (Steinbeck).” Steinbeck used this quote to show they were on the opposite side of the river and that there farm is really run-down and he says that the cattle are “shaggy and rough-coated.” Elisa was also limited on money and is showed by how shaggy the cows are and how her garden only has one or two plants. Elisa’s money problems aren’t just shown with her farm and house it is shown by what she wears. Steinbeck talks about what she wears by saying, “She was thirty-five. Her face was lean and strong and her eyes were as clear as water. Her figure looked blocked and heavy in her gardening costume, a man’s black hat pulled low down over her eyes, clod-hopper shoes, a figured print dress almost completely covered by a big corduroy apron with four big pockets to hold the snips, the trowel and scratcher, the seeds and the knife she worked with.
Running Head: WORKPLACE ROLES OF MEN AND WOMEN COMPARED IN TODAY'S SOCIETY Work Place Roles Of Men and Women Compared in Today's Society Submitted by: Steven KopacSubmitted to: PierroStudent #: 2321040 Seminar Time: Tuesday @ 11: 30-12: 30 Course: Sociology 1 F 90 Brock University Date: Thursday February 8, 2001 Work Place Roles Of Men and Women Compared in Today's Society "Rosy cheeked and bright ...
She wore heavy leather gloves to protect her hands while she worked (Steinbeck).” Elisa’s clothes were not the best you could have. She wears a man’s black hat because she cant afford a women’s gardening hat, she is wearing clod-hopper shoes and a figured print dress covered by an apron with four big pockets to hold her snips and the trowel and all the other tools she needed. Elisa wore heavy gloves so she wouldn’t cut herself or get cut by one of the plants. Elisa’s limitations were also shown by what she grew in her garden. Her husband Henry said, “You’ve got a gift with things,” Henry observed. “Some of those yellow chrysanthemums you had this year were ten inches across. I wish you’d work out in the orchard and raise some apples that big (Steinbeck).” Her husband knows she is very talented with growing plants and recommends that she should grow more but they cant grow a lot because of lack of money. Elisa’s mom was a very talented grower and that is where Elisa got her talent.
Elisa’s limitation is expressed in the mood of the story. Steinbeck expresses that, “the high gray-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all the rest of the world (Steinbeck).” He says this to show that the sky is gray and gloomy and that she is not very happy about how she lives and how bad her limitations are. Steinbeck talks about how the weather is different on one side of the river then it is on the other side. He mentions that the “the yellow stubble fields seemed to be bathed in pale cold sunshine, but there was no sunshine in the valley now in December (Steinbeck),” and how limitation is reflected through the different weather on opposite sides of the river.
Women have been degraded for many years, starting back in the Middle Ages in Europe. Through all these times, women have also tried to break free from this prison starting from the suffrages in our own country. Abigail Adams was one of the many who portrayed the suffrage characteristics. But what of the women who stayed as a house wife or liked their so-called prison. What of the women who thought ...
Elisa meets this man in a wagon that was trying to get through the town and he stops to ask her directions and when he does that the man ask for jobs and Elisa notices that he lives in the wagon and says, “It must be nice,” she said. “It must be very nice. I wish women could do such things (Steinbeck).” Elisa is wishing that woman were not so limited and could experience a lot more life experiences that are out there. She thinks that women should have to work and do more things that the guys do. Cynthia Bily, a highly rated critique, talked about how Tinker said “ it ain’t the right kind of life for a woman,” he says, “it would be a lonely life for a woman (Bily).” Tinker is saying she might think it sounds fun but It would be a lonely life and is not the right kind of life for a woman. The woman’s role was to stay home and take care of the house and farm. The life of a man is not right for a woman to live and especially not the life of traveling in a wagon all her life and not having a job to support herself while she is traveling on the wagon and never being able to settle down like she is now.
In conclusion women’s limitation in Elisa’s time was a very big deal. Steinbeck really used the house and the farm and sky to show her limitations and how she wishes women were not so limited and be able to do what men do. Elisa and other women believed that they should have the rights of the men and not be so limited in life.