The story was written by John Steinbeck by the name “The Chrysanthemums”. The story takes a place on a farm in December 1938. The story is based on three characters: Elisa, her husband Henry, and the tinker. Elisa was 35 years old and was married to Henry. She was a hard workingwoman on a farm. It was a virile occupation, compared with her husband who was a businessman.
Their relationship wasn’t normal. He didn’t see her as a lady, due to her unattractive appearance. One day the tinker passed by her house, and changed her life.
The tinker caused her to confirm her femininity. The tinker made her laugh by his stories, and reflect her. He was curious about her chrysanthemums, and complimented her for her work. Her husband never realized nor was interested in her talent. She explained the tinker how to grow the Chrysanthemums successfully. “Her eyes shone” she tore off the battered hat and “shook out her dark pretty hair”. After awhile, she offered him a flowerpot to take along with him. The tinker was glad to get the seeds in the pot, although it was not what he wished for.
Now, she did not care about her gloves from her excitement. She used her strong fingers to fill up the pot with soil. “Her face was tight with eagerness”, when she looked at him.” Her breast swelled passionately”. After the tinker left she whispered: “that’s a bright direction, there’s a glow in there”.Elisa felt disgraced about her self so, she turned and ran into her house and took a bath. She scrubbed herself until her skin became red. She realized that the tinker was a scoundrel; he really had no sentiments towards her.
She felt guilty about her husband, but she discovered her femininity that she never felt before. She looked at herself in the mirror, and saw a real woman. “She tightened her stomach, and threw out her chest.” After awhile she put on her newest underclothing, and her nicest stocking and the dress “which was the symbol of her prettiness”.
She now awaited for her husband Henry’s arrival. All of a sudden Henry realized his wife’s beautiful appearance, and said “why- why, Elisa. You look so nice!” .It was hard for him to accept her new sight, and also surprised by the changes of the nature of things that she never liked before. Like the fights that Henry used to go with out her, and now she knows a lot about that.
“Well, I’ve read how they break noses, and blood runs down their chests”. Elisa realized that only her husband really cared for her, and was always there for her. In my opinion the Chrysanthemums that she grew symbolize only one-sided love. Thats how she felt with her husband. She looked for a romantic partner that could understand her. She hoped to find her love from the tinker, but she left hopeless.
She was crying weakly like an old woman. In conclusion although their relationship may seen apparent love and happiness Symbolized the chrysanthemums. The chrysanthemums symbolize her femininity.