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What is the story Chrysanthemum about?

By: Sara GrandfieldUpdated: February 23, 2021


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    June 26, 2022
John Steinbeck's short story "The Chrysanthemums" is about a proud, strong woman named Elisa Allen who feels frustrated with her present life. Her frustration stems from not having a child and from her husband's failure to admire her romantically as a woman. First, the chrysanthemums symbolize Elisa's children.

Hereof, what is the theme of the book chrysanthemum?

The story is told from an omniscient point of view like most fantasies in order to truly capture the emotions of the main character and tell the story in a non-biased manner. Some common themes that Chrysanthemum deals with are overcoming differences, bullying in school, and self-esteem issues.

Subsequently, question is, what does a chrysanthemum mean?

Meaning & Symbolism of Chrysanthemums
Daisy-like with a typically yellow center and a decorative pompon, chrysanthemums symbolize optimism and joy. They're the November birth flower, the 13th wedding anniversary flower and the official flower of the city of Chicago.

Why are chrysanthemums associated with death?

The Meaning of Chrysanthemums
A Swedish botanist named the chrysanthemum from the Greek words chrysos, meaning gold, and anthemon, meaning flower. The chrysanthemum became associated with death rather than life in European cultures because of its prevalent use as gravesite decoration.

What is the moral of the chrysanthemums?

The Inequality of Gender
“The Chrysanthemums” is an understated but pointed critique of a society that has no place for intelligent women. Steinbeck uses Henry and the tinker as stand-ins for the paternalism of patriarchal societies in general: just as they ignore women's potential, so too does society.


Is Chrysanthemum a mouse?

Summary. The plot deals with a young mouse named Chrysanthemum, who loves her long, beautiful name until a girl named Victoria and her friends, Rita and Jo, tease her about it. Twinkle gives birth to a girl and decides to name her Chrysanthemum, too.

What grade level is chrysanthemum?

Guided Reading Level M
Lexile® Measure 570L
DRA Level 24

What grade level is the book chrysanthemum?

Interest Level Reading Level ATOS
Grades K - 3 Grades K - 4 3.3

Why does Elisa want to see a fight at the end of the story?

Elisa wants to see a fight at the end of the story, because the fight symbolizes Elisa's desire to win over the authority of the male figure and become free. This desire is strengthened after her meeting with the tinker. She imagines “the fighting gloves get heavy and soggy with blood” (“The Last Crysanthemums”).

What is the conflict in the chrysanthemums?

The most major conflict is between the tinker and Elisa: he wants her business, she wants to connect with him on an emotional and physical level. This is an immediate manifestation of Elisa's more internal conflict between her desire for expression, independence and freedom and the oppressive society that forbids this.

What do the dogs symbolize in the chrysanthemums?

Since the dogs are the only props in the story that know of this information, and is not able to communicate it, the dogs also symbolize Elisa's inner feelings and her inability to communicate it. Therefore, the dogs act as “quiet” reminders of Elisa's deep-seated desire.

What is the setting in the chrysanthemums?

The story takes place in the Salinas Valley in December at Henry Allen's ranch in the foothills. Immediately, we're placed in a rural setting, where women are isolated and men are manly. One thing we might note here is the contrast between Elisa's closed-off Salinas Valley and the world of the tinker.

What does the Tinker symbolize in the chrysanthemums?

The tinker in Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" symbolizes the freedom Elisa would like to have. Elisa is also described as a very strong, bold, and no-nonsense person. It seems like her only emotional motivation comes from her flower garden. Elisa life is told in the growing cycle of her chrysanthemums.

What does the fence symbolize in the chrysanthemums?

In "The Chrysanthemums," the wire fence symbolizes Elisa's separation from the world. When the fence is introduced, the wire is said to protect "her flower garden from cattle and dogs and chickens." Here, the purpose of the fence is to protect what Elisa nurtures and grows inside.

What are planting hands?

Elisa has “planting hands”, which means that she has a natural gift for gardening. For others, gardening might be difficult, but for her it flows naturally.

What kind of person is Elisa in the chrysanthemums?

Elisa Allen - The protagonist. A robust thirty-five-year-old woman, Elisa lives with her husband, Henry, on a ranch in the Salinas Valley. Even though Elisa is associated with fertility and sexuality, the couple has no children. She is a hard worker, her house sparkles, and her flowers grow tremendous blooms.

What genre is the chrysanthemum?

Picture book

Why are Elisa Allen's chrysanthemums so important to this story sum up what you understand them to mean?

Sum up what you understand them to mean. The chrysanthemums give Elisa's life meaning by filling the void she carries from not having children and lacking romance in her marriage. The chrysanthemums symbolize her role as a woman, femininity, and sexuality.

What does Elisa see as she and her husband drive into town at the end of the chrysanthemums?

As they drive along the road toward Salinas, Elisa sees a dark spot up ahead and can't stop herself from looking at it, sure that it's a pile of discarded chrysanthemum shoots that the tinker has thrown away.