Her Exclusive Objective
John Steinbeck's short story "The Chrysanthemums" came to the light in October 1937 when it got published by Harper's Magazine (Osborne, 480). At this very moment, Franklin D. Roosevelt had been reelected as the president of the United States. Also, the principal female bureau part in American history, Frances Perkins, was delegated the Secretary of Labor (Jones, 812). She was one of the handful women who were graced with such an opportunity to pick up the balance in a male-commanded society. For most women, freedom was an intense battle normally finishing off with despondence and a despaired heart. In "The Chrysanthemums," this battle for fairness is depicted through Steinbeck's character Elisa Allen. As per Stanley Renner, "The Chrysanthemums" indicates "a solid, able woman kept from individual, social, and sexual satisfaction by the overall origination of a woman's role in a world ruled by men" (Marcus, 317). Elisa's appearance, activities, and discourse portray the dissatisfaction women felt in Steinbeck's manly universe of the 1930's.
This disappointment is clear when Elisa is first presented. Her figure is depicted as “solid and substantial” because she is wearing over-sized gloves, over-sized shoes, a “man's black cap,” and a cook's garment that shrouds her printed dress (Steinbeck, 236). Her home has the manly characteristics of being "hard-cleared" and "hard-cleaned" (Steinbeck, 233). Elisa is exhausted with her husband and with her life. As indicated by Sweet, Elisa is miserable with the conventional female role and is endeavoring to expand her capacities into manly duties trying to act like a man herself.
Elisa at first responds to every circumstance or nature as a man, however, she is perpetually reminded that she is a woman. At the point when her husband, Henry, remarks about her "strong" chrysanthemum trim, Elisa is satisfied by the masculinity the word suggests, yet her husband helps her to remember her gentility by offering her a night on the town. After this discussion with her husband, she backpedals to her manly part of transplanting the blooms.
The following circumstance includes the tinker. As per Sweet, he is to Elisa what the meat purchasers were to Henry. Mordecai Marcus says that Elisa's first reaction to the tinker is that of a man, for she opposes giving him work. However, as the tinker talks, Sweet calls attention to Elisa's computed, and cognizant manly endeavors that apparently turn out to be increasingly female (Steinbeck, 238). The tinker at that point hits her in her powerless spot- - her chrysanthemums. He claims to have been occupied with her adoration for her blossoms. He looks at her blooms to a speedy puff of shaded smoke (Steinbeck, 234).
Elisa's feminine side starts to rise as she removes her manly gloves and cap. She is pulled in to the tinker on the grounds that, as Stanley Renner brings up, he speaks to a universe of experience and opportunity that lone men appreciate. She enables her feelings to control her and relinquishes her manly side, liberating her focal female sexuality, as per Sweet. When she understands her feminine feelings, it is past the point of no return: "Elisa's desire for fairness is presently showered in disappointment" (Sweet, 212). She has enabled herself to end up passionate, "the attribute women have". Elisa understands her desires for equity are only a fantasy since she has been double-crossed by her essential nature and by men. She gives the tinker the seedling and withdraws inside to give him a few pots to patch.
After the tinker leaves, Elisa goes inside to bathe. She cleans herself "until the point when her skin was scratched and red" (Steinbeck, 335). By this activity, Elisa is unknowingly pulling back to her fairer side and purifying herself of the manly actions by swinging to the female world in which she best fits in. When she dresses, she puts on her best clothing and applies cosmetics to her face. By doing these simply female things, as indicated by Marcus, she wants to highlight her part as a woman. Henry promptly sees the change and compliments her with the ladylike word "nice" rather than "strong," which is manly. Elisa inclines toward strong, however its importance has changed from manly equivalent to female overlord (Sweet, 213).
Henry warms the car up to go into town while Elisa prepares herself. As they drive along, Elisa recognizes the blooms she had given the tinker adjacent to the street. The blossoms next to the street flag Elisa's last withdraw to womanliness. Her fantasies of female correspondence are broken to the point that she can never backpedal to being what she used to be; therefore "she should persevere through her normal social part" (Sweet, 213). Her exclusive objective is to wind up "an old lady" (Steinbeck, 336). Since she has backpedaled to her feminine part, as indicated by Renner, "she remains a pitiable casualty of male control and female hindrance" (Steinbeck, 237).
All through the story, Elisa experiences a relapse about the manly actions she sees a correspondence to the female part she sees as meek. Her disappointment with the male-ruled society makes her let to go of all she had always wanted for freedom and to end up in a society that anticipates her to be a latent lady. Steinbeck depicts ladies as indicated by his day and age. Elisa is illustrative of the ladies of the 1930's; she has turned into "the delegate of the female perfect of equity and its inescapable thrashing" (Sweet, 213).