The Chrysanthemums Essay Research Paper She was — страница 2
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about a month…now you remember this”. This is unquestionably a woman-like characteristic, being so sensitive during a business transaction, whereas men are usually very serious and unemotional. Elisa finally seems to be content with her sexuality, just because one man took an interest in her and what she does. Taking a shower, “she scrubbed herself…until her skin was scratched and red”, washing away the masculinity and realizing “I am strong”. She finally realizes the strength in her womanhood. When she dresses “she puts on her newest under-clothing and her nicest stockings and the dress which was the symbol of her prettiness”. Elisa is happy by the way she looks, however, she is displeased when her husband describes her as “nice”, she is more satisfied when he uses the words “strong and happy”. As Elisa and her husband made there way out for the evening Elisa’s self-esteem and satisfaction in herself quickly ceased. “Elisa saw a dark speck. She knew”, it was her prized chrysanthemums on the side of the road. Elisa feels weak, betrayed and feminine once again. This was the lowest point of her sexuality, causing her to withdraw back into a delicate, unconfident woman for the last time. She attempts to regain strength in herself by bringing up the fights to Henry. She’s trying to show an interest in something he can relate to, attempting to put them at the same level. The attempt goes unsuccessfully, he immediately crushes her effort by saying “I don’t think you’d like it”. She finally comes to the conclusion that she will always be a passive female who is inferior to men. “She turned up her coat collar so he could not see that she was crying weakly — like an old woman.” Throughout the short story Elisa Allen suffers through the feelings of inferiority in a world of male domination. She goes from having masculine characteristics to positive female ones and finally regresses to a low point of weakness and inadequacy. All she ever wanted was to be appreciated and noticed by men at an equal level, however, it never happened. Many women suffered, like Elisa, during this point in history. Steinbeck portrays the women of the past through Elisa’s isolated life in which she can not change. Inside she feels that she is a strong, dominant, female, but she never gets the opportunity to have her accomplishments noticed. After many failed attempts to bring herself to the same level as the men in her life, she sadly realizes that she will never be able to live up to her expectations she has for herself. Life was difficult for women during the 1930’s, however, without their fight for equality, women today wouldn’t have the great freedom and equality they possess.