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The symbolism of a flower in the chrysanthemums by john steinbeck

Antin Setyani 3. Mega Ayuningrum 4. HM Taufik Amrillah 5. Salinas Valley is also the place which becomes setting for some of his early stories, including The Chrysanthemums that we are going to discuss in this paper. The Salinas Valley was largely rural and agricultural, a place of small towns and small farms.

John Steinbeck was of German and Irish descent. As a boy Steinbeck was a devoted reader. It was from his mother, Steinbeck learned to love books. He wrote for his high school newspaper and attended college as an English major. Later, in he left home for New York City and took a job with a newspaper.

  1. He uses many symbols in describing his thought about society that he criticized. It is because we are realized that symbol is an important part in every literary work.
  2. So, the objective here is to find one or more symbols such as stated in the theory above that we intend to analyze in this short story, The Chrysanthemum. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.
  3. Henry's inability to understand Elisa's needs leaves her vulnerable in her encounter with the tinker. She enjoys growing and nourishing her chrysanthemums, even she feels very proud of it.
  4. Each half belonged to one of the two parties entering into a legal contract or agreement.

For more information visit Britannica. He became aware of the harsher aspects of migrant life and the darker side of human nature, which was expressed in some his literary works. Steinbeck, who used to work on ranches and with migrant workers, knew well the harsher aspects of migrant life. Some of his finest works pictured the social and economic problems of these travelling workers. The Grapes of Wrath which is considered by many to be among Steinbeck's best, and Of Mice and Men, which pictured this kind of people and the lives they had.

Many considered that his greatest works are the works dealing with the social lives of rural labor, during the Great Depression and The Dust Bowl. Then he died in New York City in He uses many symbols in describing his thought about society that he criticized. He is well known as a socialist writer who framed his concern in society in his literary works, but instead of writing it directly, he uses many kinds of symbol as indirect critics for society.

This short story considered to be one of Steinbeck's most accomplished short stories. The story itself is about an intelligent, creative woman who trapped in a limited existence on her husband's ranch. Besides learning about the living in that era, we intend to analyze symbols in this story to enrich our knowledge about symbolism and semiotics. It is because we are realized that symbol is an important part in every literary work.

Other Essays Like Steinbeck's Use Of Symbolism In "The Chrysanthemums"

So, symbol could be said as a vital part of literary work that must be understood by people who learn literature. According to Hoed via Nurgiyantoro, Nurgiyantoro said that it could be experience, thought, sense, or more clearly, something that represents something.

Charles Sanders via Sudjiman and Zoest, According to him, logic relates to how people think logically. Through sign we can think, have relationship with other people, and can give meaning to all of the things in the world. According to Kakidjian In the ancient world, a symbolon was a coin or token that was broken into two. Each half belonged to one of the two parties entering into a legal contract or agreement. Each half depended on its relation to the other half. From this, it can be concluded that a symbol has two aspects; first, some object taken as a symbol and the second is the meaning it has.

In other words, a symbol refers to something that stands for something else.

  • Elisa is very protective of her flowers and places a wire fence around them; she makes sure "[n]o aphids, no sowbugs or snails or cutworms" are there;
  • It is by imagination that we are able to mentally visualize what the author would like us to drawing us into the piece and then allowing us to grasp it by use of symbolism or a descriptive word;
  • This image is carried over into her relationship with her husband;
  • In other words, a symbol refers to something that stands for something else.

We can find symbols nearly everywhere in popular culture, literature, even religion institutions. In literary, symbol consists of something present whose meaning and significance depends on something absent Kakidjian, It means that symbols are based on comparison between concrete images and abstract ideas. In one hand, a symbol is made up of something specific: On the other hand, something else completes the symbol: Light is generally taken to symbolize hope and enlightenment.

Darkness generally stands for opposite. Finally, symbolism is not limited to persons or things, animals and plants can be symbols. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, there is nothing that is not symbolic; moreover he says that there are no walls anywhere between literature and life.

Steinbeck's Use Of Symbolism In "The Chrysanthemums"

Symbol itself, is divided into two kinds. So, the objective here is to find one or more symbols such as stated in the theory above that we intend to analyze in this short story, The Chrysanthemum. What the symbols are, and what they are symbolized. The Chrysanthemums The most explicit symbolism in this short story is the chrysanthemum flower.

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It is a kind of flower that Elisa, the main character, planted. She enjoys growing and nourishing her chrysanthemums, even she feels very proud of it.

The chrysanthemums symbolize both Elisa and her limited scope of life. Like Elisa, the chrysanthemums are lovely and strong. Elisa explicitly identifies herself with the flower, the way she nurtures it carefully and passionately, even saying that she becomes one with the plants when she tends to them. When the tinker notices the chrysanthemums, Elisa becomes visibly brightens, moreover when the tinker says that a lady somewhere out there is looking for chrysanthemums, although this is a pure lie, she gives a pot of chrysanthemums to him and explains how to nurture them passionately.

Both of which the tinker ignores and tosses aside. His rejection of the flowers also mimics the way society has rejected women as nothing more than mothers and housekeepers.

Just like her, the flowers are unobjectionable and also unimportant: His low attention of the flowers also mimics the way society at that time treated women as nothing more than mothers and housekeepers. The story opens with a description of the valley, which Steinbeck described it as a closed pot with a lid made of fog. The fog in the valley also represents isolation in a world that limits her existence, despite the potential she has, and the enthusiasm of her to experience the world outside the world she knew.

After speaking with the tinker, however, Elisa begins to feel intellectually and physically stimulated, a change that is reflected in the removal of her gloves. She also removes the symbolism of a flower in the chrysanthemums by john steinbeck hat, showing her lovely hair. When the tinker leaves, Elisa suffers an almost ritualistic transformation.

When she had dried herself she stood in front of a mirror in her bedroom and looked at her body. She tightened her stomach and threw out her chest These feminine items contrast sharply with her bulky gardening clothes and reflect the newly energized Elisa. At the end of the story, after Elisa has seen the castoff shoots, she pulls up her coat collar to hide her tears, a gesture that suggests a move backward into the repressed state in which she has lived most of her adult life.

Autumn Season We also learn that the setting of time is December, the season in this month is autumn, and it symbolizes declining life. At autumn, there is not much sunshine around, there is not much light penetrates the valley.

The thick willow scrub along the river flamed with sharp and positive yellow leaves. Sunshine is often associated with happiness, while light is symbolized hope. Moreover, the air in the valley is cold and tender. Besides symbolism, The Chrysanthemums is an understated but pointed critique of a society that has no place for intelligent women.

  • The writer uses flexibly the symbolism to deepen the connotation of the novel;
  • She sees a "bright direction" and a new beginning for her marriage;
  • Nurgiyantoro said that it could be experience, thought, sense, or more clearly, something that represents something;
  • He, like her husband, has failed to appreciate the very qualities that make her unique as a woman;
  • One example of deception is when Viola clothes herself in men's clothing in order to obtain a job under the Duke of Illyria, Orsino;
  • Her frustration stems from not having a child and from her husband's failure to admire her romantically as a woman.

Elisa is smart, energetic, attractive, and ambitious, but all these attributes go to waste. Although the two key men in the story are less interesting and talented than she, their lives are far more fulfilling and busy. Henry is not as intelligent as Elisa, but it is he who runs the ranch, supports himself and his wife, and makes business deals.

All Elisa can do is watching him from afar as he performs his job. Whatever information she gets about the management of the ranch comes indirectly from Henry, who speaks only in vague, condescending terms instead of treating his wife as an equal partner.

According to Elisa, he may not even match her skill as a tinker. Nevertheless, it is he who gets to ride about the country, living an adventurous life that he believes is unfit for women. Steinbeck uses Henry and the tinker as stand-ins for the paternalism of patriarchal societies in general: This short story is also an evidence that John Steinbeck as a socialist, he cared also about gender inequality by symbolized it into one of his finest short stories, The Chrysanthemums.

The story was published in ; while women finally got the right to vote inonly 18 years prior. At that time, there was not enough opportunity for women to do what they like, despite the potential and talent they had. Moreover was the treatment from men toward women at that time which had the tendency to belittle them.

Besides lack of opportunity, there was lack of appreciation also.

  1. The portrait of Elisa caring for the flowers as though they are her children is clearly a feminine image, but her masculine image is also observed in her "hard-swept and hard-polished" home
  2. The ethical nature of primate experimentation has been long debated as to whether Use Of Blindness In Oedipus The King words - 6 pages.
  3. The writer's use symbols to stand for what they are really feeling or thinking, that's to leave some of the story to the reader's own mind. She puts on sheer stockings and a beautiful dress and leisurely applies her make-up.
  4. He just wanted her to help him with his farm and forget about the silly flowers.

The moral of this story is to show that women Elisa Allen representing women can be strong, despite the opinion towards women within society at that time. Reading and Writing from Literature. Houghton- Mifflin Company Phillips, Brian. An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.