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Loneliness and Alienation

The feeling of ‘loneliness and alienation’ is the most terrible emptiness of life. The Short story, “The Chrysanthemums” by John Stein back is about the woman protagonist Elisa Allen. In addition, in a single stanza haiku” The Strange Beautiful Woman” by Marylyn Nelson, is the poem about the woman in the mirror. Both women have intensive desire of the fulfillment in their life and struggling in their inadequate world to overcome the feeling of Loneliness and Alienation. “The Chrysanthemums” is a story of a Woman’s proud and emotion. Elisa is a strong woman 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. The garden of chrysanthemums is the only outlet to relive her frustration. Steinbeck symbolizes the chrysanthemums as Elisa’s children. She handles her garden and tends the chrysanthemums with love and care, as she would nurture her own kids as a protective mother. She places a wired fence around her flowers; She assures “no aphids, no snow bugs, or snails or cutworms” are there. Her terrier finger destroys such pests before they can get started” (228). Elisa‘s ability to grow such flowers reinforces the fact that the flowers are the replacement of her children. Feminism in Nelson’s point of view, “A strange beautiful woman” at a first glance, seems innocent which does not let her accept her identity. Nelson introduces a woman in the mirror, who alienated and unfamiliar herself from reality. Throughout the time, women are recognized with their endurance and experiences. As a result, feminism has become more challenging to accept their own reality. However, series of experience increases the nature of one’s beauty. Nelson symbolizes the mirror as a series of experience to reveal her strange identity along with her beauty. Elisa and a woman in the mirror are travelling in the same boat with the countless series of unforgettable experiences are aiming the destiny of internal freedom of self-acceptance. The Chrysanthemums seems to be a story about a woman whose niche is the garden. The portrait of Elisa caring for the flowers as if they are her children is clearly a feminine image, but her masculine image is also observed from her clothing appearance with a “man’s black hat, clodhopper shoes, almost completely covered by a big corduroy apron,(Steinbeck, 229) in a "hard-swept and hard-polished" home (Steinbeck, 229). This image is carried over into her relationship with her husband. Elisa feels that Henry doesn't recognize or appreciate her femininity, and this feeling causes her to be antagonistic towards him. On observing her chrysanthemums all Henry can say is “I wish you work in orchard and raise some apple that big” (Steinbeck, 229). Henry fails to see her abilities, which causes her attraction toward the tinker. A few word of appreciation converts her masculinity to femininity. Tinker’s arrival gives hope and fulfilling to Elisa which she is been looking for in her marriage life. Another important aspect Nelson skillfully evokes the complex history of her life through a simple style. In the poem, Nelson’s voice is often probing her interior life as if she misses her mother (Jones, Biography) and eager to see her inside the mirror as her own reflection. She begins to feel weak and support less inside. A feeling to missing someone is life’s most terrible emptiness and causes lake of satisfaction. Nelson’s symbolical support of mirror is showing her own image as her beautiful mother into the mirror. Speaker expresses the cheerful tone “Hey! What you doing here? (Nelson, 864). ” symbolizes her mother’s appearance through the mirror. In addition, her separation from her mother affirms her loneliness. Steinbeck smartly narrates Elisa’s frequent shifts between her masculinity to femininity. Elisa is strong character at the beginning of the story and weakens afterwards. In addition, Nelson also describes the woman in the mirror’s frequent shifts between her acceptance and expectations. Her recognition of seeing herself as a beautiful woman is a huge acceptance. In addition, reflection of her mother is her expectation. Elisa and the Woman in the mirror are lonely and alienated due to their lack of self-motivation and satisfaction in their life which constantly gives loneliness and alienated feeling.

Citation
1)Steinbeck., John. Literatuire. An Introduction to Fiction,Poetry,Drama,and writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Seventh ed. New Jersy: Pearson, 2005. 227-234. Print.

2)Marilyn., Nelson. Literatuire. An Introduction to Fiction,Poetry,Drama,and writing. Seventh ed. New Jersy: Pearson, 2005. 864. Print.

3)Jones, Kirkland C. “Marilyn Nelson.” American Poets Since World War ||: Third Series. Ed. R. S. Gwynn. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 120. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 Oct 2013.

Document URL http://gogalegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CH1200002198&v=2. 1&u=gw1&it=r&p=LitRC&sw=w

In the second part of the story, the chrysanthemums come to symbolize Elisa's femininity and sexuality. 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 (240). This image is carried over into her relationship with her husband. Elisa feels that Henry doesn't recognize or appreciate her femininity, and this feeling causes her to be antagonistic towards him. There is an undercurrent of resentment towards her husband. Henry fails to see his short-comings, but Elisa fails to point them out to him. There is a distinct lack of harmony between them, which causes Elisa to become discontented with Henry. On observing her prize flowers, all Henry can say is, "I wish you'd work out in the orchard and raise some apples that big" (240). Henry's inability to understand Elisa's needs leaves her vulnerable in her encounter with the tinker. The meeting with the tinker renews Elisa's feelings of femininity and sexuality as a woman. Her resistance to his mundane matters disappears after the tinker romantically describes the chrysanthemums as a "quick puff of colored smoke"(243). By admiring the chrysanthemums, he figuratively admires her. The chrysanthemums symbolize her sexuality, and she "[tears] off the battered hat and [shakes] out her dark pretty hair"(243). With a few well-placed words from the tinker, her masculine image has been replaced with a feminine one. The tinker is a catalyst in Elisa's life. By giving him the red flower pot with the chrysanthemums, she gives him the symbol of her inner-self. She begins to feel hope for herself and her marriage as the tinker leaves. She sees a "bright direction" and a new beginning for her marriage. The encounter with the tinker gives Elisa hope and causes her to prepare for a more fulfilling life. Steinbeck smartly narrates Elisa’s frequent shifts between her femininity and masculinity

Ultimately speaker accepts the fact through the mirror as her identity as a beautiful lady.

Steinbeck uses chrysanthemums as symbols of the inner-self of Elisa and of every woman. Steinbeck smartly narrates this woman’s frequent shifts between her femininity and masculinity. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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. The only outlet for her frustration is her flower garden where she cultivates beautiful chrysanthemums. Steinbeck uses chrysanthemums as symbols of the inner-self of Elisa and of every woman. Feminism in John Steinbeck s the Chrysanthemums. At first glance John Steinbeck s The Chrysanthemums seems to be a story about a woman whose niche is in the garden. Upon deeper inspection the story has strong notes of feminism in the central character Elisa Allen. Elisa s actions and feelings reflect her struggle as a woman trying and failing to emasculate herself in a male dominated society. Elisa is at her strongest and most proud in the garden and becomes weak when placed in feminine positions such as going out to dinner with her husband. Steinbeck smartly narrates this woman s frequent shift between femininity and masculinity over a short period of time. In the opening of the story Elisa is emasculated by the description of her clothing. She wears a man’s black hat pulled low down over her eyes, clodhopper shoes, a figured print dress almost completely covered by a big corduroy apron (Steinbeck,228). When Elisa s husband Henry comes over and compliments her garden and ability to grow things Elisa is smug with him and very proud of her skill with the flowers. Her green thumb makes her an equal in her own eyes. When Elisa s husband asks her if she would like to go to dinner her feminine side comes out. She is excited to go eat at a restaurant
The woman is seeing her reflection in the mirror and recognizing it as beautiful. Her acceptance is a sign of a huge accomplishment. Most women do not see what is reflected in the mirror but more of a distortion of what is really there. The recognition of finally seeing herself for the first time, as a beautiful woman, is a triumph. She has overcome what society has taught her about beauty and about who she is. She is a survivor.
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. The only outlet for her frustration is her flower garden where she cultivates beautiful chrysanthemums. Steinbeck uses chrysanthemums as symbols of the inner-self of Elisa and of every woman.
First, the chrysanthemums symbolize Elisa's children. She tends her garden and handles the chrysanthemums with love and care, just as she would handle her own children. 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. "Her terrier fingers [destroy] such pests before they [can] get started" (240). These pests represent natural harm to the flowers, and, just as any good mother, she removes them before they can harm her children. The chrysanthemums are symbolic of her children, and she is very proud of them. When Elisa's husband compliments her on her flowers, she is proud, and "on her face there [is] a little smugness"(240). She is happy and pleased by her ability to nurture these beautiful flowers. Elisa's pride in her ability to grow such beautiful flowers reinforces the fact that the flowers are a replacement for her children.
Thus, the chrysanthemums symbolize Elisa's role as a woman. First they symbolize her children; later they represent her femininity and sexuality. Elisa feels frustrated with her life because children and romance are missing in her marriage with Henry. Further, her husband fails to appreciate her womanly qualities and her emotional needs. The encounter with the tinker reawakens her sexuality and brings hope to Elisa for a more exciting and romantic marriage, but her realization that her life is not going to change is crystallized when she sees the flowers thrown on the road. It devastates her completely to have to settle for such an unfulfilling life.
Work Cited
Steinbeck, John. "The Chrysanthemums." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 6th ed. New York: Harper Collins, 1995. 239-47. unknowingly asked to her “ Hay what you doing?” . That Afterwards,She realizes ot previously visited, seen, or encountered; unfamiliar or alien. And beautiful possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, delighting the senses or mind excellent of its kind wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.. We all could look at the whole concept of strange woman. In the past, history has stated women are different through the experiences their endurance during challenging times. We have shown the world we are unique. As I look into the poem I notice these important points, she mentally reflecting on her and her image in the mirror.
First, the chrysanthemums symbolize Elisa's children. She tends her garden and handles the chrysanthemums with love and care, just as she would handle her own children. 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. "Her terrier fingers [destroy] such pests before they [can] get started" (240). These pests represent natural harm to the flowers, and, just as any good mother, she removes them before they can harm her children. The chrysanthemums are symbolic of her children, and she is very proud of them. When Elisa's husband compliments her on her flowers, she is proud, and "on her face there [is] a little smugness"(240). She is happy and pleased by her ability to nurture these beautiful flowers. Elisa's pride in her ability to grow such beautiful flowers reinforces the fact that the flowers are a replacement for her children.
Steinbeck When Elisa’s husband Henry unknowingly asked to her “ Hay what you doing?” . That Afterwards,She realizes ot previously visited, seen, or encountered; unfamiliar or alien. And beautiful possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, delighting the senses or mind excellent of its kind wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.. We all could look at the whole concept of strange woman. In the past, history has stated women are different through the experiences their endurance during challenging times. We have shown the world we are unique. As I look into the poem I notice these important points, she mentally reflecting on her and her image in the mirror.
First, the chrysanthemums symbolize Elisa's children. She tends her garden and handles the chrysanthemums with love and care, just as she would handle her own children. 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. "Her terrier fingers [destroy] such pests before they [can] get started" (240). These pests represent natural harm to the flowers, and, just as any good mother, she removes them before they can harm her children. The chrysanthemums are symbolic of her children, and she is very proud of them. When Elisa's husband compliments her on her flowers, she is proud, and "on her face there [is] a little smugness"(240). She is happy and pleased by her ability to nurture these beautiful flowers. Elisa's pride in her ability to grow such beautiful flowers reinforces the fact that the flowers are a replacement for her children.
Steinbeck When Elisa’s husband Henry unknowingly asked to her “ Hay what you doing?” . That Afterwards,She realizes ot previously visited, seen, or encountered; unfamiliar or alien. And beautiful possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about, delighting the senses or mind excellent of its kind wonderful; very pleasing or satisfying.. We all could look at the whole concept of strange woman. In the past, history has stated women are different through the experiences their endurance during challenging times. We have shown the world we are unique. As I look into the poem I notice these important points, she mentally reflecting on her and her image in the mirror.
First, the chrysanthemums symbolize Elisa's children. She tends her garden and handles the chrysanthemums with love and care, just as she would handle her own children. 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. "Her terrier fingers [destroy] such pests before they [can] get started" (240). These pests represent natural harm to the flowers, and, just as any good mother, she removes them before they can harm her children. The chrysanthemums are symbolic of her children, and she is very proud of them. When Elisa's husband compliments her on her flowers, she is proud, and "on her face there [is] a little smugness"(240). She is happy and pleased by her ability to nurture these beautiful flowers. Elisa's pride in her ability to grow such beautiful flowers reinforces the fact that the flowers are a replacement for her children.
Steinbeck When Elisa’s husband Henry

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