1 Page Paper The Chrysanthemums
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“The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck
In this essay, we shall describe the setting of “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck. We shall show how it is used and what does it symbolize.
The story is set up in the Salinas Valley, in California. Salinas is a town known and used in some of John Steinbeck stories. The reason is that most of his stories are written in a local tone that is meant to increase familiarity with the subject and the people in his works. Being from the region he can convey the meaning of being a resident and show a more human side of the story. In the same way, it is not casual that Steinbeck chose to write about women in a time where women’s voices were limited. In a strict sense, The Salinas Valley represents Elisa’s emotions and emotional life. When Steinbeck describes the valley, he might be describing Elisa’s emotions “On every side it sat like a lid on the mountains and made of the great valley a closed pot. On the broad, level land floor the gang plows bit deep and left the black earth shining like metal where the shares had cut” (Steinbeck 1). Her feelings, like the Valley, are encased between mountains represented by men. She wishes to leave, but she has no place to go. She is trapped in the world where she does not feel she belongs. She sees the rest of the people happy, but she is not, as she longs for something she will not find in Salinas. Although trapped, she believes her future is not there, but in the highway, a place that represents freedom.
Steinbeck, J. “The Chrysanthemums.” “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck. Los Gatos High School. Web. <http://www.lghs.net/apps/download/2/XB7nD4821dDKsYiireCPlzzazuCRelhsbbTEA66DyBeoAtL6.pdf/the_chrysanthemums_by_john_steinbeck.pd> 7 June 2015.