In John Steinbeck?s short story, ?The Chrysanthemums,? the author uses the flower to symbolize the main character, Elisa. Like the title flower, Elisa is soft and delicate with a tough, protective shell. She worries for herself and her flowers that an insensitive person will be able to get inside the gates and wreak havoc among her feelings and flowers. Both the woman and the chrysanthemums have a unique beauty. Both the woman and the flowers possess attractiveness, but in comparison to other woman and flowers, Elisa?s beauty has become muted internally. Just like the flower, she needs to be pampered in order to bloom. As the story comes to a close, Elisa begins to blossom and show confidence, and allows the protective gates to be broken down around herself and her flowers.
Chrysanthemums symbolize Elisa by having sensitivity under a strong outer layer. Steinbeck describes Elisa?s face as ?lean and strong and her eyes were as clear as water? (246). When reading this passage, the reader pictures a hard working face, but a meek soul as one looks through Elisa?s kind eyes. The author portrays Elisa as a sweet young woman afraid to show her true feelings out of fear
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