Chrysanthemums Essay, Research Paper
Elisa s sense of beauty causes her to become defenseless against the peddler s beguilement. When the peddler asks about her chrysanthemums, she describes them as being beautiful, so beautiful . She then progresses into to telling him of how to care for the flowers and does so very excitedly. This happens again when she starts talking about how it would be so nice to live in a covered wagon, spending the nights under sharp-pointed stars . Her enthusiasm toward these things uncovers her true sentiment for them. She exposes herself to the stranger and he, in turn, uses the very things that are important to her as a weapon against her. Eliza now becomes helpless and can do nothing to change this. The peddler can now proceed into doing what he wants, manipulating all her actions.
The peddler s deceit and manipulation is a contemptuous offense toward innocent people like Elisa. Right from the beginning, the peddler knew exactly what he wanted from Elisa and would use any means necessary in order to get it. Even if it meant cheating and deceiving. He mislead her to believe that he was interested in her chrysanthemums; lying about how he knew a lady that would like to add them to her garden. In doing so, Elisa gave in and the peddler was able to fulfill his mission: repairing a household item to receive a payment for it. How can anyone stoop to such a low level to earn a measly fifty cents? He left her feeling used and didn t even have the decency to be honest with the reasons behind his actions. This emotional damage could adversely affect the way she views others making her less trusting. The peddler deliberately insulted her integrity and should, in some way, be punished for it. Perhaps if the tables were turned and he was the one tricked into doing something he initially didn t want to do, he would be hurt and to realize that his actions toward Elisa were wrong.
Elisa s vulnerability to this type of person engenders a feebleness in her personality. Although at first she seemed cautious about the stranger, she quickly lets her guard down as soon as he comments on her prized chrysanthemums. These flowers are very important in her life and play a huge role on her personal well-being This critical fact becomes more apparent to the peddler as she passionately describes the planting and nurturing of the flowers, and he skillfully uses it to favor him in the situation. The chrysanthemums are her pride and joy, but are also her weakness. It becomes all too easy for the peddler to exploit her once her weak spot is revealed. When she becomes deficient in strength to uphold her disposition toward the peddler, she gave way to similar impairities. Not only did she allow him to discover her weakness, but allowed him to use it against her and allowed him to hurt her emotionally. Event though she tries to reassure herself by saying she is strong , she knows she had been vulnerable with the peddler. She is susceptible to being afflicted again if she doesn t find a way to enforce herself. She had been a victim one time to a stranger and it could happen again.
The relationship between the peddler and Elisa is one of victim and assailant and is an injustice against Elisa. The peddler sought to invade her thoughts and direct her actions. He had only talked to her to carry out his job, but did so in a dishonest way. Elisa on the other hand had no clue what was happening and allowed the peddler to swindle her. Both are at fault, the peddler for being deceptive and Elisa for being na ve. But the truth is it was Elisa that was hurt and the peddler who got away with it. He wrongfully used her. To the peddler the chrysanthemums were only worth fifty cents, but to Elisa they were priceless. In the end it was the peddler that won the battle.