The Chrysanthemums Essay, Research Paper
In John Steinbeck s story The Chrysanthemums he makes the story very interesting with his usage of setting, local color, and the characterization he uses. Steinbeck wrote The Chrysanthemums as part of a collection of stories in The Long Valley in 1938. Steinbeck who is of Irish and German ancestry was born in Salinas, Monterey County, California. Steinbeck sporadically attended Stanford University from 1920 to 1925 but never received his degree because he decided to move on to the unrural canyons of New York to become a writer, which he liked to do in his spare time. Steinbeck became very known for writings such as The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men.
In the story of The Chrysanthemums Steinbeck describes a setting much like he grew up in. He describes the Salinas Valley were he grew up and says how The high grey – flannel fog of winter closes off the Salinas Valley (294). Steinbeck also describes the air saying how it is cold and tender (294) and how a light air blows from the southwest (294).
When Steinbeck starts to describe the characters of the story like Elisa Allen, her husband Henry, and the tinker he uses a select choice of words like on page 295 when he says her figure looked blocked and heavy in her gardening costume. Steinbeck also talks about her clod – hopper shoes (295). Steinbeck doesn t really say much about Henry but if you look deep into the story you can tell that they don t have a good marriage. Towards the middle of the story when the tinker shows up and him and Elisa get to talking you can see she is flattered
by the things he tells her. She is so flattered because she doesn t hear these types of things from her husband . While her and the tinker are talking you almost get a sense of them getting sexual with each other. The way that they refer to some things and the way Elisa reaches for the tinkers leg on page 299.
If you look deep into the talk of the chrysanthemums on page 298 you almost get a sense of them talking about child birth. The way they refer to the way they bloom (298) and the way Steinbeck speaks of the budding (298) and the care that they have to be given. Steinbeck uses many interesting styles in his writings. Styles way different from any other author, his usage of imagery, setting, local color, and characterization get deeper and deeper as you read more of his stories. The more you understand these styles the more interesting Steinbecks works are.
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Barnet, Sylvan. et.al. An Introduction to Literature. Addison Wesley
Longman; N.Y., 1997