Roosevelt had just been reelected president.
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. On the foothill ranches across the Salinas River, the yellow stubble fields seemed to be bathed in pale cold sunshine, but there was no sunshine in the valley now in December.
The thick willow scrub along the river flamed with sharp and positive yellow leaves. It was a time of quiet and of waiting.
The air was cold and tender.
A light wind blew up from the southwest so that the farmers were mildly hopeful of a good rain before long; but fog and rain did not go together.
The cattle on the higher slopes were becoming shaggy and rough-coated. Elisa Allen, working in her flower garden, looked down across the yard and saw Henry, her husband, talking to two men in business suits.
The three of them stood by the tractor shed, each man with one foot on the side of the little Fordson. They smoked cigarettes and studied the machine as they talked. Elisa watched them for a moment and then went back to her work. Her face was lean and strong and her eyes were as clear as water.
She wore heavy leather gloves to protect her hands while she worked. She looked down toward the men by the tractor shed now and then.
Her face was eager and mature and handsome; even her work with the scissors was over-eager, over-powerful. The chrysanthemum stems seemed too small and easy for her energy.
She brushed a cloud of hair out of her eyes with the back of her glove, and left a smudge of earth on her cheek in doing it. Behind her stood the neat white farm house with red geraniums close-banked around it as high as the windows.
It was a hard-swept looking little house, with hard-polished windows, and a clean mud-mat on the front steps. Elisa cast another glance toward the tractor shed. The strangers were getting into their Ford coupe. She took off a glove and put her strong fingers down into the forest of new green chrysanthemum sprouts that were growing around the old roots.
She spread the leaves and looked down among the close-growing stems.
No aphids were there, no sowbugs or snails or cutworms. Her terrier fingers destroyed such pests before they could get started.When John Steinbeck's short story "The Chrysanthemums" first appeared in the October edition of Harper's Magazine (Osborne ), Franklin D.
Roosevelt had just been reelected president. The country was recovering from the Great Depression, unions were developing, and child labor in manufacturing was terminated (Jones ). The Chrysanthemums ~ A Classic American Short Story by John Steinbeck () The high grey-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all the rest of the world.
On every side it sat like a lid on the mountains and made of the great valley a closed pot. Jun 06, · Criticism of John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" The many critics who have debated for decades over the reason for Elisa Allen's frustrations in ‘‘The Chrysanthemums’’ have focused on two ideas: that Elisa is oppressed, either by a male-dominated society or by a practical-minded one, and that her flowers are for her some .
“The Chrysanthemums” John Steinbeck The following entry presents criticism of Steinbeck's short story “The Chrysanthemums,” first published in The Chrysanthemums is a short story written by author John Steinbeck in It details the happenings of a day in the life of thirty-five year old Elisa Allen.
The story symbolically focuses on the physical and emotional yearnings of a farmer’s wife. AP English Literature and Composition The Chrysanthemums John Steinbeck The third person point of view helps set up Elisa’s initial perception of the world, one that includes the submissive role of women and their dismal role in anything work related.