In "The Chrysanthemums," how is Elisa's and Henry's marriage?

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ladyvols1's profile pic

ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Elisa and Henry have a solid relationship.  They are both hardworking and "strong" people.  Their relationship, while not really discussed, seems a little stiff.  They decide to go out to dinner together that evening, and when Henry sees his wife dressed up he tells her she "looks nice."  She doesn't know how to take this complement and becomes defensive.  Henry knows Elisa is "waiting for something" but he doesn't know what to say.  Over all these two people live from day to day loving each other, depending on each other, but not really understanding each other.

eaglecat's profile pic

eaglecat | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Henry is a good man, but something is lacking for Elisa.  She was drawn in by the traveler's flattery.  She welcomed the conversation about what she was passionate about (the Chrysanthemums) as if she never had a chance to share it before, or at least not recently.  If she felt secure and valued in her relationship with Henry, she would not have been so vulnerable.  Their marriage is surely lacking in communication and true fellowship, although they clearly depend on eachother and both work hard to ensure the day to day things are taken care of.  It seems that they just have "lost touch" when it comes to their emotional bonds.

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