The Chrysanthemums Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

The Chrysanthemums book cover
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In "The Chrysanthemums," how are Elisa and the chrysanthemums similar?

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The connection between Elisa and her treasured chrysanthemums is illustrated in John Steinbeck's short story "The Chrysanthemums." The opening of the story shows the relationship Elisa has with her flowers; they are almost like her children. She is cutting down the prior year's flowers to make room for the newly budding flowers. The way that she does this is nurturing and loving. She wants to make sure that nothing, no weeds, bugs, or old stalks, will stunt the growth of the new flowers.

Later, when she is conversing with a man from a caravan, she tells the man about the size of her flowers—they have grown "ten inches across." She tills the earth to take care of the...

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