The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck

The Chrysanthemums book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Identify and explain one symbol in "The Chrysanthemums."

Expert Answers info

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Since the original question is "Name ten objects in the chrysanthemums that symbolize something [sic]," here are other symbols that John Steinbeck employs in his short story in addition to the chrysanthemums that are symbolic of Elisa's appreciation of aesthetic and natural beauty. 

  • the chrysanthemums also symbolize Elisa's frustration and desire to be tended and appreciated as she does the flowers. Her "strong new crop" are her renewed desires.
  • the "grey-flannel fog of winter [that] closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all the rest of the world," symbolizes the life of Elisa Allen, who is isolated from other women.
  • "a closed pot" that the Salinas Valley becomes symbolizes Elisas isolation, as well, and suggests that she holds much passion inside her.
  • the river that separates Henry Allen's "foothill ranch" symbolizes the divide of life between him and his wife.
  • "a man's black hat pulled down over her eyes" suggests that Elisa is prevented in this man's world that she dwells...

    (The entire section contains 2 answers and 609 words.)

    Unlock This Answer Now



Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial