The Chrysanthemums Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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What does "The Chrysanthemums" suggest about gender roles?

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It is important to focus on the presentation of the central character in this story, Elisa, is presented. From the very beginning of this excellent tale Steinbeck is quick to focus on the limitations of her life and the way in which she is trapped--even by the weather. Note how the story begins by creating a very strong image of restriction and incarceration:

The high grey-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from teh sky and from all the rest of the world. On every side it sat like a lid on the mountains and made of teh great valley a closed pot.

The way in which the story begins, coupled with the descriptive...

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