The Chrysanthemums Questions and Answers
by John Steinbeck

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What literary devices are employed in John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums"?

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The opening of the story features richly described imagery described in metaphoric terms, including "grey-flannel fog" and "black earth shining like metal." Steinbeck uses similes to describe Elisa, too, with " clear as water" and, when she kneels on the ground as she speaks to the tinker, "she crouched low like a fawning dog."

Because Elisa has no life outside the farm, her existence could be seen as her being kept, not unlike a useful dog. To further suggest this symbolism, the text states that "while the man came through the picket fence Elisa ran excitedly along the geranium-bordered path to the back of the house" much like a watchdog would patrol the perimeter of a home's lot. She is also described as having "terrier fingers."

In addition to metaphors and similes in the visual imagery, Steinbeck employs rich auditory imagery. The tinker's wagon catches Elisa's attention with a "squeak of wheels and plod of...

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