Why does the tinker throw away the chrysanthemums? (i.e. What is the significance of that act--for him and for Elisa?) John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums"
When the tinker arrives on the Allen farm, his main objective is to be able to repair something so that he can earn money. After Elisa tells him that she has nothing in need of repair, he does not leave; instead, he uses his skills as a salesman and opportunist by cajoling her into talking about her beloved chrysanthemums. When he sounds poetic in his description of them--"Looks like a quick puff of colored smoke"--Elisa's aesthetic nature is awakened and excited. Of course, the tinker then...
(The entire section contains 273 words.)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial