John Steinbeck Writing Styles in The Chrysanthemums

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As is typical of Steinbeck's fiction, "The Chrysanthemums" uses clusters of images to subtly reinforce important themes and ideas. For example, imagery of seasons and weather reinforces the contrast between Elisa's life and the tinker's. Elisa's life is confined, closed in, as described in the story's opening line: "The high gray-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all the rest of the world." The atmosphere in Elisa's world is grim; there is "no sunshine in the valley now" and the air is "cold and tender." The tinker, however, moves about freely, and he is free "to follow nice weather." He is not confined to this closed off place, and when he drives away Elisa notices, "That's a bright direction. There's a glowing there." Later, as she again looks off in the direction he has taken, she notices that "under the high...

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This section contains 669 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Chrysanthemums Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Chrysanthemums from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.