The Chrysanthemums Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 48 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Chrysanthemums.
This section contains 1,063 words
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The most discussed theme in "The Chrysanthemums" is limitations—the limitations under which a married woman lives. The idea of limitation or confinement is presented as the story opens: "The high gray-flannel fog of winter closed off the Salinas Valley from the sky and from all the rest of the world. On every side it sat like a lid on the mountains and made of the great valley a closed pot." Within this closed pot, Elisa operates within even narrower confines. The house she shares with Henry is enclosed "with red geraniums close-banked around it as high as the windows," and the garden where she grows her flowers is surrounded by a wire fence. From these enclosures Elisa watches men come and go, the cattle buyers in their Ford coupe, Henry and the hired man Scotty on their horses, and the tinker in his wagon...

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This section contains 1,063 words
(approx. 3 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.