Character Analysis: The Chrysanthemums By John Steinbeck

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Appearance is Everything We can all agree that our clothes are a unique way of showing a personal statement. In the passage “The Chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck, Elisa, the main character doesn’t really elaborate or express her personal feelings. Elisa could be easily portrayed as a hermit crab, it’s outer shell serves many roles, just like Elisa’s clothes. Furthermore, they both have the ability to change. Hermit crabs have the ability to change their shells, just like Elisa can change her clothes. Their attire / shell also serves as a barrier, where they are able to hide their deepest emotions from people to things in their environment. Therefore, Elisa is a dynamic character, who goes through multiple changes throughout the passage, where…show more content…
He is a traveling salesman who fixes pots and other supplies wherever he went. The Tinker helped Elisa break out of her shell, so that she begins to evolve into a different person. Upon his first stubbing across the farm, Elisa had personal walls up that protected her emotions. The narrator explained, “He leaned constantly over the fence. ‘Maybe you noticed the writing on my wagon. I mend pots and sharpen knives and scissors. You got any of them things to do?’ ‘Oh, no’ she said quickly. ‘Nothing like that.’ Her eyes sharpened with resistance” (Steinbeck 4). Without hesitating Elisa immediately rejected the Tinker, when he tried to ask for business. She didn’t want anyone touching her personal belongings, even if they were damaged or broke. However, the Tinker was a very mischievous and manipulating person. There for he soon noticed she had a special interest in her flowers and began to inquire more information about them. The Tinker explained, “Look. I know a lady down the road a piece, has got the nicest gardening you ever seen. Got nearly every kind of flower but no chrysanthemums. Last time I was melding a copper- bottom washtub for her (that’s a hard job but I do it good), she said to me ‘if you ever run acrost some nice chrysanthemums I wish you would try to give me a few seeds.’ That’s what she told me” (Steinbeck 5). Though the Tinker couldn’t get any melding work done, he just changed his approach to Elisa. The Tinker didn’t give up on accomplishing his goals of receiving some type work or payment. He simply explained there was a costumer that would be very interested in these flowers. Elisa stated, “Oh beautiful. ‘Her eyes shone. She tore off the battered hat and shook out her dark pretty hair’. I’ll put them in a flowerpot, and you can take them right with you. Come in my yard” (Steinbeck 5). The Tinker successfully maneuvered around Elisa’s personal barriers, once he

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