Literary Elements In The Chrysanthemums By John Steinbeck

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The theme is an important part of many stories. It is meaning of the story, or the life lesson it teaches. Theme can be created by a combination of different literary elements along with the plot. The short story “the chrysanthemums” by John Steinbeck is a good example of how literary elements work together to form a meaningful message and have an effect on the reader. Steinbeck's life helps him use setting, characters, and symbolism to create theme. John Steinbeck was born in 1902 in Salinas, California. This is an important fact, because his story is also set in Salinas in the 1930s. Steinbeck tended to write about places he had been to, and according to the biography channel website, “the Salinas valley... was to prove vital to Steinbeck's later writing...”. His real life experience of how life was there lets him write a credible description of this rural place, from the traveling life of the fixer…show more content…
The main character, Elisa, may have been inspired by his mother, who is described as “strong-willed”. Elisa has the internal conflict of wanting to be strong and independent, and to be able to do the same things men do. Her strength of character is shown when a traveling fixer visits the house where she and her husband Henry live. The fixer tells her about his lifestyle, saying, “i go from Seattle to San Diego and back every year. Takes all my time. About six months each way. I aim to follow nice weather”. Elisa tells him, “ that sounds like a nice kind of way to live”. In spite of the fixer telling her that it is not right for a woman, Elisa challenges him, and she still believes that a woman could travel, live alone, and take care of herself as the fixer does. After the conversation, Elisa feels confident and wants to prove herself. For example, she says to her husband, “I’m strong. I never knew before how strong”. These details work to develop characters and

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