She is then transformed briefly into a vivacious young girl before she realizes that her fantasies and the stranger are both cruelly fraudulent.
Both are too absorbed in keeping up appearances with each other to engage in honest dialogue. In the story, Henry suggests that he and Elisa go out to celebrate after he manages to get a good price for thirty of his three-year-old steers.
She says everything a wife is supposed to say. However, she is clearly unhappy. While her husband takes his bath, she lays out his clothes on the bed and deposits his polished shoes next to the bed.
Then, she sits "primly and stiffly down" to wait for him on the porch. When Henry appears, he is surprised to see that his wife looks "different.
She demands to know what he means by his words. He pleads that Elisa is "playing some kind of a game. Yet, Elisa is also pleased by what Henry says: She wants to know whether the fighters hurt each other very much and whether women attend the fights. When she admits that she reads about the fights, Henry is shocked.
He has never seen Elisa display such emotion or enthusiasm about fights. Now, Henry is simply perplexed that Elisa has suddenly shown an interest in prize fighting. Do you want to go? She is possibly afraid that he will view her less positively if she admits that she would like to accompany him to the fights.
Although Elisa and Henry are clearly loyal to each other, there is little intimate connection between them.
He talks about her "changing" but is clueless as to what this means. Neither knows how to bridge the emotional divide between them, and this leads to feelings of resentment and confusion.Thus, the chrysanthemums symbolize Elisa's role as a woman. First they symbolize her children; later they represent her femininity and sexuality.
Elisa feels frustrated with her life because children and romance are missing in her marriage with Henry. Summary and Analysis The Chrysanthemums Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List In this story, we encounter a woman who has led a systematic, slumbering farm existence until she unexpectedly encounters an unusual peddler.
In “The Chrysanthemums”, Elisa is a farm wife, whose only passion in life is found in her gardening. Henry, her husband, owns a farm and is oblivious to the monotony of Elisa’s life. Throughout the story, Henry is on the outside, . If there's one thing Elisa knows, it's chrysanthemums, and yet here she is, after her conversation with her husband, unsure of her abilities.
Strangers in the Night Or day. Elisa is so frustrated with life that she readily looks to the tinker for stimulating conversation and even sex, two elements that seem to be lacking in her life.
Her physical attraction to the tinker and her flirtatious, witty conversation with him bring out the best in Elisa, turning her into something of a poet. If there's one thing Elisa knows, it's chrysanthemums, and yet here she is, after her conversation with her husband, unsure of her abilities.
Strangers in the Night Or day.