Thursday, September 24, 2009

"The Chrysanthemums." John Steinbeck.

One-minute review: Complimented on her thriving chrysanthemums by an itinerant tinker, Elisa begins to feel the strength of her talent with gardening and is euphoric as the tinker leaves with a bunch of her mums.

She bathes and dresses, her spirits high. Her consciousness of her abilities as an individual infuses her appearance with strength, which even Henry, her husband, notices.

As she is leaving with her husband, she sees the mums thrown on the side of the road by the insensitive, doltish tinker and she is reduced to a whimpering old woman—tempted to go to the fights where she could see men pounded into bloody submission.

Comment: Like Katherine Mansfield’s “Miss Brill,” an illusion is shattered by insensitive people. I remember one Christmas, when I gave the paperboy a monetary thanks for a job well done in a card that I had personally created for him. When I went outside, I found the envelope and card discarded on the lawn. RayS.

Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Eds. Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1989.

No comments:

Post a Comment