The Chrysanthemums vs the Story of an Hour

August 17, 2022 by Essay Writer

Elisa Allen in Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums” and Louise Mallard in Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” have a lot in typical because of the truth that they both went through similar struggles. Both Elisa and Louise prove to be strong females that plainly had imagine their own such as being equivalent to guys and having an enthusiastic relationship with a man. Although that might hold true, they did not have similarity in the true desire they each wished for.

To start with, Elisa and Mrs. Mallard associated in the reality that they both faced the sad reality that women in their time durations were unbearably unequal to men. For example, in “The Chrysanthemums,” it was clear that women had no say in business aspects of things such as running a cattle ranch. This is evident when Steinbeck composes that “Elisa looked down across the yard and saw Henry talking to 2 men in organisation fits … Elisa watched them for a minute and then went back to her work” (229 ).

It’s apparent that Elisa’s viewpoint on business aspects of the ranch are completely neglected. If her viewpoints did matter then she would be with her hubby and the business guys making choices as a group. In addition, females could not be free to do things such as travel along the countryside.

This ends up being obvious when Elisa tells the Tinker from “The Chrysanthemums” that living a travelers life need to be nice and the tinker reacts by stating “It ain’t the best kind of a life for woman” (234 ). The method the Tinker responded clearly reveals that the idea that society has about ladies in their time duration is more of a housewife sort of concept. They don’t see women as travelers or travelers. Last but not least, females could not live for themselves like Mrs. Mallard wanted in Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.” This is especially apparent quickly after learning her hubby had actually died. Mrs. Mallard begins whispering to herself “Free, free, complimentary!” (169 ). Clearly ladies in her time duration were not enabled to do anything they wanted. They needed to remain at house, raise children, and be homemakers, otherwise Mrs. Mallard would not have appeared so fired up to be free.

Secondly, both Elisa and Mrs. Mallard were terribly lonely and unhappy with their marriages. The first time this comes across is when in “The Chrysanthemums” Steinbeck writes “Her hesitant fingers almost touched the cloth… She crouched low like a frowning dog… she stood up very straight, her face was ashamed” (234). Undoubtedly, Elisa yearned for a passionate relationship so much so that she was practically throwing herself at the Tinker. She felt ashamed because she realized that her intentions were wrong and she was flirting with a man that was not her husband.

Though it doesn’t clearly state whether Mrs. Mallard was lonely or unhappy with her marriage Chopin suggests that she was. The fact that Mrs. Mallard was telling herself “Free! Body and soul free!” (Chopin 170) after finding out about the death of her husband suggests she was unsatisfied with not just her life but her relationship as well. If Louise had had a passionate and romantic relationship with her husband maybe she wouldn’t have been so intensely happy that her husband had passed away. She also wouldn’t have been so obsessed with the idea of being free.

Although Elisa and Mrs. Mallard both related in their struggles, they differed quite a bit in the ultimate desire they each had. Mrs. Mallard wanted more than anything to be free and this comes across clearly throughout Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.” On more than one occasion Mrs. Mallard shows how ecstatic she is to finally be free. Mrs. Mallard not only shows she wants to be free by constantly whispering to herself “Free, free, free,” (Chopin 169) but it shows in her death as well. When Mrs. Mallard saw that her husband was alive she died because her dream of finally being able to do what she pleased was gone. Her only wish was taken from her in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, even though Elisa wished things could be different for women (that they could be free do to as they please) it showed that what she wanted more than anything was to have a passionate relationship with someone.

This is especially evident when Elisa has an encounter with the Tinker and when at the end of the story “The Chrysanthemums” Steinbeck writes that Elisa “turned up her coat collar so he [her husband] could not see that she was crying weakly…” (237). After the encounter that Elisa had with the Tinker she felt as if there was still a chance that she could have some kind of romance in her life. Later, she sees the chrysanthemums that she had given the Tinker thrown on the side of the road. Only then does she realize that she had been taken advantage of by the Tinker simply to gain business, not because he was actually interested in her. At this point its almost as if Elisa gives up on the idea of having some kind passion in her life and she just breaks down crying.

Without a doubt, Elisa and Louise were both unfortunately devastatingly lonely women with ambitions of their own. Elisa in Steinbeck’s “The Chrysanthemums” and Louise Mallard in Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” related in the struggles they faced emotionally and the struggles they faced in society but in the end they differed in the true desire they each had.

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