Woman and Man’s World Free Essay Example

April 13, 2022 by Essay Writer

Steinbeck’s The Chrysanthemums story addressed the role of women in a male-dominated society. The story, about a woman, Elisa, in her mid-thirties discusses how she tends to her orchid of chrysanthemums while her husband works outside. Despite taking pride in her work of managing the flowers, Elisa desires to venture into predominantly male jobs, as she believes women have equal abilities to do what the men in the society do. The men, on the other hand, look down upon women and treat them as weak people who are incapable of jobs and roles that require them to exert much energy.

Steinbeck further propels the theme of the role of women through the instance of the traveler who repaired pots, pans, knives, and scissors. The man emphasizes that easy non-exerting jobs are reserved for the women in the society. Women’s roles in society are reserved for home-making and simple chores that do not consume energy.

Women are a weak gender whose chores are limited to non-exerting tasks and continuously need protection from the strong male gender.

While conversing with the traveler, he mentions another woman who is also well-known for her prowess in flower gardening. However, despite being proud of her work in gardening the flowers, the author admits that her work of tending the flowers was too easy for her energy (Steinbeck 1). In several instances, the author portrays Elisa’s yearn to venture into other roles that are primarily done by the men in the society. She is nonetheless brushed off and encouraged to take pride in her work, which she is good at. The women rely on men for hard tasks, such as repairing objects and being driven around, and thus women are weak and not capable of performing strenuous duties.

Women’s roles are limited to home-making and taking care of their men and husbands. Steinbeck portrays women as homemakers, whose principal role is to take care of their men and to ensure that their homely needs are taken care of. In the story, despite working in the flower garden the whole day, when the sun sets, Elisa goes back hurriedly to the house, takes a bath, and dresses well to impress her husband (Steinbeck 8). When Henry returns from his work, Elisa tells him that she is dressing up, and there is hot water for him to bathe. She also prepares him the clothes to wear while he is taking his shower to ensure that her husband is satisfied and contented with her caregiving (Steinbeck 9).

The author further affirms the role of women in taking care of their homes when he discusses that the water in the tank was hot from the noonday cooking (Steinbeck 8). This shows that Elisa had taken time off her gardening to prepare lunch for her husband. All these instances reaffirm the place of women in home-making and taking care of their men. Women are, therefore, tasked with maintaining their homes and ensuring that their husbands’ needs are taken care of.

Women have a connection with nature, but men value functionality over beauty. When Henry comes over to watch his wife tending to the chrysanthemums, he admits that she is indeed good at what she does but quickly adds that if she shifted her skills to apple farming, then she would more likely than not earn more from her venture (Steinbeck 2). In a similar way. When the tinker request for chrysanthemum sprouts to take to the other flower framer, he does not take her efforts seriously as he seemingly pays little attention to what Elisa tells him about gardening the flowers (Steinbeck 8). He further destroys Elisa’s hope when they come across dumped chrysanthemums on the road on their way to dinner (Steinbeck 10). The fact that the man kept the pot but dumped the flowers showed that he did not attach any value to the flowers, nor to Elisa’s efforts to explain to him how the flowers are transplanted and grown. In the end, this breaks Elisa, who feels that her efforts are unappreciated. Women’s roles are of little or no value and are usually not appreciated by the men in the society.

In conclusion, women are undermined and assigned stereotypical roles in society. Women are viewed as the weaker gender, whose primary roles involve taking care of their homes, husbands, and impressing men. The more daunting tasks such as repairing objects or exerting roles are reserved for the men, who often undervalue the roles of women in society. Despite the women’s desire to prove that they are capable of other roles, the chauvinistic society denies the women a voice and an opportunity to be heard or to undertake more demanding tasks.


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