Loneliness and Alienation
The feeling of ‘loneliness and alienation’ is the most terrible emptiness of life. The Short story, “The Chrysanthemums” by John Stein back is about the woman protagonist Elisa Allen. In addition, in a single stanza haiku” The Strange Beautiful Woman” by Marylyn Nelson, is the poem about the woman in the mirror. Both women have intensive desire of the fulfillment in their life and struggling in their inadequate world to overcome the feeling of Loneliness and Alienation.
“The Chrysanthemums” is a story of a Woman’s proud and emotion. Elisa is a strong woman who feels frustrated with her present life. Her frustration stems from not having a child ...view middle of the document...
Elisa and a woman in the mirror are travelling in the same boat with the countless series of unforgettable experiences are aiming the destiny of internal freedom of self-acceptance.
The Chrysanthemums seems to be a story about a woman whose niche is the garden. The portrait of Elisa caring for the flowers as if they are her children is clearly a feminine image, but her masculine image is also observed from her clothing appearance with a “man’s black hat, clodhopper shoes, almost completely covered by a big corduroy apron,(Steinbeck, 229) in a "hard-swept and hard-polished" home (Steinbeck, 229). This image is carried over into her relationship with her husband. Elisa feels that Henry doesn't recognize or appreciate her femininity, and this feeling causes her to be antagonistic towards him. On observing her chrysanthemums all Henry can say is “I wish you work in orchard and raise some apple that big” (Steinbeck, 229). Henry fails to see her abilities, which causes her attraction toward the tinker. A few word of appreciation converts her masculinity to femininity. Tinker’s arrival gives hope and fulfilling to Elisa which she is been looking for in her marriage life.
Another important aspect Nelson skillfully evokes the complex history of her life through a simple style. In the poem, Nelson’s voice is often probing her interior life as if she misses her mother (Jones, Biography) and eager to see her inside the mirror as her own reflection. She begins to feel weak and support less inside. A feeling to missing someone is life’s most terrible emptiness and causes lake of satisfaction. Nelson’s symbolical support of mirror is showing her own image as her beautiful mother into the mirror. Speaker expresses the cheerful tone “Hey! What you doing here? (Nelson, 864). ” symbolizes her mother’s appearance through the mirror. In addition, her separation from her mother affirms her loneliness.
Steinbeck smartly narrates Elisa’s frequent shifts between her masculinity to femininity. Elisa is strong character at the beginning of the story and weakens afterwards. In addition, Nelson also describes the woman in the mirror’s frequent shifts between her acceptance and expectations. Her recognition of seeing herself as a beautiful woman is a huge acceptance. In addition, reflection of her mother is her expectation. Elisa and the Woman in the mirror are lonely and alienated due to their lack of self-motivation and satisfaction in their life which constantly gives loneliness and alienated feeling.
1)Steinbeck., John. Literatuire. An Introduction to Fiction,Poetry,Drama,and writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. Seventh ed. New Jersy: Pearson, 2005. 227-234. Print.
2)Marilyn., Nelson. Literatuire. An Introduction to Fiction,Poetry,Drama,and writing. Seventh ed. New Jersy: Pearson, 2005. 864. Print.
3)Jones, Kirkland C. “Marilyn Nelson.” American Poets Since World War ||: Third Series. Ed. R....