Alejandra Luna Dr. White English 201 15 September 2011 Like a Flower Love blooms with love, like a flower blooms with water. “The Chrysanthemums” is a story written by John Steinbeck. This story takes place in 1937, a time when women were not appreciated. Women were supposed to stay home and raise their children. The main character, Elisa Allen, feels distant from her husband Henry. The fact that they didn’t have children, might play a role in that feeling, and is probably the reason she wants to be involved with the farm’s business. “Her face was lean and strong and her eyes were as clear as water” (Steinbeck 629).
Elisa might seem strong on the outside, but deep inside she is fragile like a flower. Though fragile “her eyes were as clear as water” which means she has very clear what she wants and needs. Just like a flower, she needs care and attention. The point of this story, in my opinion, was to demonstrate the importance of taking care of a woman, not just economically, but emotionally and physically. If you don’t water your flowers they will die, just like love will die without care. Some men think that by providing economically, they are doing enough.
A woman might have the biggest and prettiest house, the most expensive car, and the best brand clothes, but that might never be enough to make her happy. We all need someone to love us, someone to hold us at night, to awake to in the morning, someone to have breakfast with and talk to about our sorrows or joys. Money can never replace the need for a companion. Economical support is a marital responsibility, not a sign of love. Furthermore, a woman needs emotional support, she needs someone that listens to her opinion and takes it into consideration, someone who will value her thoughts and ideas.
Men have no idea how important it is for a woman to be valued, to be listened to. Many people will agree that communication is a key concept in a relationship, so knowing about her interest will give you a reason to talk about something both of you have knowledge about. It does not matter if it’s not something that interests you, as long as it interests her it will help, it will also bring you close to each other; just like Elisa felt close to the stranger, when he seemed interested in her Chrysanthemum’s.
Another good way to support her emotionally is to complement her. Complement her accomplishments, or simply her beauty. Don’t say “you look so nice” (Steinbeck 635). You look so nice is not the right thing to say, use words like beautiful, radiant, dazzling, etc. Remind her why you chose to marry her and how you promised to honor and respect her for the rest of your life. Simple thing like that, can bring our self-esteem up; it will make us feel wanted and loved. Lastly care for her physically, and by physically, I’m not referring to sex.
Sex is important in a relationship, but what I mean is a simple caress, or to get cozy on the couch, and also take her out on a date “I ought to take you in to dinner oftener. It would be good for both of us. We get so heavy out on the ranch” (Steinbeck 636). Henry noticed that he needed to pay more attention to his wife, he realized they are kept very busy at the ranch and don’t have time for each other. That is very common in marriages; we get carried away with our job or our children and forget how important it is to pay attention to our partner. Also help around with household chores, sometimes men don’t realize how hard we work.
In my case for example; I am the first one to get up in the morning, and the last one to go to bed at night; in between that, I have three daughters, chores and school. It makes a woman very happy, when her husband gets involved and helps with the responsibilities. I truly appreciate all my husband does at home, even though he has two jobs, he comes home and helps out when I have to do homework. Taking care of a woman is as important as taking care of your flowers. If you want a beautiful garden, you water it. I you want a beautiful wife, you take care of her. he leaned over the wire fence that protected her flower garden from cattle and dogs and chickens” (Steinbeck 629). You don’t have to put up a wire fence to keep the dogs away from your flower, all you have to do is take care of her economically, to give her comfort; emotionally, to give her peace and physically to keep her young and beautiful. That is the best way to keep the dogs away, and keep her interested in no one but you. Works Cited Steinbeck, John. “The Chrysanthemums” Compact Literature: Reading, reacting, writing. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell, eds. MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2010 628-636 Print.
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