Figure 31: Essay Excerpt on Elisa, “Chrysanthemums”

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Avoid Plot Summary.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “A” category or by typing the title into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Sample Excerpt

They both leave and Elisa notices the visitor as they pass him on the road.  She tried not to look, but did anyway.  She failed to tell Henry that he’d stopped by.  She comments that their outing would be good tonight; Henry instantly noticed that she had changed again.  Elisa notices the plants on the side of the road that the visitor throws out.  She immediately feels rejected and defeated.

Figure 31: Essay Excerpt on Elisa, “Chrysanthemums”

Problems

In the sample excerpt, the student recounts the events of Steinbeck’s short story, “Chrysanthemums.” The student doesn’t provide an analysis of the imagery the author uses to convey Elisa’s sentiments and feelings about the visitor’s lack of respect for the chrysanthemums. In other words, the student doesn’t evaluate the significance of the flowers to Elisa.

Questions

Why does Elisa feel rejected as she sees the flowers on the road? What do the flowers mean to Elisa? Provide in-text evidence.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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