Figure 50: Essay Excerpt on Elisa, “Chrysanthemums”

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Right/On the Right Path.”

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

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

There are cases in which you may be on the right path, but lack sufficient supporting evidence to determine your full understanding of the work. For example, in the first sample excerpt (Figure 49), the student maintains the path of her topic sentence. The student’s analysis represents a good understanding of the ideas within the author’s work.

On the other hand, although the student is “on the right path” in the second sample excerpt below, she fails to provide answers for some of the implied questions. The student makes a connection between the fence Elisa creates for the flowers and the fence Henry creates for Elisa. However, she doesn’t provide enough substantial information to close the gaps in her analysis.


In terms of the second sample excerpt, examine the questions. In just about every comment you will read throughout this glossary, you will see that the student writer fails to analyze her essays fully, or at least parts of them. When questions remain, gaps exist. In other words, if there is a gap, this means that you could say much more in an area of your essay.

In the case of the comment “Right/On the Right Path,” the questions we use here represent methods to help the student bring clarity to the analysis. The student starts well, but needs a better finish. In providing answers for these questions, the student will learn how to develop the analysis further and offer insight necessary for understanding the work more fully.

Sample Excerpt

It is evident that the fence that protected the flowers was put there also to protect Elisa.  It is also clear to say that the protection from the cattle, dogs, and chickens symbolizes protection from outsiders.  Henry protected Elisa in the same way she protected her flowers.  No one could get close or converse with Elisa.

Figure 50: Essay Excerpt on Elisa, “Chrysanthemums”


1) What does the “fence” represent, figuratively?

2) We don’t just use fences for protection. We also use them to separate two things or people.

Revision Considerations

1) If Elisa protects her flowers in the same way as her husband protects her, then what does this signify?

2) Why are both Elisa and Henry motivated to protect?

Group Activity

1) Reread Steinbeck’s work. Read the sections where the student references the work.

2) Based upon your understanding of the work, rewrite the analysis.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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