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Assignment Questions

The Chrysanthemums

?The Chrysanthemums?
? Symbolism: The chrysanthemums are a symbol. That is, they stand for something more than what they are
(flowers). There are many various interpretations for the symbol. The most popular are that they are Elisa?s
?children,? or her sexuality, her untapped talents and frustrated energies. Which of these theories of the
symbols works best with your read of the story? Why?
? Setting: How does the description of the setting in the beginning relate to the conditions of Elisa?s life? How is
the valley described? How is the house described? How is the garden described?
? Elisa Allen?s Transformation: How does she change and why? Look for clues in her interaction with the tinker,
and consider her elusive search for freedom and self-identity.

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