on Chrysanthemums EssaysThe Chrysanthemums: The Failure of Communication To begin with, the main protagonist, Elisa Allen is quite interested in growing chrysanthemums. Given that it is hard to grow the sensitive plant, Elisa’s interest seems unusual.
Yet unfortunately her husband, Henry Allen does not understand her mind; his interest is focused not on the point that she likes to grow it but on the possibility of making money with the help of her great inborn skill. Meanwhile, Elisa confronts a puzzling situation in which a wandering mender visits her house. At first, Elisa does not pay attention to the mender’s suggestion to fix domestic appliances. In other words, the mender’s attempt to communicate with Elisa goes down the drain mainly because she is so absorbed in her chrysanthemums. But when the mender notices that Elisa is handling that tricky plant, he quickly expresses his interest in it. At this point, the communication which has been blocked by the wide discrepancy between the two characters begins to flow.
Elisa not only gives her precious chrysanthemum to the nameless guy with eagerness but also she lets him know the information needed to grow them appropriately. This temporary common ground, or success of communication achieved by the chrysanthemum does not necessarily mean that the authentic understanding is under way between them. On the contrary, Elisa even knows well that the mender shall dump the plant any time soon. Then why does Elisa express unusual willingness to give her plant to a total stranger? It can be assumed that Elisa’s eagerness indirectly reveals how long she has failed to relieve her desire to be recognized by others over her unusual hobby. In addition, it must be noted that Elisa is portrayed as masculine in the earlier stage. In line with this masculine imagery, Elisa’s passion in growing chrysanthemums also reflects her inner desire to dominate and rule over something.
However, Elisa’s desire does not match the archetype in the context of society which reinforces feminity