The Real Women Inside the Garden, a Study of John Steinbeck’s Women in “The Chrysanthemums” and “The White Quail”

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Indah Damayanti


This paper aims to examine the portrayal of Elisa and Mary in accordance to their role as modern society woman as it is portrayed in the story. We read closely about the story’s focus which is upon Elisa and her garden, Elisa and her husband; Mary and her garden, Mary and her husband, and lastly Elisa and Mary and their surroundings. At the end of this paper, how the two women portayed in accordance to their circumstances are described. Thus, we can say that Elisa and Mary regard garden as a privately sacred place for their truest self, their ideal life, and their dream. Elisa and Mary can reach their highest spiritual strength when they work in their garden. Seemingly garden refers to their identity. They are women as a representative of productive role regarding their gardens. However, circumstances share a reluctant response for their so-called productive existence. Finally, they fail escaping from unproductive, unacceptable, trivial role imposed on their being as a woman viewed by surrounding. Elisa fails getting approval for her existence as she sees her chrysanthemums is being discarded and tossed cruelly. Mary also fails getting approval for her idealism of her role as an artistic woman as Harry shoots the symbolic quail instead. His rebellious shoot of the white quail is to show his inmost value as a husband.

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How to Cite
Damayanti, I. (2020). The Real Women Inside the Garden, a Study of John Steinbeck’s Women in “The Chrysanthemums” and “The White Quail”. Asian Social Science and Humanities Research Journal (ASHREJ), 2(2), 77-84.


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