Elisa looks down at the stems of her flowers, which she has kept entirely free of pests. Henry appears and praises her work.
She says she wishes women could live the kind of life he does. Then she examines her naked body in the mirror, pulling in her stomach and pushing out her chest, then observing her back.
Henry says she is different again, but then says kindly that he should take her out more often. Elisa thinks that he could have at least disposed of them off the road, and then realizes he had to keep the pot. When he gets out of the wagon, Elisa sees that he is big and not very old.
They continue to make small talk, and Elisa is charmed when the tinker says he simply follows good weather. Elisa says she has read that at the fights the men beat each other until their boxing gloves are soaked with blood.
Her apron covers her dress, and gloves cover her hands. She says she is looking forward to dinner. He wears a ragged, dirty suit, and his hands are rough. They discuss the flowers, and the tinker says that he has a customer who wants to raise chrysanthemums.
Elisa gives the tinker instructions to pass along to the woman. She asks whether they can have wine at dinner, and he says yes. A wagon with a canvas top driven by a large bearded man appears on the road in the distance.
She speaks from a kneeling position, growing impassioned.
The strangers get into their Ford coupe and leave. Elisa loses her composure for a moment and then agrees with him. He suggests they go to the town of Salinas for dinner and a movie to celebrate. Sobered, Elisa finds two pans for him to fix. When she asks, he tells her that the men were from the Western Meat Company and bought thirty of his steers for a good price.
Elisa seems pleased and proud.
Elisa sets out his clothes and then goes to sit on the porch. He says his life would be lonesome and frightening for a woman. Henry leaves, and Elisa turns her attention back to her chrysanthemums. She responds eagerly to this suggestion, but it seems he was only joking.
She takes off her hat and gloves and fills a red pot with soil and the shoots.
For a moment, he seems to forget that she gave him the flowers. She explains that the most care is needed when the budding begins.A short summary of John Steinbeck's The Chrysanthemums.
This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of The Chrysanthemums.
Characters. See a complete list of the characters in "The Chrysanthemums" and in-depth analyses of Elisa Allen, The Tinker, and Henry Allen.
The Character Crook from Steinbeck's Novel - The extract I have chosen is from the beginning of chapter four and stretches from page 71 to page Character Analysis of Elisa Allen in The Chrysanthemums by Steinbeck - Many readers who analyze Steinbeck's short story, "The Chrysanthemums", feel Elisa's flowers represent her repressed sexuality, and her anger and resentment towards men.Download