"She relaxed limply in the seat. "Oh, no. No. I don't want to go. I'm sure I don't." Her face was turned away from him. "It will be enough if we can have wine. It will be plenty." She turned up her coat collar so he could not see that she was crying weakly -- like an old woman" (Steinbeck).
There are a number of fairly eminent points to be made about this quotation -- the first of which is that Allen's husband has taken her away from her source of power -- her garden. Away from that source, she is described by imagery that is rather enervating and in opposition to the vivacity she previously personified. The imagery of her sitting "limply" and weeping "weakly" is strongly contrasted with the images of her cutting through plants and powerfully gripping handfuls of earth -- which symbolizes the source of her power -- in the beginning of the story. This passage illustrates how mankind -- symbolized by Allen's husband Henry -- has a deleterious effect on nature, and that Henry has a deleterious effect upon his wife Elisa.
Man's negative effects upon the fertility and vitality that is nature can also be witnessed in "Hills Like White Elephants" by Jig's American lover's insistence that she have a baby. Not only is such insistence counterproductive to the life that grows inside of Jig, but it also produces a noxious effect upon Jig herself (Renner), which the following passage, in which Jig's lover tries to feign nonchalance about her abortion decision despite the fact that she has previously asked him to stop talking about this subject, readily indicates. "I don't care anything about it.' 'I'll scream', the girl said" (Hemingway). The fact that Jig has not threaten to yell in order to get her lover to stop talking about an abortion suggests the harmful effect he has upon her. This effect is similarly malefic towards the life inside of her and the fertility that has been evinced throughout the imagery...
Not surprisingly, these women have an adverse reaction to men, which are largely used to symbolize mankind and the conflict which it has traditionally had with nature. Most critics widely agree that in the respective stories, these women are repressed and submit to the will of these men -- which is something true nature will never do to mankind.
Budnichuk, Monica. "The Chrysanthemums: Exposing Sexual Tension Through Setting And Character." Universal Journal. No date. Web. http://ayjw.org/print_articles.php?id=647033
Hemingway, Ernest. "Hills Like White Elephants." Men Without Women. New York: Scribner's Sons, 1927. Online reprint. Scribd.com, 2011. Web.
Hashmi, Nilofer. "Hills Like White Elephants": The Jilting of Jig." The Hemingway Review. (2003): 72-83. Print.
Hunt, D. "Steinbeck's Allegory of the Cave: Deconstructing Elisa Allen in "The Chrysanthemums." Universal Journal. No date. Web. http://www.ayjw.org/articles.php?id=582962
Renner, S. "Moving to the Girl's Side of 'Hills Like White Elephants.'" Hemingway Review, Fall 1995. Vol. 15 No. 1. Web. http://www.montclair.edu/writing/teachingwriting/teachingresources/Articles/AR_Renner_Moving_to_the_Girls_Side_of_Hills_like_White_Elephants_106.pdf
Renner, Stanley. "The Real Woman Inside the Fence in "The Chrysanthemums." Modern Fiction Studies. Volume 31, Number 2. 1985. Print.
Stanwood, Les. "Flowers for Carol: John Steinbeck, Joseph Campbell and "The Chrysanthemums." Steinbeck Review. Volume 5, Issue 2. 2008. Print.
Steinbeck, John. "The Chrysanthemums." 1937. Web. http://nbu.bg/webs/amb/american/4/steinbeck/chrysanthemums.htm
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