John Steinbeck, “The Chrysanthemums”

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Most critical assessments of Steinbeck's “The Chrysanthemums” consider it the zenith of the author's achievement in short fiction. Still widely anthologized, “The Chrysanthemums” is generally considered a very multifaceted work and has been examined from many critical perspectives including Biblical, Freudian, Jungian, sociological, and feminist.

First published in Harper's Magazine in October 1937, the story later appeared as the first story in Steinbeck's collection entitled The Long Valley in 1938. Steinbeck himself considered the story quite a complex vehicle and wrote to his friend George Albee in 1933 that he designed it “to strike without the reader's “knowledge” so that s/he will realize “that something profound has happened to him, although he does not know what

1903 words

Citation: Meyer, Michael J.. "“The Chrysanthemums”". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 December 2008 [, accessed 23 June 2024.]

25295 “The Chrysanthemums” 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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