John Steinbeck: “The Chrysanthemums”

(1903 words)

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 …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Meyer, Michael J.. "“The Chrysanthemums”". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 December 2008
[, accessed 07 July 2015.]