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“Chrysanthemums” When Elisa sees the chrysanthemum sprouts on the road, she feels betrayed, a victim of her own romantic reverie. She has invited a stranger into her world and has seen into his world what she imagines as a brighter, freer existence than her own. This interlude in her life has given her an insight into her own strength, but not without leaving her with a sense of guilt. When the man enters her garden, …

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…is “scratched and red”. Although true to her husband, she has strayed in thought. Elisa holds herself to a high moral standard as a good wife and feels guilty for her escapist thoughts. She is further humiliated when she finds that her feelings were all based on a pretense. The chrysanthemums in the road show that the relationship is based on fraud. Her enhanced belief in herself is shattered and she becomes crushed and weak.