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  • 1. English Literature Presentation Presenters: Jamie Lam 4X (15) Fung Man Wing 4Z (12) Amanda Ng 4Z (26)
  • 2. Topic
    • Question 2
    • Compare how issues of gender are
    • addressed in at least three of the set text
    • Field of interest
    • - Mushrooms – Sylvia Plath
    • - Chrysanthemums – John Steinbeck
    • - Seventeen Syllables – Hisaye Yamamoto
  • 3. (I) Limitations of being a woman/ social expectations
    • Chrysanthemums – Elisa
    • Responsible for the garden and also the kitchen
    • Henry, in the male dominant world, only expects Elisa to do her chores
    • “ You’ve got a strong new crop coming”, Henry only asked her about the garden, but not asking how she’s doing or showing any care towards Elisa because female doesn’t have a significant place in the society
    • “ I wish you’d work out in the orchard and raise some apples that big”, Henry doesn’t know that Elisa only likes chrysanthemums. 
  • 4. (I) Limitations of being a woman/ social expectations
    • Henry told Elisa about going into Salinas for dinner, he didn’t ask Elisa about what she wanted to eat, he was just informing her.
    • Elisa agreed to whatever Henry said, because she was only a female.
    • When Henry talked to the men from the Western Meat Company, Elisa only looked at them in her garden behind the fence.  She knew that nobody would expect a woman to interfere men’s business.   
  • 5. (I) Limitations of being a woman/ social expectations
    •  Tinker said that he sleeps in his wagon, Elisa wishes that she could do the same too, but she know that she couldn’t.
    •  She was a female and the wife of Henry.  She wasn’t supposed to do something like sleeping in a wagon
    •  Social expectation: Stay at home like any loyal and obedient wife does.
  • 6. (I) Limitations of being a woman/ social expectations
    • Seventeen Syllables – Tome
    • Social expectations: Do chores such as helping out with the tomatoes
    • Mr. Hayashi asked Rosie to remind Tome about the tomatoes.
    • Mr. Hayashi preferred his wife to do chores instead of haiku
  • 7. Similarities of characters
    • Elisa and Tome’s desire for freedom and pursuit of happiness is repressed
    • “ K neeling on the ground looking up at the tinker.  Her breasts swelled passionately.”
    • Elisa: Repressed femininity being released.  She washed and dressed herself slowly, standing in front of the mirror, she seemed to be amused by the femininity of herself, somehow being proud of her female identity. 
  • 8. Differences of characters
    • Tome has more freedom than Elisa
    • - Even though Mr. Hayashi didn’t like her to write haiku, she was still able to write and even win a first place in the haiku competition in the Mainichi.
  • 9. Differences of characters
    • Tome was expected to be a responsible housewife
    • “ Come on, Rosie, we’re going home now”
    • Tome didn’t have any right to stop her husband or beg him for a longer stay in the Hayano’s house
    • Tome even had to say “I’m sorry”, as if it was her fault for the embarrassment in front of Mr. and Mrs. Hayano. 
  • 10. Differences of characters
    • After Tome received the prize for winning a first place in the haiku competition in Mainichi, Mr. Hayano disliked Tome’s creativity and smashed and even burned the picture which was the prize of the competition.
    •  Tome had no way to stop him, but to look at the burning picture until the flames died out.
  • 11. (I) Limitations of being a woman/ social expectations
    • Mushrooms
    • “ Overnight, very whitely, discreetly, very quietly”
    • Low social status of women.
    • Women had to be quiet and discreet, as if being afraid of waking up others in night-time, careful to avoid embarrassing or upsetting others. 
  • 12. (I) Limitations of being a woman/ social expectations
    • “ Bland mannered, asking little or nothing”
    • Social expectation: Women weren’t allowed to ask or request for much. Even if they ask, they only request for very little
    • “ We are shelves, we are tables”
    • Social Expectations: Women are expected to do housework such as cleaning and tidying up the house
    • “ Heaving the needles, the leafy bedding”
    • Social Expectations: Women sewing and making up the bed
  • 13. Similarities of characters
    • Disrespected
    • Social expectations: Do chores
    • Of a lower social status
    • Doesn’t have any significant place in the society.
  • 14. (III) Under male dominant world
    • Chrysanthemums: Elisa Allen
    • “ Elisa Allen, working in her flower garden, looked down across the yard and saw Henry, her husband, talking to two men in business suits.”
    • Does not get involved with male business
    • Keep herself in her own small world (flower garden) and only acts as an audience in male business
  • 15. (III) Under male dominant world
    • “ Kneeling there, her hand went out toward his legs in the greasy black trousers. Her hesitant fingers almost touched the cloth. Then her hand dropped to the ground. She crouched low like a fawning dog.”
    • Crouch in front of a person: Slavery action
    • Elisa condescends herself in front of the tinker
    • Comparing Elisa with a dog: Invaluable in the eyes of men
  • 16. (III) Under male dominant world
    • “ She turned up her coat collar so he could not see that she was crying weakly--like an old woman.”
    • Elisa was helpless after betrayed by the tinker, all she could do is to cry weakly
    • Didn’t try to voice out her disappointments and anger towards the tinker
    • She’s silent under the male dominant world
  • 17. (III) Under male dominant world
    • Seventeen Syllables – Tome
    • “ Her mother (Tome Hayashi by name) kept house cooked, washed, and along with her husband and the Carrascos, the Mexican family hired for the harvest, did her ample share of picking tomatoes out in the sweltering fields and boxing them in tidy strata in the cool packing shred.”
    • Responsible for chores and housework
    • Some interactions with her husband during picking and boxing tomatoes: Have same status with men in that period of time
  • 18. (III) Under male dominant world
    • “ Rosie noticed that her mother and Mr. Hayano were talking together at the little table – they were discussing that Mr. Hayano was planning to send to the Mainichi, while her father was sitting at on end of the sofa looking through a copy of Life, the new picture magazine.”
    • Discussing involves voice out of self opinions and criticizing: Tome shares the same status with men
    • Tome was talkative comparing to the silent Mr. Hayashi: A more initiative character
  • 19. (III) Under male dominant world
    • “ Rosie’s father looked ahead at the windshields as the two joined him. ‘I’m sorry,’ her mother said. ‘You must be tired.’ Her father, stepping on the started, said nothing. ‘You know how I get when it’s haiku,’ she continued. ‘I forgot what time it is.’ He only grunted.”
    • Tome apologized whole heartedly while Mr. Hayashi was impatient at her wife
    • Tome was the humbler one when facing her husband
  • 20. (III) Under male dominant world
    • “ He threw the picture on the ground and picked up the axe. smashing the picture, glass and all (she heard the explosion faintly), he reached over for the kerosene that was use to encourage the bath fire and pour it over the wreckage”
    • “ She burst into the parlor and found her mother at the back window watching the dying fire. They watched together until there remained only a feeble smoke under the blazing sun. Her mother was very calm”
    • Tome remained silent at Mr. Hayashi’s destructive act to her prize without any complaints or deter.
    • Tome doesn’t have a say towards Mr. Hayashi’s disrespectful act
    • Repression of women
  • 21. (III) Under male dominant world
    • Mushrooms
    • “ Overnight, very Whitely, discreetly, Very quietly” (line 1-3)
    • Repression of women: Only move about at night with silence, representing the minute of women
  • 22. (III) Under male dominant world
    • “ Perfectly voiceless, Widen the crannies, Shoulder through holes.”
    • Still remain silent: Continue having a lower status
    • The energy of women shown persistently and progressively towards the effort of making a breakthrough of the current low status of themselves
  • 23. (III) Under male dominant world
    • “ We are shelves, we are Tables, we are meek, We are edible,”
    • Supplements to human beings (men)
    • Only used as tools and fulfilling men’s desire
    • Humble in front of men
  • 24. Similarities of the characters
    • Humble in front of men
    • - Elisa, Tome and Mushrooms tend to obey men in whatever circumstances
    • - They tried to repress their complaints towards men
    • - Silently carry out their own duties
  • 25. Differences of the characters
    • Desires of the women
    • - Elisa: Little desire of oneself as she view herself as supplements for men. She thinks her job only is to be a responsible wife
    • - Tome: Some desires portrayed as she enjoys herself when discussing haiku with Mr. Hayano. Though she then remained humble and silent in front of her husband
    • - Mushrooms: Tried to breakthrough the inequality treatment that they receive
  • 26. The End 