We see this reality as crude and unfair but, nevertheless, true.

In "The Chrysanthemums," we find Elisa in a situation that is similar to those in Cannery Row. Elisa is able to escape her situation through her gardening techniques but even that is shattered when she encounters the stranger. Elisa's story is different from those in Cannery Row in that she sees the gravity of it. After the stranger destroys her flowers, she understands her station in life and becomes quite sad about it. We can assume from this point-of-view that ignorance truly is bliss.

Elisa has great needs in her life, which are not meet through her husband. She is more than likely not going to have children.

Because she has no children of her own, she cultivates her flowers with extreme care. Her flowerbed has "no aphids, no sow bugs or snails or cutworms were there, no sow...
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