Essay Preview: Lack Ambition
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“Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition” -Timothy Leary. Being a victim of time, our character Elisa Allen, in the 1937 short story by John Steinbeck faces the hardship of living a completely domesticated life as a farmers wife. Her lack of ambition does not drive her enough like other women of her time, to make a change. The need for power does not overcome her domestication. The act of risk taking does not push Elisa to take a bold risk at the life she dreams about. Although a victim of time Elisa Allen is responsible for not having the life she dreams about.
During the 1930s one of the many perks of women was their ambition to go out there and go against all odds. Our character Elisa lives on a farm with her husband Henry who goes out to work for most of the day. For someone who wants to be adventurous and experience the world, Elisa just stays home and cleans what is already clean in her home. However, when a “tinker”, a pot repair man comes to her for some work, she has the chance to experience something different with her daily routine. Elisa decides to back off and send him on his way after he repairs some pots for her. Her husband also offers to help her experience something new when he offers her to take her to the fights. Elisa quickly declines the offer because women do not attend those things during this time in history. Although Elisa is handed so many opportunities to get the life she wants, she doesnt give the effort to actually try to make the change.
Like ambition, another of the many perks women had in the 1930s was power. The power to manipulate and control men through looks, smarts and even money. Elisa has this power, yet she chooses not to use her beauty and smarts against the men of her time. As the story unfolds and Elisa is talking with the tinker about her flowers, she tries to tap into her power, by flirting and almost getting sexual with the tinker. However, Elisa changes her mind as she starts to get second thoughts about it. As a powerful woman, she should have demanded this out of him and not let herself get denied. Power is one of the important perks for Elisa to achieve her goal in the life she wishes she had.
With a combination of ambition and power, risk taking can finally be possible for Elisa. Elisa needs to take a leap of faith and escape from her domesticated life. That is the only way she can truly pursue her dreams. She can leave the farm on a day Henry is not home and never come back, truly risking it all. Going back to when Elisa was talking with the tinker, she could have taken the risk and left with him on the road. Bringing to existence the adventurous life she truly desires. Even if that wasnt the way out, just risking it with Henry and trying to explain to him what she wants with her/their life would be a difficult thing to do. In addition, trying to convince him to have a baby at the age of 35 would be immensely difficult