The Question and Answer section for The Chrysanthemums is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
There is a lot of anticipation mixed with sexuality. Elsa feels sexually and emotionally dormant. Her preparation for her evening out personifies her latent desires.
The Chrysanthemums represent Elsa's womanhood. They symbolize her body in all its forms from children to her sexuality.
The story's major theme is about gender roles and the oppression of women.