Themes Of Winesburg Ohio Essay Research Paper

Subjects Of Winesburg, Ohio Essay, Research Paper


Mr. Lane

English 102

25 July 2000

The Expression of Themes in Winesburg, Ohio

Winesburg, Ohio is a digest of short narratives written by Sherwood Anderson and published as a whole in 1919. The short narratives formulate the common subjects for the novel as follows: isolation and solitariness, find, suppression, and cultural failure. In order to analyze these subjects, Anderson & # 8217 ; s history must be understood and examined to supply light upon why Anderson came to such beliefs about human life.

Sherwood Anderson was born on September 13, 1876, in Camden, Ohio. In 1884, Anderson and his household moved to the little town of Clyde, Ohio. Clyde, Ohio, is the theoretical account for the town of Winesburg. Anderson hated his male parent because of the deficiency of love shown to his female parent and resented his male parent because of the humiliation and poorness that his male parent caused. Two major events shaped the feelings of Anderson about life. First, when he was merely 19 old ages old, Anderson & # 8217 ; s female parent died, and his household pursued to divide apart. Second, after get marrieding and traveling to Elyria, Ohio, Anderson had a mental dislocation due to two things. The force per unit areas of seeking to win in concern and authorship and the struggle between his longing to go forth his unhappy matrimony to Cornelia and his committedness to his household caused a dislocation that physicians diagnosed as nervus exhaustion. During the mental dislocation, Anderson walked the streets for three yearss before being hospitalized in Cleveland. Another ground for his beliefs is that he lived in topographic points that contrasted in size. The size of the metropolis overwhelmed him at times, which gave him a feeling of isolation. Anderson, besides, despised industrialism because industrialism emitted a more impersonal ambiance ( White ) . In & # 8220 ; Adventure, & # 8221 ; Alice Hindman is destroyed by industrialisation and the metropolis. The metropolis and the hunt for money bargain her lone true love and her lone opportunity at felicity. At the terminal of the narrative & # 8220 ; Adventure, & # 8221 ; Anderson writes & # 8220 ; began seeking to coerce herself to confront courageously the fact that many people must populate and decease entirely, even in Winesburg ( Anderson, Sherwood ) . & # 8221 ;

The subjects of solitariness and isolation are expressed by depicting the characters as grotesques. The grotesques are the people who have become obsessed with an thought or idiosyncrasy, such that, they have lost contact with their fellow Man. Anderson sets the class for the subject of isolation in the first three chapters, excepting & # 8220 ; The Book of the Grotesque. & # 8221 ; The first chapter is called & # 8220 ; Hands & # 8221 ; and involves the sad narrative of Wing Biddlebaum. Because Biddlebaum is accused of holding molested pupils that he taught, his custodies embody the shame that he carries. Fearing that the presence of his custodies will be misinterpreted, Biddlebaum hides his expressive custodies. By making the symbol of custodies in this chapter, Anderson creates an effectual symbol to show the subject of isolation in the novel. Because a individual & # 8217 ; s physical custodies are used to pass on feeling, & # 8220 ; Hands & # 8221 ; is a narrative about one of the beginnings of isolation, the inability to pass on feeling.

& # 8220 ; Paper Pills & # 8221 ; is the 2nd chapter of the novel and trades with another cause of isolation, the inability to pass on idea. Because Doctor Reefy is afraid of pass oning straight to another individual, he writes his ideas on small pieces of paper to forestall his ideas from being misinterpreted. Because Doctor Reefy can non happen an appropriated avenue of communicating, he allows these repressed ideas to go merchandises of his custodies by throwing the pieces of paper, which have hardened into small & # 8220 ; paper pills, & # 8221 ; at his friends. The strength of his isolation is magnified through the absence of isolation in brief periods. For illustration, the short minutes of embracing shared between him and Elizabeth Willard.

& # 8220 ; Mother & # 8221 ; is the 3rd chapter of the novel and trades with another cause of isolation, the inability to pass on feelings. In this chapter, Elizabeth Willard is resented by her hubby and has lost all fondness from him. The lone presence of love in her at this clip is focused on her darling boy, George Willard. Anderson writes & # 8220 ; She wanted to shout out with joy because of the words that had come from the lips of her son. & # 8221 ; This happens when George Willard tells his female parent that he is traveling to go forth Winesburg. Elizabeth is unable to joint her feelings of involvement and love to her boy, and perpetuates the barrier of communicating between them. The ground that Anderson expresses this type of relationship is because Anderson had the same inarticulate relationship with his

female parent ( Anderson, David 155-170 ) .

Anderson conveys isolation and solitariness through other ways. In some of the narratives, there is a prevailing sexual ambiance. Anderson idea of sex both as the beginning and stop to love. When George Willard takes Louise Trunnion & # 8217 ; s manus in his ain in & # 8220 ; Cipher Knows, & # 8221 ; George is expecting sexual behavior. Although George thinks that it is merely sex, Anderson is conveying that there is an chance for love. This chance for love could extinguish solitariness and isolation.

The subject of suppression is expressed through the young person in Winesburg. Inhibition has three major countries of cause and experience that are listed as follows: the job of turning up, the defeat that comes when people try to show themselves and are responded to with abrasiveness, and the job of societal chance. These jobs are the causes of the presence of the grotesques in the novel. The people became grotesques when a black experience happened at the exact minute that they were seeking to show love and feeling. In & # 8220 ; Respectability, & # 8221 ; Wash Williams faces the defeat of suppression when the female parent of his unfaithful married woman sends his married woman into the room naked. Wash Williams is destroyed by this action and becomes a grotesque. When Kate Swift flirts with George Willard in the instructor, her actions prevent her from showing what she truly wants George to cognize because her emotions are inhibited.

George Willard is the chief character through which Anderson conveys the subject of suppression. Because George is continuing through the procedure of adulthood, the jobs that he encounters reflect upon suppression. All the grotesques in the fresh feel comfy and see George Willard as a communicating to the universe because he is guiltless to the hazards that they have experienced, and he is besides a newsman. His female parent senses great strength when she is in his presence. Because George makes Wing Biddlebaum experience confident and comfy, Biddlebaum will walk through the center of town with George, although his presence is scorned at that place.

Another subject of the novel is discovery. In & # 8220 ; The Untold Lie, & # 8221 ; Ray Pearson gets Nell Gunther pregnant and is holding conflicting feelings whether to go forth her or get married her. He asks Hal Winters what he should make about his state of affairs. When Hal is about to state him to non get married because matrimony is like a noose, Ray looks at Hal and Tells Hal that he wants to get married Nell Gunther. At this point, Ray has a minute of find. George Willard is the chief character that conveys the subject of find. Throughout the book, different people try to assist George Willard. George eventually has his minute of find while he is at the fairgrounds with Helen White. The significance of this find that human emotions and feelings are the most of import construct is soundless, non articulated ( Walcutt 158-164 ) .

The concluding subject of the novel is cultural failure. This subject is less straight stated or emphasized as the others, but is portrayed through decayed background images. For illustration, the town & # 8217 ; s moralism is easy ebbing toward absence, and the streets are filled with rubbish and glass. One scene that sticks out is the scene when the baker is throwing sticks and objects at a skulking cat concealing behind trash tins. This scene seems misplaced and unneeded, but it is used to make an ambiance of impairment and decay. This dilapidating atmosphere that the background portrays invades and desecrates the lives of the grotesques ( Burbank 73-77 ) .

Through the usage of short narratives combined to make a novel, Anderson is able to pass on many subjects. The unsmooth personal history of Anderson associating to humiliation, solitariness, cultural failure and sadness aid explicate his thoughts of people. Anderson was non composing about society in Winesburg, Ohio, but he was composing about people. Anderson conveys the subject of isolation, find, suppression, and cultural failure to attest the importance of worlds, jointly and separately.

Anderson, David D. & # 8220 ; Sherwood Anderson & # 8217 ; s Moments of Insight. & # 8221 ;

Critical Essays on Sherwood Anderson. Boston: G.K. Hall,

1981. 155-170.

Anderson, Sherwood. Winesburg, Ohio. New York: Norton, 1996.

Burbank, Rex. Sherwood Anderson. New Haven: Twayne, 1964.

Walcutt, Charles Child. & # 8220 ; Sherwood Anderson: Impressionism and

the Buried Life. & # 8221 ; The Achievement of Sherwood Anderson.

Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966.


White, Ray Lewis. Winesburg, Ohio: An Exploration. Boston:

Twayne, 1990.

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