Analysis Of An Awakenings In Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg Ohio

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In Sherwood Anderson’s novel, “Winesburg Ohio”, he writes a chapter named “An Awakening” to display George Willard’s progression in his maturity. The chapter is named “An Awakening” because it shows George Willard going through two “awakenings” which both help him mature and bring him a step closer to becoming a “man”. The first “awakening” happens after George goes to a bar for a drink. While clearly intoxicated, he starts having conceited thoughts; these thoughts caused him to not only mutter words meaninglessly, something his former teacher told him not to do, but it also caused him to stand up to Belle Carpenter, a woman who was only using him to make her boyfriend jealous, by asserting that he is stronger that he actually is. He tells her “You’ll find me different.…show more content…
You’ve got to take me for a man or let me alone. That’s how it is”(187). Through these events, George is seen quickly forming into a grotesque. The second awakening happens shortly after when Belle’s boyfriend, Ed Handby, catches Belle and George in a field together and proceeds to grab Belle and fling George away as if he were nothing. This action not only sobered George up, but it also deflated his self esteem. He would rather be engaged in a fight with Ed because that would show that Ed Handby thinks of George as an equal. But instead, “Three times the young reporter[George] sprang at Ed Handby and each time the bartender, catching him on the shoulder, hurled him back into the bushes”(189). The dismissal of his grotesque came only when Ed Handby left with Belle Carpenter and he began to realize and feel ashamed of what he had done. The most important realization he made was that he was not yet a man, and paradoxically, that realization made him more of a man than he was

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