On The Egg Analysis

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The Impacts of the American Dream in 1900s on Ordinary Masses -- On The Egg by Sherwood Anderson Abstract The Egg is Sherwood Anderson’s masterpiece and one of the greatest stories ever written. It portrayed the life of a man, father, chasing for the American dream of rising up in the world through hard work, yet failed and humiliated in ineptness. Thus it creates in him a sense of grotesques and resulting in tragedy. Under the context of the story and the time 1900s, this paper manages to analyze the effect and cause of the distorting American dream in the story from a historical view. The first chapter presents a historical analysis on the variation of the American dream as it changes from the original one to a new one. By viewing the revolution…show more content…
The themes of the story centered on the tragedy of life, the grotesque of humanity and the disillusion of the American Dream. The Egg told the story of a childhood memory that had, in a profound way, shaped its narrator’s moral outlook. The tale centered on the narrator’s father, a man “intended by nature to be . . . cheerful and kindly,” who, through acquiring the “American passion for getting up in the world,” lost his happiness. The father’s loss engendered in the son a sense of tragedy and irresolution and a conviction that “the egg”—the source and symbol of that loss—completely and utterly triumphed over life. The narrator began his story by describing his father’s life as a farmhand in the rural Midwest, where his father enjoyed his work and is content with his life. Dissatisfaction did not strike him until, at the age thirty-five, he marries. While wanting nothing for herself, his wife was nevertheless “incurably ambitious” for her husband and for the son born to them—the narrator. At her prompting, the man left the farm and, with his new family, moved closer to town to take up chicken raising business. There in the chicken farm the narrator gained his first impression of life – the inescapable tragedy of the chicken, a miserable cycle that symbolizing a paradigm for life. Later father gave up the chicken farm and moved the whole family to a remote train station for restaurant business. However, the restaurant did not work out either. Father, unable to overcome his social awkwardness, made a fool of himself in front of a guest by trying too hard to impress him, and instead, failing all his egg-related

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