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Since i ve commented extensively i n t h e m a r gins

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some judicious hedging. Since I ve commented extensively i n t h e m a r gins, I’ll l e a ve i t at t h at, b u t please f e el free to contact me with any questions or to set up a meeting. Sincerely, Jason
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20 Paper 1 Final Draft Linda Jung WR150 A1 February 13, 2013 The Power of Relationships: An Introspective Look at George and Elizabeth Willard The structure of a typical novel consists of a moving plot with characters intertwined with each other. However, Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio shies away from this structure, as it is a compilation of short stories all connected in subtle ways. Raymond Wilson discusses in his essay the idea of "rhythm in novels as a unifying feature separate from the story” (31). He goes on to discuss the reoccurring motifs throughout Anderson’s novel that progress the story in place of the actual plot. One key “rhythm”, as Wilson calls it, that he fails to mention is the relationships present between the characters. These relationships are the connections between all the stories in Anderson’s novel and arguably the driving force behind his non-existing plot. Most of the relationships have one person in common: George Wilson, the protagonist of Winesburg, Ohio . He holds a connection with the other characters because they are trying to tell him something that they failed to do in their life and wish that George could do with his. By the end of Anderson’s novel, George decides to leave the small town to live in the big city. Two critics, Edwin Fussell and Anthony Szczesiul attempt to shed light on George’s departure: Fussell states that it was an act of maturity while Szczesiul believes it was an act of immaturity. But both of the critics are flawed in their argument because they do not
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21 Jung mention the cause of George’s leaving and who ultimately influenced that decision. They fail to include Elizabeth Willard, George’s mother, in their discussion. Elizabeth is one of, if not the most, influential figure in George’s life. Although it may not be in a positive way, Elizabeth does affect George and his character. Anderson portrays George’s immaturity as a consequence of his relationship with his mother who is also characterized to be immature. Their failure to convey the proper emotions is the key signifier of their naïve nature. To begin, the extent of George’s maturation needs to be addressed. As stated before, Fussell argues that George matures and Szczesiul states that he does not. The underlying foundation of Fussell’s argument is in his description of the characteristics of an artist and whether George holds true to them. In his essay, Fussell goes into depth describing these characteristics of an artist and its correlation to grotesqueness. He explains how Anderson portrays this idea as, “the artist’s essential quality must be defined as a capacity of growth which he refuses to attribute to any of the grotesques” (Fussell 110). Fussell believes that George Willard possesses these characteristics, thus separating him from the grotesques in Winesburg, Ohio
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