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Unformatted text preview: 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 and giving him the potential to succeed as a writer. He goes further into saying that George accepts “human isolation” and that this is a “sign of his maturity and the pledge of his artistic ability” (111). According to Fussell, this is the key difference between George and the rest of the inhabitants of Winesburg. Despite his lingering connections to everyone in town, George is able to detach himself and live a life separate from them and Winesburg. The other characters, on the other hand, are all tied down because their lives have been interconnected for a long time. With that said, Fussell makes a problematic case about 22 George’s maturity. Fussell simply makes his case by comparing George to the other characters in Winesburg, Ohio . Because the other people in the town are immature, and George is different from them, Fussell assumes that that makes George mature. Although he may have matured since the beginning, George has not grown to the extent of which Fussell argues. Szczesiul, on the other hand, makes a more acceptable observation: he believes that George fails to mature by the end of his departure. The main point of his argument is that George “cannot act upon what he feels emotionally” (Szczesiul 3). The interactions with other people that George experiences causes him to feel a lot of emotions, yet for all of them, he fails to respond physically and mentally. Szczesiul holds this accountable for George’s failure in becoming a writer. He goes as far as to say that George’s decision to leave was immature because “there is enough life in Winesburg for George to experience; he is simply too blind to notice” (3). The fact that George can’t see the things that are around him and the stories that exist in Winesburg is evidence enough for Szczesiul to say he has not matured. George’s departure is a way for him to run away from the emotional ties he has with everyone else. He continues with examples of George’s behavior that prove his immaturity. Szczesiul mentions the chapter “Drink” concerning Tom Foster. He compares Tom and George in the way that they think. He notes that “George’s words are the same abstractions Tom is expressing…but [he] is unable to express abstract thoughts concretely” (Szczesiul 3). Even near the end of the book, in express abstract thoughts concretely” (Szczesiul 3)....
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- Spring '08
- Winesburg, Ohio, SON-9