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WR150 Portfolio

Elizabeths apparent understanding of george is the

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Elizabeth's apparent understanding of George is the basis of Fussell's argument. In Fussell's discussion of Winesburg, Ohio, he goes into depth describing the idea of grotesqueness and its connection to accepting a life of isolation and loneliness. Briefly he mentions George Willard and his mother. As he describes the connection between George and the other characters, he goes to say t h at “his mother has a more intimate and ore comprehensive u n d erstanding of his needs and...the one who is able to articulate the representative prayer of all the grotesques” (109). This implies that Elizabeth is mature enough to consume the ability to understand her son and intimately enough so that she may pin point his role in Winesburg and arguably in her life. Anderson also provides similar evidence of Elizabeth's understanding. The one instance where George and Elizabeth have a conversation revolves around what she think George should do with his life, “An i m pulse came t o her. 'I suppose you had better w a ke up...You will go to the city and make m o n ey, eh? I t will be better f o r you,'” ( 2 1). However, George's response to her immediately proves that she does not grasp any comprehension of him and what he needs. George directly states that he could make his mother understand but he can't. This turns the previous argument around by offering the idea that Elizabeth Willard in fact is not mature. She is unable to know her own son on a personal basis. Furthermore, if George doesn't think that he can get his own mother to understand, it shows no reason as to why he would take her advice on leaving the town to become this big business man in the city. This proves that Elizabeth has no effect on George and his final decision to leave Winesburg for the city. Comment [Jason9]:  WC Comment [Jason10]:  WC (Can we really say A provides evidence in the same way F and S provide evidence?)
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17 Jung Szczsiul completely disagrees with Fussell in saying that Elizabeth Willard has an effect on George. Because of their distant relationship, there are no shared emotions between the two of them. Although there are signs that point to Elizabeth showing care and love for her son, there is no sign that shows George reciprocating those feelings. Especially at his mother's death, George's r e action to the event w a s atypical, “he w a s in f ct a l i tt le annoyed t h at his mother had died on that day...his mind turned to the girl with whom he was to have spent the evening and again he w a s half angry” (128-129). Instead of having an acceptable response to his mother's death, George Willard had a selfish one. He was only thinking about his plans that got ruined because of his mother dying. It was as if her death was an inconvenience to him. In this sense, Elizabeth has no emotional effect on her son. Although he does for one instance feel shame and denial that his mother had passed, Szczsiul describes this as G e orge being “on the verge of understanding b u t he f a ils to act” ( 4 ). This is the closest G e orge gets to f e
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