Paper 1 - Final Draft

Elizabeth spends most of her time sitting in a chair

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describes the extent of their interaction in a way that suggests it is very distant. Elizabeth spends most of her time sitting in a chair in her room looking out the window and George “sat in the room with his mother, the silence made them both feel awkward” (Anderson 17). Being his mother, she has the responsibility of creating an intimate bond with her son but her failure to do so is because Elizabeth Willard is also immature. Instead of trying to understand him in an up-front manner, she does it from a distance: By the door of her son’s room the mother knelt upon the floor and listened for some sound from within…George Willard had a habit of talking aloud to himself...The habit in him, she felt, strengthened the secret bond that existed between them. (Anderson 18) She doesn’t acknowledge her relationship with her son as she thinks of it as a “secret bond”. But also, her way of getting closer to him is through the intuitions she feels from what George does and says. As exhibited in her son, Elizabeth also cannot express her emotions properly. After George had told his mother he needed to leave Winesburg, she “wanted to cry out with joy…but the expression of joy had become impossible to her” (Anderson 22). Elizabeth could not respond emotionally to George’s news in any way but to tell him to go outside because he stays indoors too much. Even though she felt a strong emotion, she could not properly express it. As mentioned earlier, Szczesiul discusses how
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5 Jung George’s immaturity was largely due to his inability to act upon his emotions. Following that logic, the same conclusion can be made about Elizabeth: if she can’t express his emotions effectively, then she is immature. The structure of George and Elizabeth’s relationship is what influenced George’s maturation. The immaturity that Elizabeth displays in her interactions with George was the cause of his immaturity. Their immature and remote connection is further displayed in George’s response to his mother’s death. Normally, a son would be grieving his mother’s death, however, George does not display any variation of sadness in response to his mother’s passing. He initially had plans to go on a date with Helen White, but they were interrupted by the death of his mother. He was “a little annoyed that his mother died on that day” (Anderson 128). The way that Anderson depicts George’s response indicates how his mother’s death was an inconvenience to him. Furthermore, as he was sitting by his mother’s body, George starts to deny the fact his mother died. He “half lifted the sheet that covered her, but his courage failed” (Anderson 129). Once again, George is faced to feel the strong emotions after his mother’s death but avoids it because he doesn’t have enough strength to face them. He can’t fully accept what happened and still does not react in a proper way.
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