Winesburg, Ohio | Study Guide

Sherwood Anderson

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Sherwood Anderson

Year Published



Short Stories



At a Glance

Sherwood Anderson wrote his masterpiece, Winesburg, Ohio, to encapsulate the varied experiences and people he had known growing up in a small American town in the latter half of the 19th century. In this work Anderson experiments with a combined short story and novel form in plainspoken, colloquial language to examine people's internal and external lives. Winesburg, Ohio inspired other artists such as American writers Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and William Saroyan to explore strong character-driven stories reflecting a common American experience.

Perspective and Narrator

Winesburg, Ohio is written from an omniscient third-person perspective.


Winesburg, Ohio is written in the past tense.

About the Title

The title Winesburg, Ohio refers to a fictional small town through which a railroad runs. Although there is a real town named Winesburg in northeastern Ohio, Sherwood Anderson states in the Viking Critical Edition of Winesburg, Ohio he wasn't aware of it when he wrote his stories. He made up the town name to situate his interrelated stories based on real-life people he had known growing up in Clyde, another town in the northern part of the state.


This study guide and infographic for Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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