Maturation of George Willard Sherwood Anderson brings out touching themes from a small town life. In Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood combines novelistic aspects with those of short stories to describe life in Winesburg. Consisting of twenty-four short stories, the book paints a picture of the inhabitants of winesburg through the narration of George Willard. George Willard harmonizes all the short stories to make up one continuous story. The writer introduces George as a young boy working as a reporter with the Winesburg Eagle. The book describes George’s progression from a young boy in the beginning, to an adult in the end.
The writer tells the story of George’s family, his adventures with women during adolescence, his relationship with peers and his maturation to an adult. At the end of the book, George is a mature individual who is ready to face the world and he leaves Winesburg (Anderson and Boyd, 328). All the characters in the story confide in George and therefore, he understands life in Winesburg better than any other person does. George is the only son of his father and mother.
George grows up lacking the warmth of a beautiful relationship with his mother (Howe, 31). They do not get along well. His mother is dissatisfied with what life has offered her in the years. Her life is full of vanity because she has not found true love in marriage. On the other hand, his father only has failed ambitions to show for the years he has lived. He often urges George to focus on achieving something in life. His mother wants the best for him but does not like the way his father pesters him to leave the hometown.
From the way his parents still guide him on the path of life, the reader realizes that George is but a boy at the beginning of the book. He has not chosen the exact thing he wants to pursue in life. Although he wants to leave the hometown, that will come after two years. George concentrates on his dreams and these define his world (Howe, 13). George is an adventurous adolescent. Emotions of love confuse and drift him easily. He wants to experiment with love and sex like any other boy his age.
He is romantically involved with several women. After he successfully seduces a girl and has sex with her, he expresses mixed feelings. At first, he gets a heroic feeling but later embarrassment crops up. These are the feelings that come with love and youth especially when adolescents engage in sexual matters to satisfy their curiosity. George experiences the illusions of love.
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