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In Sherwood Anderson's "Sophistication," two young people achieve a degree of...

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carlos822 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 11, 2013 at 4:46 PM via web

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In Sherwood Anderson's "Sophistication," two young people achieve a degree of self-understanding. What discovery does Eveline make in Eveline by James Joyce, that shows she too may be growing towards maturity?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 12, 2013 at 6:14 AM (Answer #1)

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Sophistication, by Sherwood Anderson, part of his Winesburg Ohio novel but considered a story in itself, uncovers the aspirations of George Willard, a budding writer and Helen White, the girl he loves but who, he is aware, is considered too good for him. He makes up his mind to confront Helen and make his feelings clear. They come to a realization, together, of what they want which enables them both to move forward from there:

Man or boy, woman or girl, they had for a moment taken hold of the thing that makes the mature life of men and women in the modern world possible.

Eveline, part of the Dubliners series by James Joyce, is concerned with Eveline's inner conflict as she looks forward to leaving "home." Her realization that it is a huge decision as she "tried to weigh each side of the question," reflects her growing maturity. Eveline's indecision is evident when she considers the hard life she has had and the ongoing cycle of life-"She would not be treated as her mother had been"-but now, in her confusion, "she did not find it a wholly undesirable life." She recognizes that it is not as straightforward as going to " Buenos Ayres where he had a home waiting for her." From a desperate desire to "escape," but having considered her responsibilities," A bell clanged upon her heart." Eveline understands that it is not just a great, big adventure but a life-changing event and her growing maturity is evident. 

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