Published in 1919, Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson presents the lives of the residents of a small town through a series of related short stories. The main character who connects the stories is George Willard, an aspiring writer. The overall narrative, as related from a detached third-person point of view, follows the course of George’s character development from childhood to young adulthood.
“Mother” describes George’s relationship with his mother, Elizabeth Willard, in contrast to his relationship with his father, Tom Willard. There are several overlapping themes a reader can find in this chapter, including martyrdom, isolation, and ambition. These support the main underlying theme: the rite of passage a parent and child both must go through when a child grows up and decides to take responsibility for their own life.
The Willards operate the New Willard House, a hotel in Winesburg that Elizabeth inherited from her father. Both are reluctant to take care of the hotel. Elizabeth...
(The entire section contains 814 words.)