Interestingly, Sherwood Anderson prefaces his stories with a chapter entitled "The Book of the Grotesque" in which he implies that a grotesque character emerges when a man or woman takes one of the many truths of life and pursues it obsessively. And, it seems that small towns, such as Winesburg, Ohio, often produce such grotesque characters because of their limited opportunities and stultifying environment. In his stories, "Mother" and "Adventure," Mrs. Willard and Alice Hindman are two such grotesques.
- Both women become trapped by their losses.
1. Elizabeth Willard has aspirations of being an actress and traveling; however,
her uneasy desire for change, for some big definite movement to her life
is stymied by her marriage to Tom Willard, working as a maid in her dilapidated motel, and she has stagnated in Winesburg. Now, in the evenings she sits in her dilapidated hotel with her adult son and watches through a window that looks out on Main Street.
2. Alice Hindman also stagnates in...
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