Why do you think the first confrontation came from the saloon keeper in the story "Hands" by Sherwood Anderson?

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that in making the first confrontation between the town and Adolph Myers originate with the saloon keeper, the author is making a statement about hypocrisy. There is great irony in the fact that the first to accuse Myers of doing evil should come from a person who makes his living from the sale of alcohol, which is so closely associated with vice. In addition, the saloon keeper settles his score with the schoolteacher violently and mercilessly, beating the frightened man's face with his knuckes and kicking him about the yard as he gives full rein to his wrath. The confrontation brings to mind the Biblical story recounted in John 8:7, when Jesus tells the religious scholars and Pharisees that only the one who is without sin should "cast the first stone" against the adultress. It is no accident that the man who begins the confrontation between the townspeople and Adolph Myers is someone who is steeped in evil himself. By using the violent saloon keeper as the instigator of Adolph Myers' condemnation, the author is commenting on the mindset of the townspeople, and, perhaps, the innocence of the accused.