"Hands" in Today's Society

2107 Words9 Pages
The invalid words of one person can ruin another person’s life forever. Anyone can be falsely accused of sexual child abuse at any time. Once his name is attached to the accusations, whether he is innocent or not, he will be seen as a child molester in his society. In Sherwood Anderson’s short story “Hands,” Adolf Myers’s way with his young male students was misinterpreted by the townspeople as signs of child molestation only after a young boy falsely accused him of doing so. Being wrongfully accused caused him to be beaten and exiled out of his society to live a life full of anxiety. Although this story was written in 1916 it still applies to society today since this type of exiling still occurs to those accused regardless of innocence or guilt. Adolph Myers “was meant by nature to be a teacher of youth” and was “much loved by the boys of his school” (Anderson 1). Meyers’s dedicative actions such as when he “had walked in the evening or had sat talking until dusk upon the schoolhouse steps” with the boys of his school, were once praised (Anderson 3). At first “the stroking of the shoulders and the touching of the hair were part of the schoolmaster’s effort to carry a dream into the young minds” (Anderson 3). But after the accusations from the young male student “through the Pennsylvania town went a shiver” and “hidden, shadowy doubts that had been in men’s minds concerning Adolph Meyers were galvanized into beliefs” (Anderson 3). Everything that Biddlebaum had said or done was now seen as obscene. It is not uncommon for children to make up some statements however with accusations such as these in addition to other boys accounts that “he put his arms about me” and “his fingers were always playing with my hair,” Myers was automatically deemed guilty (Anderson 3). Today, even if a person is proved innocent in a court of law he is still seen as guilty in the eyes of
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