Wash Williams Essay

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Anthony Ernest 4/15/12 Prof. Enders Novel Essay The novel “Winesburg, Ohio” by Sherwood Anderson discusses the theme of grotesqueness and how it can be applied to the different characters throughout the story. Sherwood Anderson’s view on what makes a grotesque is, “that it was the truths that made the grotesques.” A grotesque is someone that has come up with an idea on what life should be like for them and how they feel that they should be treated, their “truth”, these thoughts are usually very vague and complicated. When things didn’t work out perfect for these people who had picked a “truth” for themselves they took it out on everyone or everything around them. Things seem to just get worse for them because they have chosen to live their life by the fact that their preconceived notion didn’t come true. In the story of “Respectability”, Wash Williams is a man whose grotesqueness has manifested itself in his features and looks, and also in his mind, in that the way he view woman and the people of Winesburg. As a younger man Wash was very much in love with his wife, only to find out that she was cheating on him with multiple people. The elements that I believe to reflect his grotesqueness are, the plot of his story, himself as a character in general, and the symbolism behind him as a character. In the story of “Respectability” Wash Williams is a man that has been controlled by his grotesqueness in many a aspect of his life. He doesn’t have friends, he doesn’t have a life, and he isn’t even considered a clean person by the rest of the town. One of the reasons for this can be traced back to the plot line of his life. In his past Wash could be considered a somewhat nice person who liked to do nice things. He was happily married to his wife and thought that she was the best thing for him they did everything together. Until the day that he found out that she was

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