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The Parent-Child Dynamic: Ernest Hemingway Vs Winesburg

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  1. Introduction
  2. The parental figures in Winesburg
    1. Vague ideas for George
    2. What they ultimately want
  3. The idea of the child fulfilling the dreams of the parents
  4. The character of Virginia Richmond in The Thinker
    1. Her failure in her duties as a parent
  5. Ernest Hemingway's family dynamics
  6. The gore of birth
  7. The father in My Old Man
    1. The father's reluctance to pull the wool from his son's eyes
    2. Kircubbin's defeat of Kzar and the father
  8. The difference between the sentiments at the end of 'Indian Camp' and 'My Old Man'
  9. Conclusion
  10. Works cited

Ernest Hemingway's first collection of stories, In Our Time, published in 1925, was heavily influenced by his then friend Sherwood Anderson's 1919 collection Winesburg, Ohio. The most notable difference in the times in which the stories are set is Winesburg, Ohio is set before World War I, and In Our Time is set just after. The result of this is a feeling of potential in Anderson's work, and a feeling of hopelessness in Hemingway's. Anderson's characters are amusing in their ridiculous grotesqueness, such as Alice Hindman's drastic naked run through the streets to cure her loneliness, or Elmer Cowley's sudden unexplainable violent outbursts to show the world he ?ain't so queer?. Though these stories are tragic, they are not as tragic as Hemingway's which take the innocence of youth and break it down before the readers eyes, directly through tragedy, in which the final result is the death of that innocence. Both collections feature different stories about different characters, but they also keep coming back to a central character, George Willard in Winesburg, Ohio, and Nick Adams in Our Time.

[...] After his adventure on the train with his friends, Seth comes back and lies to her, telling her he only went along with it because of peer pressure, and because he did not want to quit something he had started. The whole town seems also to have this sense of Seth's superiority. They call him the ?deep and they say, ?He'll break out some of these days? (133). When Seth and George interact in Thinker,? it is interesting to see how though George is older; he is the one who has to constantly work to keep Seth as a friend. [...]


[...] Simply, she wants him to get out of WInesburg and explore the world. However, she does not want George to become successful in business, which is the path her father and husband have taken. Both parents have vague ideas for George, ideas that they are never able to articulate clearly to him, or the reader. This was done on purpose by Anderson, for two reasons. The first is to reflect the time he was writing about in comparison to the time he wrote it in. [...]


[...] Harold Krebs has come back from the war to his small Midwestern hometown a different person. His father is ?non-committal,? his mother is needy and nagging, but he loves his sister. Hemingway makes a point of going out of his way to show how much he loves his sister, even skating a line of incest by having the girl ask I really your and you love repeatedly. It is clear that Krebs loves his sister even more than his mother. Something in her innocence appeals to him. [...]

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