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. [...]
[...] You can watch this or not I'm going to sew up the incision I made” (17). At the point he says that, she is still, pale, eyes closed; she might be dead for all Nick knows, the worst of it has definitely passed. Dr. Adams' purpose of showing Nick the realities of birth has been fulfilled. The death of the father was not part of his game plan. In Old the father, like Dr. Adams, plays the role of a teacher to his son. [...]
[...] She represents what he used to be before the war, possibly what America used to be before the war, an Anderson youth full of potential, but almost grotesque in her obsession with loving her brother. When Krebs and his mother talk about the war, it is clear that the atrocities he has witnessed have come between them. She has been praying for him, she asks him if he loves her, and he says no. At this point the roles are suddenly reversed, Krebs' mother needs to be consoled like a child, and Krebs, who has just come back from a war and admits, don't love anybody” is the one who has to comfort her. [...]
[...] The idea of the child fulfilling the dreams of the parents does not appear again in Winesburg, Ohio, but a sense of the children's superior potential continues to echo throughout. In Godliness III: Surrender, Albert Hardy appears to be successful and content with his life, but pushes his two daughters toward more, saying “There is going to be a big change coming here in America and learning is the only hope of the coming generations” (89). He praises Louise Bentley, who is not his daughter, as a model of what his daughters should be pursuing, and education and a future. [...]
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