Hands Essay

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In the following essay, Bort examines "Hands," the first story in Winesburg, Ohio, by tracing the recurrent theme of loneliness and desperation born of the failure to communicate.

A recurrent theme of the literature of recent times has been the difficulty and even impossibility of communication . . .

Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio is vitally concerned with the difficulty of understanding. The characters in that work are all desperately trying, in a strange variety of ways, to make meaningful contact with someone or something outside themselves. The opening chapter, "The Book of the Grotesque," explains how each tried to live by one or perhaps several truths and closed his eyes to the immense world of reality beyond the margins of that province.

These distortions of reality labelled truths immure each character within the isolation of his selfhood but they do not preclude an attempt to escape from this inner loneliness. Any...

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This section contains 400 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Hands Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Hands from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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