Hands Essay

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In the following essay, Maresca shows how different symbols in the story "Hands" are used to portray or reveal hidden meanings.

Dialogue, a common vehicle for characterization and theme in fiction, is conspicuously limited in Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio. The characters rarely indulge in conversation with one another and rarely debate a problem within themselves. Thus, the novel, which attempts to study the isolation of mankind, achieves a success of the highest order by isolating the reader from the characters at least on the verbal level. Anderson's message, however, is not that man can never learn to know his fellow man, but rather that conversation is, at best, an elementary and often a false indication of a man's personality. Kate Swift, the school teacher in Winesburg, tells reporter George Willard that he must learn "to know what people are thinking about, not what they say." To learn what...

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This section contains 1,714 words
(approx. 5 pages 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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