Sophistication Essay

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In the following excerpt, Howe offers his view on George Willard's relation to the other characters in Winesburg, Ohio, as well as on the place of "Sophistication" in that story cycle.

The burden which the grotesques would impose on George Willard is beyond his strength. He is not yet himself a grotesque mainly because he has not yet experienced very deeply, but for the role to which they would assign him he is too absorbed in his own ambition and restlessness. The grotesques see in his difference from them the possibility of saving themselves, but actually it is the barrier to an ultimate companionship. George Willard's adolescent receptivity to the grotesques can only give him the momentary emotional illumination described in that lovely story, "Sophistication." On the eve of his departure from Winesburg, George Willard reaches the point "when he for the first time takes the backward view...

(read more from the Critical Essay #6 section)

This section contains 454 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sophistication Study Guide
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