In this remarkable collection of short stories, Sherwood Anderson delivers a series of crafty and moving character drafts through the narrative voice of George Willard, the town reporter of Winesburg, Ohio. While the stories seem, unconnected there is a joining theme. The profound lesson of the book is that unhappy folks are often trapped by themselves, rather than the conditions they blame. Their experiences and life stories become truths, which can be demolished and recreated as their life events unfold. I personal feel that the bookWinesburg, Ohio should be a required read for teens/young adults in middle school or high school. Anderson has a unique way of drawing his reader in with his mix of writing style. Anderson captivates his audience using the plot not as his main focus, but rather the lonely lives of each carefully selected character he’s developed. He manages to use one main character to tie the characters together, but writes in both third and first person to give you the feeling of reading into each person’s life, rather than having the main character witness everything that’s happening. While some people have found Anderson’s story sort of pessimistic, I think it was just the thing society needed in the time he wrote the book. When one reads Winesburg, Ohio they’ll realize Anderson must have read up on his Sigmund Freud before he wrote it. He writes in reference to sexual desires, loneliness, and the need to break free of their small-town mind set through-out the book. While some may view the book as negative because of his ongoing themes of loneliness and suppression, I think it’s something that everyone deals with in their lives and just need to face. Living in the United States is not all flowers and sunshine, there is always a miserable cloud hovering all over this place. Anderson does a fantastic job of showing what every human feels deep inside and demonstrating the fact that each person needs to figure out where they’re going, and what they’re meant to do to lead a happy life.
The story that I felt the most towards was “Tandy.” She was a young girl who lived with her father, Tom Hard. Her father wasn’t a great person and ignored his daughter. When someone new came to the small town of Wineburgs to quit drinking (and didn’t succeed). This stranger cried to Tom, Tandy, and another character named George, explaining that he was sad and addicted tomorrow. He also told Tandy to be Tandy. After awhile Tandy’s father called her name and she began to cry. She then demanded to be called Tandy Hard, taking her dads last name. She didn’t want to give that up. That is what life is about, finding your place. Although the story and the entire book is dark, there were many parts that showed love.