Elizabeth Willard’s Grotesque

Winesburg, Ohio.

Specifically, I’m interested in your idea of what makes these characters into “grotesques.” For example, we decided that the “truth” Wing Biddlebaum clings to (that he shouldn’t touch people with his hands) is the thing that makes him into one of Anderson’s grotesques.

So, for today’s discussion, choose a one of the stories’ central characters (other than Wing Biddlebaum), and explain your thoughts regarding what makes him or her a grotesque. What “truth” has that character decided to cling to instead of all other competing truths, and how has that single-mindedness created a grotesque? Remember, I want you to use Sherwood Anderson’s very specific definition of “grotesque” here, not the more general one you may have encountered in daily life. (In other words, Anderson doesn’t use the term to mean “outwardly ugly.”)



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