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Cruel Optimism And Grotesque In Winesburg, Ohio

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Cruel Optimism and Grotesque in “Hands”, Winesburg, Ohio
Sherwood Anderson (1876 – 1941), an American short story writer and novelist, is famous for subjective and self-revealing works. In “Winesburg, Ohio” (1919), a collection of short stories, Anderson wrote about citizens in Winesburg, Ohio; most of the characters are grotesque, misunderstanding, inability to articulate, and alienation in society. The grotesques should be pitied rather than dismissed. They have dream of ambition; they try to live for their desire; however, their dream that they embraced become a falsehood. In the link with Anderson’s idea, Lauren Berlant, George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor of English at the University of Chicago, has argued on the notion of “cruel optimism” or a phenomena that many people
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In the “The Grotesque: First Principles”, Geoffrey Harpham defines grotesque “almost as fluid as that of beauty, is good for one era-even one man-at a time.” (Harpham 461). Harpham supposes that the grotesque is not consistent for conceptual accuracy, can be changed its definition depend on what the author want to delivery to their reader. In the piece, “hands”,Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, Wing Biddlebaum represents for grotesques characters that are unconnected, unhappy and unfulfilled. For most of the stories in Winesburg, Ohio, grotesques defined as “the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood”. (Sherwood Anderson). A person made the truths for himself and each truth is a compound of many great specific thoughts. It is believed that all about in the world is the truths, and they are beautiful. The truths that people pursuit can be the truth of virginity, passion, wealth and poverty, thrift and profligacy, carelessness and abandon; however, finally, all of these truths turn out nihilistic
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