Hands by Sherwood Anderson Literary Analysis Essay

Words: 1150
Pages: 5

Hannah Gandelman
April.9, 2014
Literary Analysis on Hands by Sherwood Anderson The short story Hands by Sherwood Anderson is one of the twenty-two stories in the book Winesburg, Ohio. This story specifically focuses on the psychological trauma of a teacher after being falsely accused of molesting his male students. This alone brings up the topics of homosexuality and sex, which was considered scandalous at the time it was published in 1919.Although this is true, it did not stop the public from finding this piece of literature as fascinating. In Hands, Anderson’s form of symbolism, narration, and themes are what make this piece modern and unique. Anderson’s use of symbolism to help convey the meaning of the story is what
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It is the job for a poet”(250). By using this method in the narration the reader is urged to accept the “invitation”. The tone and point of view in the story alone can almost become thematic themselves. It gives a sense of mystery but at the same time the reader becomes one with Wing, the main character. Hands would have not had the same theme as it does now if it was not for the choice of narration/point of view.
Anyone who has read stories in the book Winesburg, Ohio, not just Hands, will notice that loneliness and isolation are major themes throughout the book, but there is always a glimpse of hope. In Hands specifically these themes are first brought up in the first three paragraphs, the narrator says, “Wing Biddlebaum, forever frightened and beset by ghostly band of doubts, did not think of himself as in any way a part of the life of the town where he had lived for twenty years”(250). Wing has not been able to and probably won’t ever find a place back into society, even though the town he currently lives in knows nothing about his earlier life. Wing fears that his attempt to be part of the society would only backfire on him, and cause the town to exile him in a similar way. This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t long for company and relationships, on the contrary he gets nervously excited when George Willard, his only friend, spends time with him, “In the presence of George Willard, Wing Biddlebaum, who for twenty years had been the town mystery, lost