A Study of Gothic Writings in Winesburg, Ohio毕业论文
2.1 Gloomy and horrifying settings————————————————————2
2.1.1 Bleak and dreary outside environment of Winesburg, Ohio————————-2
2.1.2 Interior structures of rooms ————————————————————-3
2.2 Characterization of grotesque people—————————————————–4
2.2.1 Twisted bodies —————————————————————————-4
2.2.2 Peculiar and inexpressive hands ——————————————————–5
2.2.3 Strange eyes ——————————————————————————-5
2.3 Plot conflicts———————————————————————————6
2.3.1 Patriarchal sexual relations ————————————————————–6
2.3.2Unrealizable individual pursuit of traditional idyllic life—————————–7
Works Cited ————————————————————————————-10
A Study of Gothic Writings in Winesburg, Ohio
As the pathfinder of American modernist novels, Sherwood Anderson (1897-1962) enjoys a special status in the history of American literature. He is considered by William Faulkner as “the father of writers of our generation”(虞建华 110). Though born in a poor family in Ohio, located in the American Midwest, Sherwood Anderson knew some of the pleasures of pre-industrial American society. He left his hometown to make a living in Chicago at a very early age. After years of efforts, he became very successful. It was in 1912 that he abandoned his commerce and became one of the rebellious writers in the group called the “Chicago Renaissance”, which was the great turning point in Anderson’s life. At the same time, his hometown was experiencing a sudden and almost universal turning from the old handicrafts towards modern life of machines, which is regarded as the prototype of the background in Anderson’s novels.
Sherwood Anderson’s influence upon the development of the modern American short story as a genre and later American writers is of great significance for bringing a new tremor of feeling to American short stories. Due to his special experiences, Anderson was well aware how lonely and twisted people were. So he always sought to discover people’s inner world as well as the cause of the distortion of human nature. Anderson’s greatest achievements lie in creation of short stories, and he had published lots of collections of short stories, of which Winesburg, Ohio, The Triumph of the Egg and Death in the Woods are the most famous. Winesburg, Ohio, published in 1919, is a collection of inter-related short stories consisting of altogether 25 short stories. Most stories in this collection tell the unfortunate events that happen to 23 grotesques who live in Winesburg, Ohio. As the milestone of Anderson’s creation, Winesburg, Ohio provides him with solid foundation of his literary reputation.
Stories in Winesburg, Ohio are clearly characterized by gothic features. In the environment description, a remote town is always chosen as the background of stories so as to reflect the dreary life; characters are often featured with physiological defect and psychological distortion; plots are always fabulous and even sentimental to some extent. Through applying gothic writing technique in Winesburg, Ohio, Anderson succeeds in creating a batch of grotesques characterized by distorted mind and weird behaviors. This thesis will analyze the gothic writings in this collection from the aspects of gloomy settings, grotesque characterization as well as plot conflicts, with the emphasis on how Anderson demonstrates the alienation of people caused by the fundamental change of the town from a traditional configuration into a modern commercial one.