George as Progressive Youth in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio
This chapter examines the attitudes displayed and the choices made by George Willard, the protagonist in Sherwood Anderson's 1919 book Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small Town Life, as a reflection of the “generation gap” between the Progressive generation and the Gilded Age generation. It first analyzes the character of George Willard and places the town of Winesburg in context before turning to Anderson's depiction of the challenges inherent in the historical progression of a family economy model to one of sheltered childhood. It also explains how George Willard's story foregrounds the significance of adaptation to an evolving idea of childhood in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
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