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Children and Youth During the Gilded Age and Progressive Era$
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James Marten

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479894147

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479894147.001.0001

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Ohio Departures

Ohio Departures

George as Progressive Youth in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio

(p.187) 9 Ohio Departures
Children and Youth During the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

John James

Tom Ue

NYU Press

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.

Keywords:   childhood, Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio, generation gap, Gilded Age, family economy, sheltered childhood, adaptation, Progressive Era

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