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"Hands" by Sherwood Anderson
Transcript of "Hands" by Sherwood Anderson
Significance Of the Title
The significance of the title "Hands" is the symbol of portraying the hands as a person and makes the entire point of the story to be about the consequences of this "person". That specific person in this story being the teacher known as Wing Biddlebaum. "Wing Biddlebaum, forever frightened and beset by a ghostly band of doubts, did not think of himself as in any way a part of the life of the town wher he had lived for twenty years" (pg 94)
The theme of this story is also known as "The Book of the Grotesque" , looking at the misunderstood citizens of Winesburg Ohio trapped in their loneliness by a hidden "truth" that slowly turns into a falsehood. "Wing Biddlabaum talked much with his hands. The slender expressive fingers, forever active, forever striving to conceal themselves in his pockets or behind his back" (pg 95)
Point of View & Its significance
The point of view of the story "Hands" would be in third person. Its important significance of this would be seeing things as a character who is not Wing Biddlebaum. "He was not known as Wing Biddlebaum, but went by the less euphonic name of Adolph Myers. As Adolph Myers he was much loved by the boys of his school." (pg 96)
Symbol or Mood
The mood of this story would be serious and produces sympathy and compassion for the main character being Wing Biddlebaum, a victim of gross injustice. "For twenty years Adolph Myers had lived alone in Winesburg. He was forty but looked sixty-five. Although he did not understand what had happened he felt that the hands must be to blame" (pg 97)
Wing Biddlebaum: A middle aged school teacher who lives on the outer part of Winesburg Ohio. His real name is Adolph Myers but changes his name to hide his identity from people in Pennsylvania who accused him of fondling a male student while he was teaching there.
George Willard: A newspaper reporter from the Winesburg Eagle, and Wing Biddlebaums only friend.
Angry Parent: A man who severely beat biddlebaum in the yard of the Pennsylvania school where he was teaching.
Setting and Its Impact
The action takes place in the 1890's on the outskirts of Winesburg Ohio. A flashback also occurs that takes place in a Pennsylvania community. Its impact makes the story more dark due to the fact that its set in older times.
Conflict and Its Resolution
The conflict of this story would be that he was accused (Wing Biddlebaum) of fondling a male student and was run out of town to then change his identity. The resolution of this would be that he lives with the guilt and becomes lonely in his own home with only one friend.
The writing style of this piece would explain his own writing techniques. Sherwood Anderson tells more then he shows and also provides a lesson for other readers as well. Its importance to the story begins to explain a flashback, and ends with present time.
Autobiography of the Human Race
This story connects to the human race because it shows how people are accused of pointless things everyday. It also shows how it drives people away from their jobs, family, and own hometowns.
The human heart in conflict with itself
The way that this story shows "the human heart in conflict with itself" is that Wing Biddlebaum feels alone, he also feels trapped in his own mind for what he was accused of. He stands on his porch day to day, and waits. He isnt in huge conflict with his heart, but he is in pure conflict with his own emotions, slowly feeding into depression.