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Winesburg, Ohio Essay

1634 words - 7 pages

Despite the fact that there are people who simply do not want to communicate with others, there are those who do not think or know that there are institutions that they can reach out to for help. In the novel Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, each character sees the world with a different perception of what life should be like, often a distorted perception, and their neurosis is caused by the isolation of the small town. Neurosis is the term for the distress of the mind causing a person to behave socially different from others; it is also seen as abnormal nature. Neurosis includes more specifically depression, mental confusion, dependency, perfectionism, negativity and obsessive thoughts ...view middle of the document...

At that rate, Alice continued to wait for Ned to return, only eventually finding her self longing for just someone to be with, and later discovering that she had completely wasted her life over the wait for Ned instead of looking for new love. After gradually realizing her loss of time, she had already grown old and could not fathom that time will not return. The thought of the impossibility drove her mad as she felt cheated of life and love. Nevertheless, everyday Alice was given the chance to find a friend who she could speak to, someone whom she would not have to be afraid of falling in love with.
Enoch Robinson was another who isolated himself from the outside world, but for the reason of self-doubt: “Then he began to doubt his own mind. He was afraid the things he felt were not getting expressed in the pictures he painted… he stopped inviting people… and presently got into the habit of locking the door”(154). Enoch was a painter who did not agree with others’ interpretations of his artwork; at the same time, he did not know how to express his own thoughts to the others about his artwork, selfishly believing that no one would ever understand him:
The mild, blue-eyed young Ohio boy was a complete egotist, as all children are egotists. He did not want friends for the quite simple reason that no child wants friends. He wanted most of all the people of his own mind, people with whom he could really talk, people he could harangue and scold by the hour, servants, you see, to his fancy.(155)

This is an act of defiance which causes the separation and loneliness; he did not want people who do not have the same perceptions and he did, and it is quite unlikely that one can easily find someone of the same type. Enoch happened to be in that situation of lack of similar companions. Surprisingly, he later married because “He began to get lonely and wanted to touch actual flesh-and-bone people with his hands”(155). One may think that he has surpassed his childish stage, but later on, he found himself “choked and walled in by the life in the apartment, and to feel toward his wife and even toward his children as he had felt concerning the friends who once came to visit him”(156). Enoch’s incompetence to accept others as they are or to change his views prevent him from being in agreement with anyone; he felt that his wife and children did not understand him as the artists who visited did not understand him. This only aggravated his loneliness. His attempts to lead people into his life in hopes of similarities in thought was declined repeatedly, so soon he began to have imaginary friends who are very much like he is. “And Enoch was happy. Into the room he went and locked the door. With an absurd air of importance he talked aloud, giving instructions, making comments on life”(157). His fantasy ascertains his insanity; he finds companionship in a very abnormal manner, but because he expects too much of how others should be, this is his only choice to keep...

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