Winesburg, Ohio

Winesburg, Ohio

by

Sherwood Anderson

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Winesburg, Ohio: 6. Nobody Knows Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
One night, after a day of work at the Winesburg Eagle, George Willard hurries nervously out of the office. He has been deliberating all day about whether or not to go through with an “adventure” that he has been planning but has not reached a conclusion. Running through town, George resolves to stop overthinking and simply act.
Whereas George Willard is usually plagued by a quintessentially adolescent sense of self-doubt, his resolve to pursue this adventure without overthinking marks George’s first steps toward taking risks and challenging himself.
Themes
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon
George arrives at the house of Louise Trunnion and calls out to her. He had received a letter from Louise that read “I’m yours if you want me.” The two meet outside and, though Louise is hesitant and George is nervous, he persuades her to have sex with him by assuring her that no one will find out. Walking back into town, George is paranoid that he hears a voice calling his name. He laughs it off and assures himself that Louise “hasn’t got anything on me” because no one knows about their encounter.
George’s encounter with Louise Trunnion is, presumably, his first sexual experience with a girl. His all-consuming desire for Louise is paired with a nagging sense of guilt and fear that people will view him differently if they find out that he slept with her. Rather than valuing Louise as an individual and respecting that she may have changed her mind since inviting him to pursue her, George is only concerned with what she can offer him in the short term.
Themes
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon