Winesburg, Ohio

Winesburg, Ohio

by

Sherwood Anderson

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David Hardy Character Analysis

The son of Louise Bentley and John Hardy, David has a troubled childhood due to his parents’ strained marriage. His mother behaves erratically and is only affectionate toward David on one occasion when he tries to run away from home. At twelve, David goes to live with his grandfather Jesse Bentley on the family farm. David’s rough upbringing has left him timid and afraid of nearly everything, but his presence brightens the lives of everyone on the Bentley farm. David stays on the farm until he is fifteen, when he is traumatized by Jesse’s attempted sacrifice of a lamb. He hits Jesse with a slingshot and, believing that he has killed his grandfather, flees the Bentley farm and never sees his family again.
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David Hardy Character Timeline in Winesburg, Ohio

The timeline below shows where the character David Hardy appears in Winesburg, Ohio. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
8. Godliness, Part II
Alienation Theme Icon
Grief Theme Icon
...story of Jesse’s daughter Louise Bentley, her husband John Hardy, and their son (Jesse’s grandson) David Hardy. David’s childhood has been unhappy thus far, as Louise’s bad temper, erratic behavior, and... (full context)
Grief Theme Icon
When David is twelve years old, Jesse demands that his grandson come live with him on the... (full context)
Faith, Fate, and Meaning Theme Icon
...difficult to focus on his personal relationship with God. His faith is only renewed when David comes to live on the Bentley farm. Jesse has spent most of his adult life... (full context)
Faith, Fate, and Meaning Theme Icon
Jesse soon becomes fixated on his old vision of serving God. One day, he brings David out into a clearing in the woods that reminds him of where the biblical figure... (full context)
9. Godliness, Part III: Surrender
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon
Alienation Theme Icon
Grief Theme Icon
...false alarm, Louise feels trapped, unsatisfied, and unsure of what she wants. When their son David is born, she is ambivalent toward him and unsure of whether or not she wants... (full context)
10. Godliness, Part IV: Terror
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon
Faith, Fate, and Meaning Theme Icon
As the narrative returns to where “Godliness, Part II” left off, David Hardy is fifteen years old and still living with his grandfather Jesse Bentley on the... (full context)
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon
Faith, Fate, and Meaning Theme Icon
...sacrifice so that God will tell him what the right path in life is for David. One day, Jesse brings David out to the same woodland clearing where his ardent plea... (full context)
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon
Faith, Fate, and Meaning Theme Icon
David believes that he has killed “a man of God” and must now become a man... (full context)