A newcomer in town, Elmer is a young merchant whose family owns the Cowley & Son’s store in Winesburg. The Cowley family is branded as “queer” due to the bizarre array of things they sell in their store as well as their strange behavior and manner of dress. Elmer is an awkward teenager who is tall and lanky with protruding teeth. He feels ostracized by the townspeople of Winesburg and blindly pins his frustrations on George Willard, whom he views as representative of the town that alienates his family. George wants to befriend him, but Elmer is convinced that he is “condemned to go through life without friends.” Elmer’s loneliness drives him to steal money from his father, senselessly attack George, and run away from Winesburg.
Elmer Cowley Character Timeline in Winesburg, Ohio
The timeline below shows where the character Elmer Cowley appears in Winesburg, Ohio. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.