Winesburg, Ohio

Winesburg, Ohio


Sherwood Anderson

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The Writer Character Analysis

An unnamed elderly writer who only appears in the novel’s introductory story. The writer has a prophetic vision of disturbing figures whom he writes about in “The Book of the Grotesque.” In this book, the writer warns that becoming possessed by a singular truth will in turn make that truth meaningless and lead to the destruction of the individual. This is a fate that ironically befalls many of the characters throughout the novel such as Wing Biddlebaum, Doctor Reefy, and Wash Williams, who all cling to preconceived notions with a conviction that erodes any sense of happiness and fulfillment.

The Writer Quotes in Winesburg, Ohio

The Winesburg, Ohio quotes below are all either spoken by The Writer or refer to The Writer. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Signet edition of Winesburg, Ohio published in 1993.
1. The Book of the Grotesque Quotes

It was the truths that made the people grotesques. The old man had quite an elaborate theory concerning the matter. It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood.

Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Writer Character Timeline in Winesburg, Ohio

The timeline below shows where the character The Writer appears in Winesburg, Ohio. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
1. The Book of the Grotesque
Grief Theme Icon
In the small town of Winesburg, Ohio, an elderly writer hires a carpenter to raise his bed so that he can awaken to see the... (full context)
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon
The writer often lies awake in bed, preoccupied by the idea that his heavy smoking will kill... (full context)
Faith, Fate, and Meaning Theme Icon
One night, the writer has a dreamlike vision in which the youthful presence within him is leading a procession... (full context)
Faith, Fate, and Meaning Theme Icon
...and each truth thus becomes a falsehood. The narrator points out the irony of the writer’s dedication to writing hundreds of pages on this idea, the subject possessing the writer’s mind... (full context)