Winesburg, Ohio

Winesburg, Ohio

by

Sherwood Anderson

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Tom Foster Character Analysis

A sixteen-year-old boy from Cincinnati who moves to Winesburg with his grandmother. Despite having a rough upbringing and losing both of his parents, Tom is a soft-spoken, observant boy who is easily made happy and is well-liked by everyone in town. His shy, sweet nature makes him lonely and somewhat naïve, and he is resistant to sex and other adult aspects of life. Tom gets drunk for the first time in an attempt to connect with the suffering that he sees in other people. George Willard helps Tom during his drunken stupor and Tom claims that he slept with George’s love interest Helen White. He later admits that this is not true, but that he feels as though he did sleep with Helen and that getting drunk has taught him valuable life lessons.
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Tom Foster Character Timeline in Winesburg, Ohio

The timeline below shows where the character Tom Foster appears in Winesburg, Ohio. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
22. Drink
Grief Theme Icon
Tom Foster , a sixteen-year-old boy from Cincinnati, moves to Winesburg with his grandmother after his mother... (full context)
Alienation Theme Icon
Grief Theme Icon
Tom Foster adapts well to life in Winesburg. He and his grandmother get jobs as servants for... (full context)
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon
Alienation Theme Icon
Despite his good intentions and likable personality, Tom Foster is irresponsible. He loses his job as the banker’s stable boy because he does not... (full context)
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon
During Tom Foster ’s upbringing in Cincinnati, he was exposed to crime, sex, and the “ugliness” of life.... (full context)
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon
George Willard finds Tom Foster wandering drunkenly around town and takes him into the Winesburg Eagle printshop. Tom tells him... (full context)
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon
Alienation Theme Icon
Tom Foster again tells George that he had sex with Helen, and George becomes angry. Tom puts... (full context)