Winesburg, Ohio

Winesburg, Ohio

by

Sherwood Anderson

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Wing Biddlebaum / Adolph Meyers Character Analysis

A strange, socially-isolated field laborer whose only friend is George Willard. Wing gets his name from his uncontrollably restless hands that move incessantly like the wings of a caged bird. A former schoolteacher in Pennsylvania, Wing is full of boundless ideas and would often deliver impassioned lectures to his male students while touching their heads and shoulders. As a result, Wing was accused of molestation, run out of town, and fled to Winesburg under a new name. Wing’s soiled reputation and hyperactive hands create a deep sense of shame that alienates him from the rest of the town.

Wing Biddlebaum / Adolph Meyers Quotes in Winesburg, Ohio

The Winesburg, Ohio quotes below are all either spoken by Wing Biddlebaum / Adolph Meyers or refer to Wing Biddlebaum / Adolph Meyers. 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:
2. Hands Quotes

In Winesburg the hands had attracted attention merely because of their activity. With them Wing Biddlebaum had picked as high as a hundred and forty quarts of strawberries in a day. They became his distinguishing feature, the source of his fame. And they made more grotesque an already grotesque and elusive individuality.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Wing Biddlebaum / Adolph Meyers
Related Symbols: Hands
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

“You must try to forget all you have learned,” said the old man. “You must begin to dream. From this time on you must shut your ears to the roaring of the voices.”

Related Characters: Wing Biddlebaum / Adolph Meyers (speaker), George Willard
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

In the dense blotch of light beneath the table, the kneeling figure looked like a priest engaged in some service of his church. The nervous expressive fingers, flashing in and out of the light, might well have been mistaken for the fingers of the devotee going swiftly through decade after decade of his rosary.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Wing Biddlebaum / Adolph Meyers
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
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Wing Biddlebaum / Adolph Meyers Character Timeline in Winesburg, Ohio

The timeline below shows where the character Wing Biddlebaum / Adolph Meyers appears in Winesburg, Ohio. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
2. Hands
Alienation Theme Icon
Wing Biddlebaum paces on the porch of his dilapidated house, watching a wagon of his fellow... (full context)
Alienation Theme Icon
Wing, who is haunted by self-doubt, does not feel like he fits in with the other... (full context)
Alienation Theme Icon
The narrator states that Wing’s story is “a story of hands.” Their constant erratic movement is similar to that of... (full context)
Alienation Theme Icon
When Wing arrived in Winesburg, his hands attracted attention because their constant motion allowed him to pick... (full context)
Coming of Age, Independence, and Manhood Theme Icon
Alienation Theme Icon
Faith, Fate, and Meaning Theme Icon
George had almost reached the point of asking Wing about his hands once before. The two were walking in the fields when Wing began... (full context)
Alienation Theme Icon
Grief Theme Icon
Faith, Fate, and Meaning Theme Icon
The narrator shifts to tell the story of Wing’s hands. Twenty years ago, Wing had been a schoolteacher in Pennsylvania where he was known... (full context)
Alienation Theme Icon
Grief Theme Icon
Faith, Fate, and Meaning Theme Icon
Twenty years later, in the present, Wing is still living in Winesburg. After pacing on his porch, Wing goes back into the... (full context)