Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

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Despite the fact that there are people who simply do not want to communicate with others, there are those who do not think or know that there are institutions that they can reach out to for help. In the novel Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, each character sees the world with a different perception of what life should be like, often a distorted perception, and their neurosis is caused by the isolation of the small town. Neurosis is the term for the distress of the mind causing a person to behave socially different from others; it is also seen as abnormal nature. Neurosis includes more specifically depression, mental confusion, dependency, perfectionism, negativity and obsessive thoughts .Usually, neurosis is caused by the common attributes of modernism such as isolation, search for truth, and gender consciousness; in general, modernism is the changes and reactions of the world. Due to lack of communication to the outside world, the people of Winesburg struggle to overcome their unique difficulties by holding in grief and coping life with their own beliefs. Without communication there is no guidance, forcing the individual to form his own misleading truths; one then must cling onto his truths as means of life. However, one can choose to either confront their problems or allow himself to be helpless.

A common form of neurotic behavior is caused by isolation, the separation of one from one or more people. In the short story “Adventure”, the main character Alice Hindman expressed her insanity through actions: “Getting out of bed, she arranged a blanket so that in the darkness it looked like a form lying between the sheets and, kneeling beside the bed, she caressed it, whispering words repeatedly, like a refrain”(101). Alice’s former lover Ned Currie had left to work in the city, and while he was in the busyness he had come across many different people to fall in love with; Alice, on the other hand, was shy and reserved, and because she did not want to let go of her first love, she committed to only loving Ned Currie: “The outer crust of her life, all of her natural diffidence and reserve, was torn away and she gave herself over to the emotions of love”(95). At that rate, Alice continued to wait for Ned to return, only eventually finding her self longing for just someone to be with, and later discovering that she had completely wasted her life over the wait for Ned instead of looking for new love.
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