Winesburg, Ohio: Biography: Sherwood Anderson
Born September 13, 1876, Sherwood Anderson was a witness to the many changes that urbanization and industrialization would bring to the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. Much of his childhood was spent in Clyde, Ohio, which would later be the model for the fictional town of Winesburg.
Sherwood's father, Irwin, was irresponsible in work and unappreciative as a husband. Sherwood, on the other hand, was fond of his mother and would spend his young manhood trying to be the opposite of his father: a responsible businessman. When his mother died in 1895, Sherwood left small-town life and moved to Chicago. In 1898, he entered the army and served during the Spanish-American war, although he did not see combat. In 1900, he returned to Chicago, where he went to work as an advertising salesman and writer. In 1904, he married the first of his four wives, Cornelia.
For the next eight years, he was a model businessman and family man. He went into business for himself in Elyria, Ohio, and started a family with Cornelia. However, he was clearly still harboring literary aspirations, as he wrote four books during this time.
In 1912, Anderson suffered a nervous breakdown. Upon recovery, he left his business and his family and moved to Chicago. There, he joined with other writers as part of the "Chicago Renaissance." Over the next few years, he would write many short stories, including those that would eventually make up his most important work, Winesburg, Ohio.
Winesburg, Ohio was published in 1919, and it marked the zenith of his writing career. It was well received and Anderson was considered one of the most important writers of his time. Unfortunately, he was never able to replicate its success with other books. However, he was a mentor to important American writers such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway at the start of their own careers, so his impact on American literature has been long-lasting.
Anderson would continue to write throughout his life. He also became a supporter of the working classes and stood behind workers striking for better working conditions. In 1941, Anderson died in Panama. During his lifetime, he had four wives, two careers, and one masterpiece
Winesburg, Ohio Study GuideChoose to Continue
- Winesburg, Ohio
- A Man of Ideas
- An Awakening
- Godliness I - VI
- Paper Pills
- Respectability, The Thinker & Tandy
- The Book of the Grotesque
- The Philosopher & Nobody Knows
- The Strength of God & The Teacher
- The Untold Lie
- Character Profiles
- Metaphor Analysis
- Theme Analysis
- Top Ten Quotes
- Sherwood Anderson
- Essay Q&A