Winesburg, Ohio

Too Much Commitment: The Paradox of Marriage in Adventure 10th Grade

In “Adventure” from Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, the protagonist, Alice Hindman, embodies the truth of marriage. As Alice’s story demonstrates, however, marriage leads to two seemingly contradictory traits when it is taken as a personal truth to be lived. On the one hand, marriage means that Alice is committed, because she is loyal to Ned Currie, even though he is not interested in her anymore, and she refuses to forget about him. On the other hand, her insistence on marriage also leads Alice to isolation, as she ages all alone, not allowing anyone to enter her life. Thus, Alice is a grotesque, according to Anderson’s definition of the term, because in trying to embrace marriage, Alice becomes both committed and isolated, portraying the paradox at the heart of marriage and showing that no truth is simple once it is lived.

In insisting on marriage, Alice embodies commitment in her approach to love and sexuality. At the beginning of the story, when Alice and Ned Currie become sexually intimate, Ned told her he loved her and that they would live happily together. Having that idea stuck in her head, Alice waits for Ned, feeling she is committed to him and never losing faith in being with him, even though he is far away....

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