Sherwood Anderson’s “Hands”

  • Use the following sentence from the story to form a thesis for an essay about the effects of unsubstantiated charges, then write the essay. “Hidden, shadowy doubts that had been in men’s minds concerning Adolph Myers were galvanized into beliefs.”
  • The first sentence of the story says, “Upon the half decayed veranda of a small frame house that stood near the edge of a ravine near the town of Winesburg, Ohio, a fat little old man walked nervously up and down.” Does the word ravine suggest that Biddlebaum is living psychologically on the edge of a precipice? Does the location of his house suggest that he is isolated from humanity? Does the “half decayed veranda” suggest anything about Biddlebaum?
  • In your opinion, what kind of person was the man who beat Biddlebaum?
  • The narrator mentions that Biddlebaum ate bread laced with honey. Does eating provide a refuge for him from his worries?
  • What is the significance of the following sentence? ” 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.”

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