Death In The Woods Essay

1365 words - 5 pages

A Critical Analysis of Death in the Woods "Death in the Woods" is a story about a woman that lives a hard life. When she was a girl she worked for a German farmer and his wife. When she was a little older she married a man named Jake Grimes thinking she would get away from the crude work of the farmer. She soon finds out that life doesn't get any better for her than it already was.Later in the story she is found dead by a rabbit hunter in the woods (Cleveland)."Death in the Woods" seemingly concerns a farm woman, Mrs.Grimes, who, only in her early forties, seems old and probably psycotic. She doesn't have a first name in the story, and, indeed, very little is known about her life at all in the story. It's like no one knows who she is or why she is there (Arnold 528-531).The narrator is a man who remembers and recreates the stories' events from his childhood to later years? He tries to put together the few things that he actually does know. Through this re-creation, he searches for meaning and completion to his story. He needs for his events to make sense (Arnold 528-531)." The old woman was nothing special(Arnold 528)," the narrator recalls. In fact, she was one of the nameless ones that hardly anyone knew, but she was in his thoughts as he recalled in the story. In her youth, the young woman had been a bound girl, practically a Cleveland 2 slave to a harsh German farmer and his wife. Her job was to feed the stock and to cook for the couple. It seems her life with them was very unhappy (Arnold 528-531).Inspite of her cruel work and family, she met a man named Jake Grimes. Jake Grimes, was the preppy "Playboy" son of a failed sawmill owner who offered to marry her and get her away from the farmer and his wife, and she accepted. Mrs. Grime's life, however, was hardly an improvement over the former one. She soon became a servant first to her husband and later to her son (Arnold 528-531).Anderson wrote several versions of the tale before he felt that he had come close to telling it like he wanted, and one of the most obvious narrative devices employed in the story is the narrator's difficulty in saying exactly what he means. It may be argued that, in fact, the story is concerned more with narrator than with the old woman whose death serves as inspiration for the narrator. The unnamed narrator is a grown man looking back to his childhood, and there is considerable joking concerning the actual events that he recounts (Arnold 528-531).Some other stories Sherwood Anderson is famous for is Winesburg, Ohio.Winesburg, Ohio is the best-known and is an American classic that was published in 1919. He is also known for The Triumph of the Egg, Horses and Men, Marching Men, and other short stories. Andersons most popular story is "I Am a Fool" from Horses and Men. Here, a young horse groom describes a humiliation caused less by his own clumsiness with the opposite sex than by the gulf of social class and education which separates him from the girl. The story...

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