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An Awakening

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An Awakening

by Sherwood Anderson

Genre: Drama
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising


For an hour Belle Carpenter and the young reporter walked about under the trees in the sweet night air. George Willard was full of big words. The sense of power that had come to him during the hour in the darkness of the alleyway remained with him and he talked boldly, swaggering along and swinging his arms about. He wanted to make Belle Carpenter realize that he was aware of his former weakness and that he had changed. “You will find me different,” he declared, thrusting his hands into his pockets and looking boldly into her eyes. “I don’t know why but it is so. You have got to take me for a man or let me alone. That’s how it is.”

Up and down the quiet streets under the new moon went the woman and the boy. When George had finished talking they turned down a side street and went across a bridge into a path that ran up the side of a hill. The hill began at Waterworks Pond and climbed upwards to the Winesburg Fair Grounds. On the hillside grew dense bushes and small trees and among the bushes were little open spaces carpeted with long grass, now stiff and frozen.

As he walked behind the woman up the hill George Willard’s heart began to beat rapidly and his shoulders straightened. Suddenly he decided that Belle Carpenter was about to surrender herself to him.


Part of the stories which make up “Winesburg, Ohio”, there’s a lot of quiet, internal sexual seething going on, but not a lot of action per se. The story involves a rather tortured trio of folks; one guy loves the girl but hasn’t the courage to make a move towards her, until one night he goes too far. The sexual relations aren’t very palatable today (the woman’s the victim), but the psycho-torment is still very interesting. Caveat; there are several musicals based on the stories of “Winesburg, Ohio” already.


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