While Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio depicts small-town America through the lens of the Lost Generation, filled with feelings of disillusionment, uncertainty and loss, student’s today can identify with the struggles of his small-town characters, especially George Willard. These students are on the brink of facing the great unknown and making decisions to determine their future success, just like Willard. Upon finishing the novel, I would engage students in a discussion around the Sydney Harris conversation regarding happiness to prompt students to consider why George Willard ultimately decided to leave his hometown, in turn reflecting on the true meaning of happiness and ways of achieving it.
Level: Secondary English/language arts
Subject Area: American literature
Author: Sarah Mill