Walt Whitman in Winesburg: Willing liminality and Sherwood Anderson's “Winesburg, Ohio”
Krzemien, Alixandra V.
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis examines the ways in which Walt Whitman’s poetry, especially “Song of Myself,” is helpful in reading Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio . In his poetry, Whitman describes liminal scenes—spaces with boundary lines such as rooms, spaces in nature, and even his own body—but he also transcends those spaces and even creates his own. Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio tells the stories of the inhabitants of a town who live extremely isolated and alienated lives; the literal liminal spaces that they occupy make them liminal figures. I show that the act of reading these liminal spaces makes transcendence possible. What is more, I offer that Whitman treads what we read: he continues to appear in new liminal scenes as a guide who shows us how to see such spaces not as limiting or restricting but as thresholds and connecting spaces as we move toward ever-shaping perceptions as readers of the world around us.