A short story must have texture in order to allow the reader to capture full essence. Writer’s often stratigize realism in their work so visualization and relation is in grasp by their readers. The use of heavy description and dialogue accomplishes the sense of realism. “ The Untold Lie,” by Sherwood Anderson, displays the art of realism. While Anderson wrote “ The Untold Lie” in the early 1900s, his character Windpeter Winter shows the same charateristics as men in society today. Every man loves action, Old Windpeters death was very intense, “ He got drunk one evening in town and started to drive home to Unionville along the railroad tracks…
When the train struck and killed him… They said that old Windpeter stood up on the seat of his wagon, raving and swearing at the onrushing locomotive,.. “(245) Anderson creates a visual of Windpeters madness, then relates the affair to the young men in town who, “… had a secret conviction that he knew what he was doing and admired his foolish courage. Most boys have seasons of wishing they could die gloriously instead of just being grocery clerks and going on with their humdrum lives. “(245) Anderson’s concept of realism relates to the thrive of action by men.
Anderson continues with characters Ray and Hal who have a “ bromance” . He sets the scene using heavy description to allow visualization, “ Ray Pearson arose and stood staring. He was almost a foot shorter than Hal, and when the younger man came and put his two hands on the older man’s shoulders they made a picture. There they stood in the big empty field with the quiet corn shocks standing in rows behind them and the red and yellow hills in the distance, … “(248) The mention of the men making a picture, automatically creates an image.
Then in dialogue Anderson displays Hal seeking advice from Ray, “ Well, old daddy,… , come on advise me. I’ve got Nell in trouble. — I know what everyone would say is the right thing to do, but what do you say? Shall I marry and settle down?.. Ray couldn’t answer. “(248) Hal’s situation is still contraversal today, what is the right advice? Ray had no answer and he was married with children. Anderson’s realism is truely demonstrated in Ray’s desperation to tell Hal his opinion, “ Ray ran clumsily and once he stumbled and fell down.
“ I must catch Hal and tell him,” he kept thinking, and although his breath came in gasps he kept running harder and harder. As he ran he thought of things that hadn’t come into his mind for years — how at the time he married he had planned to go west to his uncle in Portland, Oregon — how he hadn’t wanted to be a farm hand, but had thought when he got out West.. “(251) Anderson allows the reader to run with Ray as he tries to save his friend. Ray did not want Hal to marry Nell. He felt it would ruin his life and future plans, just as the same situation restricted him.
Ray comes to a hault to Hal’s decision, “ You came to tell me, eh? … Well, never mind telling me anything. I’m not a coward and I’ve already made up my mind… I want to settle down and have kids. Ray Pearson… felt like laughing at himself and all the world,… Whatever I told him would have been a lie,… “(253) The dialogue and description allows the reader to relate, and this creates a visual for every reader. Thus proving, Anderson’s successful strategy of realism. The texture is so present in this story, the reader goes through every movement with Anderson’s characters. Capturing the realism in “ The Untold Lie. “
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