Analysis of I'm a Fool

Length: 4 Pages 926 Words

In Sherwood Anderson's introduction to his story I'm a Fool, the author builds into his character's vivid description of the background events leading up to the plot a great amount of detail and emotion. This seems to indicate a sensitivity of the character to that stage of his life. The story relates a defining moment for the character, especially given the vehement self-condemnation of the un-named character at the end of the story. Written from a first person viewpoint, and set in early twentieth century Ohio, the story revolves around the summer and fall working experiences of a nineteen-year old boy working with horses in the racing business. The plot specifically hinges on an encounter with a girl attending a race. After getting a Saturday off from work to attend a race, the character treats his ego. His level of pride had been building in the description of the events leading up this point in the story, and seems to indicate that his pride will be a focus of the conflict. The character recognizes genuine potential in himself, but this slowly grows to an inflated self-analysis. The conflict in the story begins with an encounter with a man who repulses the protagonist with a reflection of pride: "In the bar there w Continue...


Upon meeting the group and being invited to sit next to the girl Lucy, he chastises his arrogance, which has lead to the uncouth smell of whiskey on his breath. A specific result of the encounter with the man was that the protagonist had downed some whiskey to impress or intimidate the man. Is he going to let this hard lesson tear him down, or will he learn from it and move on Or is he simply overstating himself as a warning to others The author leaves the answers to these questions to us. In this part of the plot he relates a chance lost. " In the story he refers to these events as a "hard jolt". At the race the protagonist meets a girl who is out for the day with her brother Wilbur and his date. I don't care nothing for working, and earning money, and saving it for no such boob as myself. Only when his interest in the girl Lucy is returned does he begin to regret his lies. He's a big fool - that's what he is. Several opportunities to reveal his dishonesty passed throughout the day, yet the protagonist hesitates. His lamentation of his hollow pretenses concludes the n the beginning of story. I like a man to be dressed up, but not to go putting on that kind of airs. Only in the end of the story when the protagonist is lamenting the events of the story does the old man resurface: "I wish I had that fellow right here...I'd smash him for fair.... as a fellow with a cane and a Windsor tie on, that made me sick to look at him.