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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Respect... All We Need is Respect!

Humans tend to judge people according to his or her appearance. Humans tend to judge people by the way they look and how they smell. Humans tend to generalize a class according to their own encounters. Such attitudes of humans lead to misjudgment and discrimination, which in turn makes everything unfair. Wash Williams of Winesburg, Ohio suffers from such kind of misjudgment from people around him. The women of Winesburg too suffer misjudgment from Wash Williams.

Wash Williams is a telegraph operator in Winesburg, Ohio. Wash Williams was comely man (Anderson). When he was young, he has been recognized as the best telegraph operator and has been promoted and his salary was increased. Until now, Wash Williams is still enjoying the ability he possesses.

However, those were just a part of his past. Today, Wash Williams looks different, “His girth was immense, his neck thin, his legs feeble. He was dirty” (Anderson). People mock at him and ridicule him for his scent and physical appearance. Such major change in his life has been caused by a misery he suffered from a woman he truly loved. This fact was not known among the citizens of Winesburg, except for the reporter, George Willard.

Wash Williams has been misjudged because of his smell and dirtiness. This fact has been proved in the person of Mrs. White, a banker’s wife. Mrs. White complained to the telegraph company for the dirtiness and abominable smell of Wash Williams’ office. This complaint is an insult to Williams that could have angered him but despite such, he just tore the complaint and laughed at it. The complaint in itself is an insult to Wash Williams because it is directed to his personality, which is independent from his job. Instead of termination, Wash Williams retained his job which proves that his appearance and abominable smell has no negative effect in the performance of his job.

Citizens of Winesburg have misjudged Wash Williams by comparing him to beast. Wash Williams may be dirty, unhealthy- looking, odorous and unpleasant but he does not act like a beast. Williams does not kill nor hurt people. William was not a threat to anyone for he was working peacefully in his stinky office. In fact, he disassociates himself to other people when he said, “I’ll have nothing to do with them” (Anderson). Wash William was not a beast for he is not scary, in fact people use to laugh at him.

Despite of all of these unfair judgment and treatment by the people of Winesburg, Wash Williams strongly withstand them all, as if he was unaffected. He continued to serve by being a telegraph operator and those oppressions never made him weak.

Nevertheless, Wash Williams has a flaw. Wash Williams hated women, called them “Bitches” and treated them as they are all the same as when he said:

“… I tell you there is something rotten about them. I was married, sure. My wife was dead before she married me, she was a foul thing come out a woman more foul. She was a thing sent to make life unbearable to me. I was a fool, do you see, as you are now, and so I married this woman. I would like to see men a little begin to understand women. They are sent to prevent man making the world worth while. It is a trick in Nature. Ugh! They are creeping, crawling, squirming things, they with their soft hands and their blue eyes. The sight of a woman sickens me. Why I don’t kill every woman I see I don’t know.”

Wash Williams encounter with one woman was enough for him to hate all women not minding the differences of women in terms of their characters. Wash Williams misjudged the women by generalizing all the women as the same as his wife.

However, Wash Williams was not to be concluded as such. After two years of marriage, Wash Williams started to develop an intense feeling of hatred to all women which could be a natural feeling and is an incomparable to the pain he suffered from a woman he truly loved.

Wash Williams married a daughter of a dentist. Wash Williams was comely while his wife was beautiful. Happiness filled their marriage more when Wash Williams was promoted. Wash Williams love to his wife was undoubtedly genuine and sincere because he bought a house for them to completely settle down. Wash Williams’ love to his wife was unfading as when he confessed to the reporter, “I loved her, I don’t claim to be a fool… I love her yet” (Anderson).

Wash Williams genuine love shattered into pieces when his wife betrayed him, “When after two years of that life I found she had managed to acquire three other lovers who came regularly to our house when I was away at work” (Anderson). What Wash Williams wife did was an act undeserving of forgiveness and should be punished. The number of men she was with while married to Williams could have aggravated his anger. Any man who would be in his position could have killed his wife. But Wash Williams is different.

Wash Williams’ gentleness was unconditional because he did not hurt his wife. Instead he returned his unfaithful wife to her mother and gave his earning to his wife. Even the payment of their house sold was generously given by Wash Williams to his wife without asking any reasons. Williams’ act was a kind of extraordinary kindness and gentleness.

Wash Williams was betrayed by the woman he genuinely loved and such depression could have lead to ending his own life but he never did because he was strong enough to overcome his misfortunes. Sadly, the effect of his experience has ruined his comely appearance into a disgusting being and has developed in him hatred to all women which hinders his feeling to fall for another woman. A chance of a second love was lost.

With all that Wash Williams had gone through, it can be drawn from there that Wash Williams is a man of courage, gentleness, patience and endurance. Courage for he firmly stood up despite the loss of his disloyal wife. He managed to continue his life even without anyone beside him. He conquered his despair. Gentleness for Williams never had her hands set on the body of his wife after discovering her unfaithfulness. He may have hated women but he never hurt them, except when once he struck the girl’s mother. Patience and endurance because he never had let his life and job be affected by the ridicules and spite that other people throw at him. Wash Williams is indeed, in any aspect, respectable.

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