Sherwood Anderson's "Paper Pills"

Categories: Sherwood Anderson

Sherwood Anderson, in the title “Paper Pills,” tries to persuade us, the readers, in believing the short story is going to be about some kind of drug. Anderson in the other hand turns every thing around to tell us a story about two people falling in-love. The story begins with a description of Doctor Reefy and a brief description of the young woman. Then he tells the reader about the “twisted apples” (71)that represent doctor Reefy.

Anderson begins characterize Doctor Reefy in his opening paragraph.

The reader is given some facial and body features of the doctor. The “… white beard a huge nose and hands” (71) that Anderson puts as a description, making Reefy seem old, ugly, and worn out to the reader. The doctor kept to himself after his wife died. Reefy started smoking a cob pipe and sat in his empty office by a window that he never opened. On a hot summer day the doctor tried to open the window but when the window did not budge, Reefy did not attempt to reopen the dusty window again.

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Reefy was so devastated about his wife passing away that he did not care about him self for over ten years.

The young woman was well off and needs to find a husband to help her take care of the farm that she inherited from her parents. She was tall, dark, and beautiful with lots of money. As the unwanted “twisted apples” are left on the tree to rotten so is Doctor Reefy left to waste away.

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The “twisted apples” are left because they do not keep up with the standards and are not very appealing. Reefy is not wanted anymore because he is a “twisted apple.” He as aged and is not attractive to the people of Winesburg. These deformed apples are not appreciated because of what they look like not because of there taste. The taste of these apples are sweeter than the nice round apples that are picked so that they could be sold in the city.

As shoppers and apple pickers do so do people do when finding a mate. If the “twisted apple” never is tasted, how does a person find out it’s flavor? The woman in the story falls in love with the doctor. She has plenty of opportunities but she chose the doctor. The doctor was very kind to her and did not make any passes at her. The woman after seeing to young attractive men that were totally different was turned off by their passion for her body. She new that her love was a “twisted apple.”

Therefor she went to the doctor office to see him; after she walked in the doctor new she was not there for medical reasons. He to was in-love with this beautiful young woman. The twisted apple is in everyone. If a person does not taste the twisted apples, how are they going to know if they like the taste of these apples? Sherwood Anderson brings out the character of Doctor Reefy out to be the “twisted apple” that has not been tasted in his essay, “Paper Pills.” In the end the apple and the doctor are found to be sweet.

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Sherwood Anderson's "Paper Pills". (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

Sherwood Anderson's "Paper Pills"

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