Triumph of the Egg

Topics: Chicken, Egg, The Egg Pages: 2 (796 words) Published: December 2, 2010
"The Triumph of the Egg" by Sherwood Anderson is a short story of a childhood recollection of a boy watching his father, his egg, and his failed ambition. It takes place in and around early Bidwell, Ohio, during pre-automobile America. The boy tells of his father, an otherwise simple, hardworking, farmhand, up until, at thirty-five, he met the boy's mother, a responsible country schoolteacher, that changed him for possibly the worse. He also introduces the son of a merchant, Joe Kane. The story starts out a little after the spring of the marriage of mother and father, when the narrator was born. The farmhand, at the advice of his wife, quits his job, sells his horse, and attempts to climb a shaky ladder. They rent a few acres of hard-boiled land a few miles from Bidwell and embark on a life of chicken raising. Living on the farm allowed the narrator to witness the circle of life of these chickens; starting out as eggs, a few weeks as a fluffy chick, sometimes a rooster, or then an ugly hen having to lay those eggs, where the cycle is complete and begins again. A few eggs did not quite make it out to complete the cycle, however, and hatched into these poor little deformed eyesores with multiple body parts, in which the father kept in jars of alcohol because, "people like to look at strange and wonderful things." After the failed attempt at chicken raising, the small family, and small family of oddities, sold it all, picked up, and traveled eight miles by foot and wagon to their second failed attempt at a business: a restaurant opposite a railroad station. When Joe Kane came into the empty restaurant one night while waiting for a late train to arrive, the father, again trying to fulfill his ambitious desires, took a crack at entertaining Kane with an egg. He tried to get the egg to stand up, tried to get the egg into a bottle, softening it with vinegar, both to no avail. A few frustrated failed attempts later, Kane left the establishment with a laugh, leaving the...
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