Riding the Carousel | Skillshare Projects

Jenny Worsley

Making Stories.



Riding the Carousel


'Sophistication' & 'Death' | WINESBURG, OHIO | Sherwood Anderson 

I started out by choosing the three final tales of Winesburg, Ohio – Death, Sophistication and Departure. There were many themes that laced together – loneliness, adolescence, living, dying and time. Blended together with these themes was the tale of Helen and George. A tale of lust and love that never gets fulfilled. This really interested me against the backdrop of a County Fair. The Fair is so full of life and noise, and yet George shies away from it all – only able to reflect his feelings through Helen. The Carousel allowed me to stay true to the tale and represent these themes and give life to the troubling emotions that spun around in the head of a boy becoming a man. 


STEP TWO - Drafting The Screenplay

Grief sits behind a door. Life is an open Fairground.








A young writer's own mind goes round like a Carousel as he becomes isolated in his home town. Only the return of an old friend and the possibility of love will help simmer his internal battle.


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Themes and ideas

The Carousel: Spinning thoughts. George's mind is spinning with emotion. Lust, the possibility of loving someone, time, decay and grief. 

The Bandstand: George likes it because there aren't any doors. Throughout the book we are provided with images of open landscapes as an indication of escape from the town. Images about doors represent the isolations and loneliness of the story. 

Departure: The Fair lights goes out - represents the closing down of his life in Winesburg. 

Date: I am going writing the script without placing this in a certain timeframe. I don't feel the original tale and character is dictated by a date so feel it isn't integral to the emotions of the characters, so I wanted to leave this as a blank canvas for the reader. 

Adolescence: (Wiki) The thoughts, ideas and concepts developed at this period of life greatly influence one's future life, playing a major role in character and personality formation. Piaget describes adolescence as the stage of life in which the individual's thoughts start taking more of an abstract form and the egocentric thoughts decrease

I feel the need to consider elements from the stories Death and Departure to fulfil the character's narrative – they provide some powerful images that I couldn’t escape from. Particularly when he is seeing his dead mother and the thoughts of Helen are mixing his feelings of passion and grief. 

I've decided to change the Grandstand to a Bandstand due to the circular theme I am exploring and I'm using the Carousel spinning to visualise the crowded nature of George's mind. 

Brainstorming the text:

Narrative. The Train station provides the times and dates and is the first and last place we are taken to (a circular journey like a carousel).

We start with George and Helen contemplating youth and their lives. Helen plans to leave the town and so does George. On the eve of Helen moving away George is faced with his mother's death and stays. George struggles with the battling emotions of death and lust. 

George follows Helen at the Carnival when she returns from college. A small boy represents his childish ideologies. As Helen and George meet and move away from the crowds we witness their awkward adolescence as they fail to rekindle the fun of the year before. As they part ways we move to adulthood. The carnival is closing.

The end is as the beginning. A Train Station, a clock and a man who wants to dream.


I've tried to create a piece that reflects the movement of the Carousel - which also represents the changes you go through from Adolescence to Adulthood. The Carousel starts slow, picks up pace and then slows down again, but continues to spin. 

Tagline:  Grief sits behind a door. Life is an open Fairground. 


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