"SOPHISTICATION" - a screenplay by Kaitlin Duffy based on Winesburg, Ohio by the great Sherwood Anderson | Skillshare Projects



"SOPHISTICATION" - a screenplay by Kaitlin Duffy based on Winesburg, Ohio by the great Sherwood Anderson

Took advantage of today to fix up my screenplay a bit more. I switched the dialogue around in some parts then cleaned up some confusion in the flashbacks. Also fixed one more spelling error.


Draft 1:


Draft 2


Draft 3:


Final Draft!!!:


Hey y’all. So I work a lot, as it turns out. Like WAY too much. Which is why it took me so long to get this up. But alas! Here is my first draft (missing pt. 3). 

I remained true to the text probably 80%---hopefully as Anderson would have wanted---but did add some character and situational emphasis to really convey 1) George’s loneliness among the vast crowds, 2) him and Helen’s history, and 3) just the weirdness of the townspeople in a place as small as Winesburg. I also am adding a little ditty at the end that shows George’s overcoming of his feelings of loneliness earlier that were reinforced back into place by Helen’s mere presence.  

SO much love for this class. I learned a TON the side about the literary origins of this collection by Anderson (not to mention his particularly interesting life; he left his wife and kids to write Winesburg, Ohio!!!) whilst doing research for the screenplay on top of the invaluable guidance / production process as outlined by James and Vince. It was all just great!

Obviously I would love feedback, so holla if you have the time to check it.

Thanks to Franco for making this class possible, and good luck to all the talented writers who took part.

xo Kaitlin


An Ohio village boy on the road to manhood with ambitious desires for city life strolls through his small town’s fair recalling memories of a girl among the fluff, longing for understanding and the human touch.  


When first assigned to choose between the three proposed books of short stories/poems presented for the class, I was immediately drawn to Winesburg, Ohio, mostly because I am a Cleveland native and studied in the small town of Athens, spending the better part of my life in the Midwestern state.

Fictional Winesburg, that is actually based off of a town on the Lake Erie coast named Clyde, Ohio, surfaced many memories of walking alone in the middle of nowhere despite those gigantic dreams raging in your mind—those painful memories alongside—making me empathize much with George just as he wanders about the Winesburg Fair feeling isolated among the crowds.

Anderson’s recurring theme of Cleveland as the “big city” along with the characters’ dreams and aspirations to leave the small perimeters of Winesburg to somehow “make it” or “live the life” there that they just cannot achieve in a small town for an interesting scenario, especially considering two main characters George and Helen’s both separate aspirations of being cosmopolitan while simultaneously united by this mutual understanding that is only mere human, that despite all of the beautiful “things” in the world, take away those things and what is left is the human desire to be loved and experience the human touch, portrayed perfectly in “Sophistication”. 

Selected Text

"In the darkness in the grand-stand Helen White and George Willard remained silent. Now and then the spell that held them was broken and they turned and tried in the dim light to see into each other's eyes. They kissed but that impulse did not last. At the upper end of the Fair Ground a half dozen men worked over horses that had raced during the afternoon. The men had built a fire and were heating kettles of water. Only their legs could be seen as they passed back and forth in the light. When the wind blew the little flames of the fire danced crazily about.

George and Helen arose and walked away into the darkness. They went along a path past a field of corn that had not yet been cut. The wind whispered among the dry corn blades. For a moment during the walk back into town the spell that held them was broken. When they had come to the crest of Waterworks Hill they stopped by a tree and George again put his hands on the girl's shoulders. She embraced him eagerly and then again they drew quickly back from that impulse. They stopped kissing and stood a little apart. Mutual respect grew big in them. They were both embarrassed and to relieve their embarrassment dropped into the animalism of youth. They laughed and began to pull and haul at each other. In some way chastened and purified by the mood they had been in, they became, not man and woman, not boy and girl, but excited little animals."


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