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Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, a modernist collection of interconnected short stories that critics dismissed as Freudian primitivism, is actually an insightful meditation on the emotional basis of consciousness. Grotesque characters, resembling subcortical brain regions, interact with protagonist George Willard, the town reporter, in ways that reproduce the interactions of the hindbrain and limbic system with the neocortex. Interpreting Winesburg as neurological allegory foregrounds its thematic inquiry into the status of biological determinism during the heyday of modernism and social constructivism. Such an approach reveals the common ground, as well as the differences, between psychoanalytic and neurological explanations of consciousness.