Twenty-seven-year-old Alice Hindman has lived in Winesburg all her life. She works as a clerk in the dry goods store. When she was a young woman of sixteen, she had a romance with Ned Currie. Just before he went away to the city to make his career, they had sexual relations. When he first got to the city, Ned wrote to Alice regularly, but eventually he forgot about her. For a long time, Alice waited for him. Even when she acknowledged he was not coming, she could not give herself to another man. Now, realizing that she is becoming a hermit, and desperately needing love, Alice tries to reach out to people, but she becomes restless. One night, she runs out in the rain naked as an attempt to feel alive. She accosts an old, deaf man on the sidewalk, but then she is appalled with what she has done and crawls home.
Like Elizabeth Willard, Alice is limited both by her too-firm adherence to a belief and by her relationship with a man. Women are doomed to tie themselves to a man in order to try to find a connection with someone, but that is ultimately disappointing and makes them depressing grotesques.
Winesburg, Ohio: Novel Summary: Adventure