Analysis On William Faulkner
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Analysis of William Faulkner
William Faulkner is one of the most famous American writers and also the winner of Noble Prize. William Faulkner is the creator of many short stories, poems, essays, screenplays, and novels, but he is most famous for his short stories and novels, that he wrote in Mississippi. There are numbers of famous short stories that he wrote but Dry September and That Evening Sun are most appealing ones. His work was mainly published during 1920s and 1930s. Themes on which William Faulkner has mainly wrote are Southern traditions, community life, inequality, love for land, racial discrimination and injustice (Child,et,al,2018). He is one of the most versatile writers of his time as he was never taken into consideration by the opposition, who used to criticize him for writing in favor of the Black Americans. Faulkner is also famous for exploring the new areas, new experiences and most importantly he is best-known for coping new technical challenges in literature for which he is admired the most.
The short story Dry September is written by William Faulkner, in which he has discussed about a lady named Minnie Cooper, who was alone and unhappy and she spread rumors that a Black man named Will Mayes has attacked and raped her. One the main thing that could be seen in this short story is that this story happened in a rural area of South where discrimination between Black and White was at its peak. William than in this story introduced a character named John McLendon who gathered other people and decided to kill Will Mayes and ultimately they regret upon their act of killing innocent Will Mayes. They also regret, why they did not bother to investigate the truth. In this short story, it could be seen that William Faulkner, spots a light on the attitude and behavior of people living in that time and society when he wrote this story. William has highlighted many themes in this story such as the theme of rumor and theme of power of violence but the main themes on which he torched a light, for criticizing the society are justice, judgment, race, society, and class.
By taking a look at this short story, it could be observed that William Faulkner was a very courageous writer who was willing to spot the evils of his society even when he has to go against rest of the society. In this story, William has tried to highlight oppression, reluctant and heated passion that Black people used to face for decades. William is criticizing the White Americans of that time who apparently achieved a sophisticated and significant level of civilization but in a real sense they were still behaving like the caveman who was uncivilized and does not know how to treat his human fellows despite taking into account caste and color, he belongs.
In this story, William has endowed many animal traits with the human. Looking at the setting of this story, it could be said that William has tried to spot a light on the conflict that was there between the Black and White Americans after the World War I (Mills,et,al,2018). Another thing that could be seen in this story is that there is no need to cry over spilt milk as all the people who killed Will especially John McLendon regretted that they have killed innocent man. William through this story has indicated, a time when Black Americans were being targeted and there was no one to question why Black Americans were being discriminated and killed. The killing of Black Americans was not a matter of consideration in that time and particularly in South America, where Black Americans were living in terror and fear.
It could be seen that William is reflecting the thoughts of White people of that time who were considering Blacks as animals and deprived them of basic human rights. After studying William, it could be analyzed that racial discrimination has been one of the main issues of American since long and Black people were treated as servants by the White Americans. Williams also criticized the blindness of White Americans as they used to call themselves the most civilized nation and society but they were so ill-mannered that they even forgot how to treat humans.
That Evening Sun is another famous short story by William Faulkner in which he has portrayed a character named Quentin Compson, who is a twenty-four years old man and recalls the changes that he has observed in his town Jefferson, Mississippi during the last fifteen years. The narrator is pointing towards the changes that he noticed since he was a child and says that time has changed many things. Quentin pointed towards the modernization of the South Americans by saying that in the past Black Americans used to do laundry but in present, city laundry has taken the place of “Negro women”. By taking a look at the story and noting the words “bloated and bloodless” that Quentin used in this story, it could be said that the changes that he witnessed are negative and wished to have the old days and ways of life in South again (Snead,et,al,2017). By analyzing this story, it could be said that Quentin though admired the skills of Black women for carrying the laundry; still, he considered them as second citizens.
The main character Quentin even admitted the fact that the Black Americans have improved their lives but still, he pointed towards the time when the Blacks used to have very few rights. The industry of laundry that used to be run by the Black people is of great significance as it shows that they are still suffering from the harsh and threatening consequences of slavery even after decades of the abolition of slavery. Carrying of laundry was viewed as a game by the White children on the other hand; it was a work of great physical labor for the Black Americans. By taking a look at another character of the story, named Nancy, violence against the Blacks could be witnessed easily. William Faulkner has intentionally portrayed Nancy’s face in such a way that the people could clearly see violence against the Black people. Missing teeth of Nancy depicted that she was victim of physical violence. In this short story, William has mainly used themes of fear, innocence, and inequality.
This story was written in 1900s and it could be seen that at that time Black Americans were struggling to raise their standard of life, but their achievements were not much appreciated by the White people as it could be seen that the main character Quentin also goes back to the past when the Blacks were the only servants, though still there are many Black servants. William Faulkner explored various kinds of fear that Black people have as they were living in old South, where the violation of Black’s rights was at peak that could be seen in the character of Nancy. Another major thing that has been analyzed in this story is that there was a tension between White and Black that caused fear to permeate throughout the town. From the setting that has been mentioned in this story, it could be seen that Blacks were powerless before the Whites particularly in the early 1900s. There could be seen the reaction and nervousness of White people when they felt that Blacks were heading towards a better life (Birjandy,et,al,2018). One of the main things that could be seen during the time when this story was written is the inequality that used to be done between the Black and White people. Blacks were targeted everywhere in South America and treated inhumanly by White people. There is no doubt that William in his story has depicted discrimination that Black people were facing but at the same, there could be seen a positive point that William has highlighted. Blacks were struggling hard for improving their lives.
By taking a look at both the stories of William Faulkner, many things became clear and one of these things that could be witnessed from both the above-mentioned stories is that William is raising his voice for the rights of Black Americans. This fact cannot be denied that his voice was not enough for making a visible difference in the lives of Black Americans, through the power of his pen, he did what was his duty being a writer. In both mentioned stories it could be seen that William has described the exploitation of the rights of the Black Americans and how they had been treated since ages (Jansson,et,al,2018). William Faulkner also talked about the discrimination that Black Americans have faced in the 19th century. So as a whole, it could be concluded that William has questioned the society in both of his stories by pointing towards their inhumane behavior. Faulkner was one of the greatest writers who wrote about the lives of Black people, taking into account that his writings were a huge question mark on his identity because he was not himself Black. Moreover, his writing made him alienated from the other people of his lineage because of his increased approach towards Black.
Birjandy, Parviz, and Sarvenaz Khatib. "The Creation of an Intercultural Learning Experience in EFL Contexts." Journal of English Language Teaching and Learning 10.21 (2018): 59-82.
Child, Benjamin. "Astonishing Byblows: Rurality, Snopesism, and Populist Modernization in Faulkner's Frenchman's Bend." MFS Modern Fiction Studies 64.2 (2018): 286-310.
Jansson, Mats. "In the Traces of Modernism: William Faulkner in Swedish Criticism 1932–1950." Humanities 7.4 (2018): 96.
Mills, Michael P. "Dry September Revisited." Miss. LJ 87 (2018): 339.
Snead, James A. Figures of division: William Faulkner's major novels. Routledge, 2017.
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