Critical Essay On William Faulkner

Critical Essay On William Faulkner-32
Oftentimes, a description of an object will be followed by a description of a character: In this way, the object and character, because they have been similarly described, take on the appearance of each other.For example, at the beginning of "A Rose for Emily," Faulkner describes the Grierson house: "It was a big, squarish frame house that had once been white, decorated with cupolas and spires and scrolled balconies in the heavily lightsome style of the seventies, set on what had once been our most select street." Following this, Faulkner then characterizes Miss Emily, and the "heavily lightsome" style of the house parallels her physical appearance: Her skeleton is "small and spare" — "lightsome" — yet, because of her slight figure, "what would have been merely plumpness in another was obesity in her" — "heavily lightsome." The woman and the house she lived in her entire life are inseparable.

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The first paragraph, one long sentence, portrays the town's present condition: The streets are paved, there is electricity, and black women still wash white people's laundry, but now they transport themselves and the laundry in automobiles.

The second paragraph, like the first, is one complete sentence, but it portrays Jefferson's past: The shade trees, which in the present have been cut down to make room for electrical poles, still stand, and the black women who wash for white people carry the laundry in bundles on their heads, not in automobiles.

Additionally, Faulkner emphasizes Sarty's psychological instability in this energized scene with descriptive terms that suggest Sarty's increasing confusion.

Even before Sarty hears gunshots, he is "wild" with grief as the "furious silhouette" of de Spain's horse thunders by.Another example of Faulkner's complex sentence structure is in "Dry September," in which a lynch mob led by John Mc Lendon kills Will Mayes, a black man who they suspect raped Miss Minnie, a white woman.In part, the weather is to blame for the mob's irrational behavior; it has not rained in 62 days.Because many of the short stories juxtapose past conditions with the present and include jumping between different times, Faulkner needed a narrative technique that would seamlessly tie one scene to another.His solution was to make an object or action in one scene trigger another scene in which that same object or action was present.Generally, the more complex the sentence structure, the more psychologically complex a character's thoughts.Such is the case in "Barn Burning," in which young Sarty Snopes is torn between being loyal to his father and doing what he innately senses is right.By juxtaposing these two paragraphs, with their lengthy descriptions of Jefferson, Faulkner establishes one of the major themes found throughout all of his short stories, the difference between the present and the past, and how that difference affects people in dissimilar ways.We are reminded of section V in "A Rose for Emily," in which that section's second paragraph, composed of a short sentence and then a very lengthy one, describes how old-timers, "confusing time with its mathematical progression," psychologically still live in the past even though a "narrow bottle-neck of the most recent decade of years" separates them from it.For example, in "A Rose for Emily," the new aldermen's attempting to collect Miss Emily's taxes prompts the narrator to recall another scene 30 years earlier, when Miss Emily's neighbors complain that a smell is coming from her property, and they want the city fathers to do something about it.Faulkner links these two scenes by simply using the same verb — "vanquished" — to describe Miss Emily's actions: "So she vanquished them, horse and foot, just as she had vanquished their fathers thirty years before about the smell." Stylistically, Faulkner is best known for his complex sentence structure.


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