Saturday, January 4, 2020

Analysis Of The Novel Light Of August By William Faulkner

Spring Author Report: Joe Christmas William Faulkner s novel, Light in August, is set in his fictional town of Yoknapatawpha County, depicting the rural South in the early 1900’s. It is a novel about humanity where Faulkner uses his characters to establish the necessity for human connection. Joe Christmas, the main character, experiences a tragic journey toward self-identity. Faulkner uses the character of Joe Christmas to expose how conflict with society and oneself unchains a darkness. Joe Christmas is alienated from a young age after being dumped at an orphanage, where his unknown racial identity begins an inner turmoil. Joe is left in an orphanage with no sense of identity, and ignorant of his mixed ancestry. While in the†¦show more content†¦After leaving the orphanage, Christmas is thrown into a disturbed family that is void of connection and love. The family environment he is exposed to is one of fear and cruelty. He gains no acceptance on account of religious values. When Joe sins by lying to his father about what he did with the money he gained from selling a cow â€Å"[Mr. McEachern strikes] Joe with his fist† (Faulkner 164). Mr. McEachern beats Joe for sinning - lying - and uses religion as a justification of abuse, thus creating Christmas’s warped view of religion. This complex relationship with religion places Joe in conflict with the societal norm. In his critical essay on Light in August, B. R. McElderry Jr.t analyzes the role of religion in the novel, highlighting how it leads to the brutalities in the novel. Christmas is exposed to â€Å"a religion of dynamic hatred, intolerance, and frustration† (Gale McElderry). Mr. McEachern provides Joe Christmas with a religious outlook that is the antithesis of religion. This fuels Joe’s conflict with society by placing him in further isolation from the town. Christmas forges his first connection with a young prostitute named Bobbie Allen, where his first instance of violence is seen. He begins having sexual relations with her, and soon tells her that he â€Å"thinks [he has] some nigger blood in [him]† (Faulkner 196). She is the only person Christmas has a remotely personalShow MoreRelatedEssay on Modernism and New Criticism2997 Words   |  12 Pagesthrown out all their old traditions. It was now time to concentrate on the present. New Criticism directly reflects this new way of thinking by finding the meaning of literary texts based on the texts themselves. You look at what is- the poem, the novel- and find what it means. In Lois Tyson’s book, Critical Theory Today, he constructs one question to define New Criticism: â€Å"What single interpretation of the text best establishes its organic unity?† (134). 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