William Faulkner And Frank Mc Court: Emotional Writings

794 words - 3 pages

Many tragedies have occurred during the last century. William Faulkner believes the greatest tragedy of the last century is that modern writers no longer write of the spirit. On the other hand, in his memoir, Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt asserts the Catholic Irish childhood is far worse. However, both tragedies are related as McCourt’s emotional account of his misfortunes exemplifies the profound influence of literature that Faulkner desires other writers to have. In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, William Faulkner sets the standards of good literature that Frank McCourt adheres to through his writings of suffering and compassion.
William Faulkner claims it’s the writer’s duty to focus on the universal feelings of love, honor, pity, pride, compassion, and sacrifice. Unfortunately, modern writers no longer concern themselves with “the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself” (Faulkner). These authors only wish to illustrate the story, thinking the lesson lies in the conclusion. However, the greater morals remain with the characters’ responses to these adversities, so the story is only a vessel in which the “universal truths” are conveyed. Using the emotional appeals of the story, the author must “help man endure by lift his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.” All people have felt and understand these emotions, but by ignoring them, modern writers have not left a “scar” on readers. Faulkner hopes to enlighten these young writers so that they continue the meritorious work of helping man to endure. Without Faulkner’s standard of good literature, all emotion will be lost in modern informative literature.
Frank McCourt illustrates Faulkner’s definition of good literature as he emotionally connects with the reader through his childhood guilt and suffering. As a messenger boy, McCourt would deliver the telegram to Theresa Carmody and have intercourse with her, but suddenly, she died of “consumption” (McCourt 324). Through the language of the text, McCourt illustrates his guilt as he writes it was his “fault” and he was “responsible” for her death (324). Frank McCourt seeks religious retribution for his actions, a desire to absolve his sins he had never shown before Carmody’s death. Using religious diction in his statement of forsaking all he owns, McCourt shows the magnitude of the guilt his actions and religion cause him. McCourt’s suffering forces the reader...

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