William Faulkner And The Question Of Race

1359 words - 5 pages

William Faulkner was an odd, but outstanding man. He lived a life as an alcoholic. However, through these dark times Faulkner created outstanding literary works. These works tell how we should live, and not let ourselves become engulfed in the everyday battles between family, racial, and sexual differences. Faulkner received a Nobel Prize in 1949 for his powerful and unique contribution to the Modern American Novel ("The Nobel Prize in Literature 1949").
Through a variety of characters and situations, William Faulkner presents, questions, praises, and condemns the South's view of social standing. “Faulkner well understood his society's system of class, caste, and race -- wealthy landowners, middle-class whites, poor whites, 'white trash,' and then blacks (who were actually not on the bottom of the ladder but separate from the rest)-as he also well understood the problems inherent in such a system.” (Wilhelm, Hamblin, Stoneback, Peek, Skaggs, Reading, Urgo, Vanderwerken, Doyle, Carvill, Tebbetts, Luscher, Watson, Kinney, Brodsky, Zender, Rowley, Wharton, and Hahn 75).
Faulkner understood that, the Old South (before the Civil War) was built on a social and economic system that could survive only by maintaining the many roles in every segment of society. The wellbeing of the whole depended on the separation, and of each of its parts: Carefully guarded divisions between classes, genders, and races kept the structure intact. Thus, it was extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get out of your social class. After the Civil War, the circumstances changed, and yet the New South retained much of the old traditions on which it was founded. Faulkner examines the Old South and New South, how they change, how they fail to change, and how the reality often differs from the appearance (Wilhelm, Hamblin, Stoneback, Peek, Skaggs, Reading, Urgo, Vanderwerken, Doyle, Carvill, Tebbetts, Luscher, Watson, Kinney, Brodsky, Zender, Rowley, Wharton, and Hahn 75).
Faulkner sets out to prove that the social difference between blacks and whites may be more complicated than the first glance implies. One of the best examples occurs in Go Down, Moses. Buck and Buddy McCaslin chase their runaway slave, Tomey's Turl. Who we learn is also their half-brother. This story ends happily, but shows the impossible respect for "family ties" and "family honor." Buck and Buddy also provide an example of how reality often differs from first glance: They own slaves -- including their half-brother -- yet they live in the slave quarters while allowing their slaves to live in the mansion, where the locked front door keeps no one in because the backdoor is left unlocked (Wilhelm, Hamblin, Stoneback, Peek, Skaggs, Reading, Urgo, Vanderwerken, Doyle, Carvill, Tebbetts, Luscher, Watson, Kinney, Brodsky, Zender, Rowley, Wharton, and Hahn 76).
After World War II, the spread of Communism threatened the United States’ way of life. Many black people in the South liked the thought of...

Find Another Essay On William Faulkner and the Question of Race

The Conflict of Intercultural Values in Stories by William Faulkner and James Joyce

2190 words - 9 pages This literary study will analyze the conflict of intercultural values that are found within the modernist and traditionalist views represented in these two stories by William Faulkner and James Joyce. The evolving conflict of traditional values versus modern values found in early 20th century Dublin reveals the often pompous and closed society that exists within the microcosm of family life. Joyce’s main character Gabriel is a character that

William Faulkner And Barn Burning Essay

1322 words - 5 pages . John Mays) Sarty Snopes in William Faulkner’s Barn Burning, explores these questions of human meaning, which ultimately classifies this modernistic short story. The dichotomy and differences between Sarty and Abner Snopes creates an undeniable tension within the character of Sarty, while he battles himself in order to decide which is more important: that which is right, or sticking to your own blood. The characters of Sarty and Abner embody the

The Sound and the Fury, Caddy Compson by William Faulkner

2255 words - 9 pages development; however, unrealistic demands can cause a decline of values and human suffering of unfulfilled expectations. Works Cited Barker, Deborah E., and Ivo Kamps. "Much ado about nothing: language and desire in 'The Sound and the Fury.' (Special Issue: William Faulkner)." The Mississippi Quarterly 46.3 (1993): 373+. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 30 Dec. 2013. Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury. New York: Modern Library, 1992. Print

The Power of Land: Barn Burn by William Faulkner

1855 words - 7 pages . Nigger sweat. Maybe it ain't white enough yet to suit him. Maybe he wants to mix some white sweat with it” (Faulkner 805). Abner is attempting to belittle the house that his son thought so highly of by declaring it built by “niggers”. In his bitter remark, Abner reveals his is expressing his disdain for both the black race and his own profession. Abner sees sharecropping as being similar to slavery. As shown earlier in the story, the initial

Analysis of The Barn Burning by William Faulkner

915 words - 4 pages Analysis of The Barn Burning by William Faulkner The short story “Barn Burning” by William Faulkner is about a ten year old boy, Sarty Snopes, who has grown to realize that his father, Abner Snopes, provides a life of “despair and grief” as he refuses to accept the “peace and dignity” generated by the ties with other people. In essence, Sarty is faced with the dilemma of choosing between his family (his blood) and moral conscience of

Conflict of the past and the present in "a rose for emily" by William Faulkner. A short story analysis

756 words - 3 pages The Past and the Present Conflict In: "A Rose for Emily"The story "A Rose for Emily" " by William Faulkner takes place in a small town in the south of the United States after the civil war. One of the aspects we could look at the story is through the conflict of the past and the present. Emily Grierson, Colonel Sartoris, the Board of Alderman, and the Negro servant represent the past ant the traditions of the old South. Homer Barron, the new

Analysis of A Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner and The Yellow Wallpaper, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

3436 words - 14 pages In the short stories “A Rose for Emily” written by William Faulkner and “The Yellow Wallpaper”” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the protagonists experience mental illness, loneliness, feelings of being in control of their lives, and feelings of being insane. Both main characters struggle against male domination and control. The two stories take place in the late 1800’s - early 1900’s, a time where men’s place in society was superior to

William Faulkner and Frank McCourt: Emotional Writings

794 words - 3 pages 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

Biographical Influences Essay of William Faulkner

654 words - 3 pages role in his writings. William Faulkner was heavily influenced by his culture, love of his family, and passion for hunting to produce some of his most compelling stories. Many people how the culture of the South and Southern history has shaped and influenced Faulkner’s works. I have examined this theory by looking at an important figure in Faulkner’s life, the "Old Colonel," Faulkner’s great-grandfather. Although the "Old Colonel

A summary, analysis and evaluation of "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner and comparison between "A Rose for Emily" and "Barn Burning" by William Faulkner

721 words - 3 pages disappears and is never seen nor heard from again. Ten years pass and Emily dies. The townspeople were curious and went to her home to see where she had lived her life. Upon their arrival they find a corpse lying on a bed in a mysterious locked room upstairs. On the bed, next to the corpse there was a "long strand of iron-gray hair" (36).In "A Rose for Emily," William Faulkner tells a story about a young woman who is overly influenced and controlled by

Family and Human Relationships in The Sound and Fury by William Faulkner

1415 words - 6 pages Family and Human Relationships in The Sound and Fury by William Faulkner William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury is a novel about a family ties and relationships. Within the novel Faulkner examines family and human relationships and reactions. He presents a southern dysfunctional family, which believes that it has been plagued by problems. The basis for character, plot and title comes from an excerpt from Shakespeare's Macbeth

Similar Essays

William Faulkner And The Metamorphosis Of Literature

991 words - 4 pages “Read, read, read. Read everything-- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it.” - William Faulkner. Born in September of 1897, William totally re-wrote classical literature in the 19th century, even beyond his death in July of 1962. Faulker’s work was crawling with sub-plots, details, hidden inspiration, and key elements from

William Faulkner: The Faded Rose Of Emily

1738 words - 7 pages In "A Rose for Emily," William Faulkner's use of language foreshadows and builds up to the climax of the story. His choice of words is descriptive, tying resoundingly into the theme through which Miss Emily Grierson threads, herself emblematic of the effects of time and the nature of the old and the new. Appropriately, the story begins with death, flashes back to the near distant past and leads on to the demise of a woman and the traditions of

Biography Of William Faulkner Essay

10826 words - 43 pages William Faulkner was a prolific writer who became very famous during his lifetime but who shied away from the spotlight as much as possible. He is remembered as both a gentlemanly southern eccentric and an arrogant, snobbish alcoholic. But perhaps the best way to describe Faulkner is to describe his heritage, for, like so many of his literary characters, Faulkner was profoundly affected by his family.Faulkner's great grandfather, Colonel William

"The Sound And The Fury", By William Faulkner. "The Death Of A Family"

2906 words - 12 pages bitch always a bitch, what I say." Jason is speaking of his niece, but it could very easily be his sister. In the way his hatred functions, he does not always clearly distinguish between the two of them. As noted earlier, Benjy and Quentin love Caddy, however twisted and self-seeking that love may be. Jason's one great sustaining passion is ". . . immortal hatred and study of revenge."In the Compson Appendix, Mr. Faulkner calls Jason the first