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Light in August by William Faulkner and Fate - Assignment Example

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This paper "Light in August by William Faulkner and Fate" focuses on William Faulkner - one of the 20th century most influential writers. The writer sets the Light In August novel in the context of the 1930’s difficult economic times that also entailed significant racial segregation. …
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Light in August by William Faulkner and Fate
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Light in August by William Faulkner and Fate
William Faulkner is one of the 20th century most influential writers. The writer sets the Light In August novel in the context of the 1930’s difficult economic times that also entailed significant racial segregation. The novel explores these contexts by describing the life experiences of Lena Grove and Joe Christmas. The novel is open to several thematic interpretations because of the multiple experiences that the characters undergo. It is notable that the story plots the life of ordinary individuals facing numerous struggles that eventually stifle them. Light In August reveals the hopelessness that intertwines with the human condition.
Joe Christmas and Lena Grove reveal as characters with fuzzy backgrounds. Their beginnings are despicable and this contributes towards their fate. Lena Grove falls in love with a man, who abandons her when she becomes pregnant. Lucas Burch seems as a mildly ambitious man whose direction in life is similarly blurry. In the same sense, Joe Christmas has a contemptible background that trails him towards his castration. The novel only mentions his adopted family and the unpleasant relationship that leads him towards murdering his foster father.
The depiction of the term street shows how the characters’ attempts at solace ruins them. The street symbolizes the unending search for belonging and self-acceptance that Lena and Joe experiences. For instance, Christmas kills the man who adopted him thereby triggering abandonment by Bobbie Allen and the family (Faulkner 80). When Joe steps off the porch of his former house, he escapes into the streets for fifteen years. In a quest towards finding personal meaning, Joe participates in vain wanderings that reflect his restless nature. The streets possess the allure of potential places for quenching Joe’s inner turbulence. This, however, is a mirage that offers limited answers about his identity. Similarly, Lena possesses hope when she goes in the streets, but she encounters travails that almost break her.
The story also entails the burdens of conflicting aspirations and identities that people hold. Although Joe is seemingly white, he has a strong feeling that he is an African American. This means he can neither identify himself as a white nor classify himself as an African American person. Miss Burden inherits the expectations of her family that borders on pride and luminous legacy. Miss Burden, therefore, commits herself to her heritage’s cause that concerns with racial equality and slave abolition. Her charity eventually leads her into romantically falling for Joe, as she tries helping him achieve a stable self-esteem. Joe eventually murders her as he misinterprets her concerns at improving him. Reverend Hightower is confused about looking up to his heroic cavalryman grandfather image and the grandfather’s real life that ends in unpleasant legacy. This is because the romanticized grandfather becomes defrocked.
Indeed, the novel reveals the hopelessness that intertwines with the human condition. Joe and Lena possesses despicable backgrounds that play a role in determining their fate. In this sense, a hazy background is synonymous with an unclear future. Joe’s beginnings, which set off in the killing of his foster father, play a huge role in his eventual castration. In addition, the symbolism of the street as a place that offers hope, but fools the character, highlights an inescapable ugly fate for the characters. Besides, the novel manifests the conflicting identities and aspirations that bind the characters. This occurs as Burden and Hightower are confused about the place of their families in the world. The novel describes the life of absurdity that punishes those who struggle and rewards those who are privileged.
Works cited
Faulkner, William. Light in August. New York, NY: Random House. Read More
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