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William Faulkner - Dry September - Literature review Example

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The paper "William Faulkner - Dry September" concerns William Faulkner's short story Dry September. The paper focuses on describing implications, such as the association of blood with the abundance of the moon, major incongruities, which is in Miss Minnie Cooper's name, and other peculiarities…
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Extract of sample "William Faulkner - Dry September"

Download file to see previous pages The title is that of oppressive heat, dryness, and dustiness, which, as critic Howard Faulkner observes, is indicative of "the spiritual drought of the community, which is eager to believe the worst about one of their previously accepted blacks" (117). Even Miss Minnie is "dry"—she has reached middle age, the September of her life, and is probably unable to conceive. However, this depiction is relieved by the description of the "bloody September twilight" (517) that punctuates the two-month drought and the "twice-waxed moon" that appears ready to burst until its "wan hemorrhage" increases (522-23). Faulkner subtly establishes a connection between Miss Minnie and Will by associating the moon with blood, the only reference to moisture in relation to setting throughout the story: the town thirsts for the shedding of Will's blood to avenge Miss Minnie's "violation." On another metaphorical level, the moon is representative of the feminine, specifically Miss Minnie. It is "twice-waxed," which suggests an unusual fullness. The association of blood with the abundance of the moon implies youth and sexuality— connections with a woman's menstrual cycle, the loss of virginity, and even pregnancy and birth are all plausible. Yet its "twice-waxed" appearance is a peculiarity in such dry, sparse surroundings, and if we are tempted to associate Miss Minnie with this moon, then one wonders what a middle-aged spinster has in common with such images of fertility. Regarding Miss Minnie, a client in the barbershop remarks that "This ain't the first man scare she ever had like Hawkshaw says. Wasn't there something about a man on the kitchen roof, watching her undress, about a year ago?" (519). It is difficult to ignore the sense of dubiety that pervades the story, from the uncertainty of the light to the ambiguity that surrounds Miss Minnie's accusations. Her allegation is described as "the rumor, the story, whatever it was.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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