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Dry September

In the story "Dry September” the author describes the events that happened in September in a small American town. As we’ve already noticed, William Faulkner mainly focuses on the problem of relationships between black and white people. So one of the main characters whose rumor actually was a cause for a tragic reprisal, was a young woman Ms. Cooper.  

In my opinion in the story "Dry September” besides the conflict between black and white people, the author shows us how a silly rumor turned out to be the reason for such a tragic event. Nobody would ever even have a thought that the words of a white woman could be a lie. Will Mayer, a very kind and trustful man, did not know what to do when three white guys came to him and demanded angrily to get into the car. He was frightened and he realized that nobody would help him because he was just a slave without any rights.

So the meeting was the last one for Will. But before the fatal mistake those guys made, one of them tried to persuade his friends that probably there was no raping at all, probably that was just an invention of the old maid who just got tired of her boring life. So yes, she got what she wanted. The funny rumor caused a serious crime.

To my mind the description of the weather only brings more tension into the story. It was a hot day, the sky was red like blood, no wind, sultry autumn – all these descriptions made us feel even more nervous and helped us to understand what a huge mistake the guys made.

Injustice always chases people. At all times there were unfair actions and deeds. But the main thing is that it is always so that some people get more power and others get nothing. The same happened in the story. The caprice of a rich woman was the reason for the death of an innocent man.

To tell the truth the story was just one more example of injustice for me. I believe that it does not matter who the person is, you should treat him with respect and dignity. But probably this idea was not typical of the society of that time.

Nevertheless it is very interesting for me to analyze the works by William Faulkner. He is a real master of a word. And for me his stories will always be something that made me think over some life situations and moral principles that are often neglected by people but in fact should be treated with great respect, consciousness and deliberateness. So I would like you to analyze some creative quotations of this truly clever man, the writer with standing reputation. Just follow the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Bkg5htqHFI

And also to find a full text of "Dry September” go to:

http://nbu.bg/webs/amb/american/4/faulkner/september.htm

 

(By Luck)


William Faulkner "Hair”

I would like to speak about the main characters in this story. This is the author – he is a narrator and the reader perceives all the information through his thoughts, descriptions, dialogs with other characters. The main character is Susan Reed. In the beginning of the story the reader sees her little girl who is five year old.  She didn’t want to go in hairdressing saloon and cut her hair. But the hairdresser – Hawkshaw persuaded her to do that. Hawkshaw is a very mysterious person in that city, once a year he had his two weeks leave and nobody knew where and how he spent it. Hawkshaw is also the main character in this story. He wanted to get married but his bride died. The family of his bride died also and he should pay a tax for the house for them. He saved money during the whole year and on the 16th  April every year he paid a tax. Susan Reed looked like his death bride, she had the same hair as Susan. That is why during the whole story we can notice that Hawkshaw paid attention to her. He began to cut her hair all the time, he presented her gifts for Christmas and gave three  peppermint drop instead of one. He always gave one peppermint drop to children whom he made hairdos.

In the city where they lived everybody gossiped about them, because Susan grew up and she was excluded from the school, she wore short skirts and had a provoking make up.

At the end of the story the author said, that Hawkshaw got married because Susan was pregnant and they left the city for ever.  

There is one more conflict in this story – the conflict between Hawkshaw, Susan and the society. People couldn’t understand that private life is private with its own secrets and reserves. People from that city made their relationships a hot topic for discussion. But they proved that in spite of different gossips and talks they could be together and nothing would disturb them.  They just affronted the society.

The style of the narration is the author's feelings, thoughts, dreams and dialogs with other characters. I cant say that Faulkenr uses long and deep descriptions as Charles Dickens likes. But the reader can find a long explanation how the house of Hawkshaw’s death bride looked and the appearance of Susan. 

To my mind such a manner of narration made the story clearer for the reader but in the same time the author forced up his opinion.

You may find an original text here: http://danliterature.wordpress.com/william-faulkner-light-in-august/william-faulkner-hair/

(by Megastarosta)



William Faulkner "Barn Burning"

The only way to save this world is to set it on fire...

When you try to look at something through the smog the objects seem blurred and unclear. We had the same feeling while reading the story, the plot being hidden among the words and the images seeming to be covered by ashes and cinder.

Actually, all Faulkner's stories are undoubtedly complicated. Among the themes and question the author raises, a lot remains unspoken. A great deal of thoughts and conclusions appear subconsciously in the reader's mind while reading the book and even more appear after one has read it. From the first point of view "Barn Burning” seem to be less tangled than "A rose for Emily” or "That evening sun”, but it turns out to become a real Pandora’s box when you begin to analyze it.

The plot is really quite understandable. We read and grasp the narration easily. The main conflict is also vivid. But as usually we don’t have to ask "What has happened”. We should ask "Why?” And here we come to the usual perplexity and tricky character of seeming-to-be-ordinary-and-comprehensible life situations.

So, let’s come to the essence of our analysis that is conflicts, of course. One of the most evident conflicts of the story is devoted to the relationships between a son and a father. Boy's self-contradiction, his blowing hot and cold are caused by his inability to accept his father's guilt and understanding of what he has done, by his desire to fulfill his son's obligation insisting on his father's innocence in the court and his plea for justice. He listens to his father's words: "You got to learn. You got to learn to stick to your own blood or you ain't going to have any blood to stick to you”. But deep inside he understands that he'll never be able to learn it.

Finally the boy managed to rebel against his father's will, he managed to meddle in his plan to commit one more arson, and after that he had to run away, overwhelmed by grief and maybe even shame. Maybe he believed he had just betrayed his family, maybe he was thinking about the farm and other people who suffered from the arson. But one thing is quite clear –  he understood his father's guilt but he was still admiring him. No matter what this "barn-burner” had done, no matter how far Abner's actions were from the boy's moral principles, little Colonel Sartoris Snopes couldn't stop respecting him. "Father. My father, he thought. "He was brave!" he cried suddenly, aloud but not loud, no more than a whisper: "He was!”

Therefore, there is one more conflict that is of great importance here. That’s an inner conflict. The boy does not know how he should behave. He wants to be just, to be an honest person. But at the same time he wants to be a devoted and loving child. But these two social roles are in contradiction to each other. They are torturing the youngster. And he does not find any better solution as to run away. That escape is the only way for him to be in harmony.

One more thing we find extremely important to analyze is not the content, but the form of the story. Which linguistic means does the author use to create the atmosphere of the story? How does he manage to make it understandable for readers, with all its perplexity and complex ideas? Therefore, we would like to comment upon the symbols present in the story. Undoubtedly, the concept of fire is one of the leading in the story. What was the cause of Abner's arson-addiction? What was the reason for his barn burnings? Was he really trying to take revenge on those who had insulted or offended him? There are different ways of interpreting this symbol, of course. Some people tend to regard the concept of fire as an image of certain purification. The life described by the author is far from being ideal – the very words he uses create the image of dirt and mud: "hog”, "droppings”, "sweat”, "smear”... And then it all is set on fire. In this case the fire symbolize certain power, weapon against the mud of the world. Then can Abner be called a savior, not a burner? "...the element of fire spoke to some deep mainspring of his father's being, as the element of steel or of powder spoke to other men, as the one weapon for the preservation of integrity, else breath were not worth the breathing, and hence to be regarded with respect and used with discretion...”

But we may also regard the fire as a symbol of justice. Justice that means different things to different people. The father set houses on fire. For him that WAS justice. But for his victims? Maybe the author used this symbol to show that the world can’t exist in the state it is now? Maybe the fire symbolizes radical changes that have to be introduces in order to save the world?!

The only way to save this world is to set it on fire...

(Rina & Asya)


DRY SEPTEMBER

The title of the story is "Dry September," and the story takes place in one dry September in Jefferson, Mississippi. The author describes the events that happened in September. Mrs. Mini Cooper was just a typical town lady, but she was known for having a wild imagination and that she fantasized and always made up little stories here and there. One day there was a rumor that a black man Will Mayes had raped her. Everyone in the town was furious. Everyone in the town then was after the black man. They wanted him dead. In the end of the story, the town ends up killing Will Mayes. We can say that In this story we can single out three main characters. These are Mrs. Cooper, Will Mayes and the most complex character in this story. It is a society. Mrs Cooper was just a thirty-eight or thirty-nine  typical town lady. She lived in a small frame house with her invalid mother and a thin sallow aunt.  But she was known for having a wild imagination. Will Mayers was an ordinary black man. Mr. Lendon thought that he was a really good guy.   The third main character is the society. It consists of all people who surround Mrs Cooper. It is all citizens of this town who were furious and who were against the black man. But there were only three men who dared to carry out a sentence.  It is also interesting  to focus on the main idea of the story Dry September.  In this story there are many themes and conflicts. These are a crime, racism, and violence, black relationships with the white community. But the main message that the author sent us is trust but verify. Otherwise the circumstances can be deplorable. Rumors fly in small towns just like fire in a dry field. It moves fast and burns everything in its way. 

(By Tanya)


"The Tall Men" as an example of a strong family unity.

"The Tall Men" is a short story written by William Faulkner. It begins with two men, government officials, visiting a house to serve a warrant for two brothers who have not registered for selective service. One of the officials is a marshal. He isn’t a close friend of the family, but nevertheless he helps them and speaks in support of them. A member of the family - Buddy has been involved in a terrible accident at work. He is the father of Anse and Lucius, who are to be arrested by the other official – an investigator. The behavior of both father and boys are of vital importance. They speak as nothing happened. The author emphasizes the obedience of the boys and respect towards the father. He makes us feel the very unity of the family that maybe isn’t peculiar to families of those times.

The investigator is anxious to act according to his preconceptions regarding "country people" and arrest the brothers so he can catch his returning train and marshal feels it. Despite the investigator being higher in social status, he can’t do anything, he is doomed to submit to marshal’s requirements. When the investigator enters the room where Buddy lies, he saw a number of tall men. In fact they were not really tall, but they seem as such. I think that their family isolation and cohesion makes them taller than other people.

Marshal tells the investigator the story about this family. They don’t trust anybody; they rely only upon their family ties. They run their household without government permission and cannot sell their products, but nevertheless they continue to work themselves and reject any government support.

So both officials wait for the doctor to amputate Buddy’s leg. When everything has been done they bury it as it is a human being near the graves of Buddy’s aunt and uncle, where all tall people must be buried.

There are 3 main characters in the story. They are Buddy, marshal and the investigator. In spite of the fact that the story is narrated by the detached observer – the author, we see everything with the eyes of investigator. He comes to serve a warrant for Buddy’s sons, it is his every-day work but the author decides to describe this family, and this choice isn’t occasional. Investigator has never seen such a close-knit family.

There is something special in marshal’s attitude towards the family. He defends them, speaks about them with a great respect

Crowned men kissing one another without hiding and without shame. Maybe that's what I am trying to say. , . . There." he said. "That's big enough."

Marshal even buries Buddy’s leg himself.

The third main character is Buddy. He is a typical representative of the family. He knows everything better than other, the doctor tries to insist, that Buddy must stop drinking Whiskey, but in vain. Buddy doesn’t want any anesthesia he relies on Whiskey. And their relatives say no word against his wishes. The doctor is afraid that Buddy won’t stand the medicine, but no one listens to him, because he is so-to-say different, he is an alien in their family.

So the main theme of the story is the family relations. The behavior of family members may be called illogical, but the author approves it, because no matter what happens they are together.

(By Ayayulia)


William Faulkner "Hair”

William Faulkner’s "Hair” is the story of a twisted personality, the idealistic stubborn fighter with the hardships of life. The chief conflict takes place within the main character, Stribling by name. The inner struggle goes forward with a steady gait. After Stribling’s fiancée dies of a fever, and her mother dies a few years later, he voluntarily takes a responsibility of taking care of the property. His ritual of coming to the house every year resembles a conventional funeral commemoration. He works in a barber’s shop where he meets a little girl, Susan Reed, who resembles in a way his fiancé. He waits until she grows up and then marries her.

Being nicknamed Hawkshaw, Stribling has nothing in himself that can be likened to a detective. The author deals with his main character as with a fragile statuette elaborating the details of his mysterious and tragic life. Faulkner for the second time, I mean after A Rose for Emily, enters the field of human emotions evoked by death and sorrow. And like in the above mentioned story, the main character is a stoic. This is the first theme of the story – being under the pressure of the burden of grief and regret. Another theme is the possibility and the desire to start the life anew. A person is not always ready to begin or resume living in the usual course of events. Stribling represents the type of a character who has to undergo a set of metamorphoses to recharge his inner spiritual drive to go on. The author also touches upon the theme of orphanage and the peculiarities of the growing-up process. Susan Reed was described as a quickly maturing girl who could not even be blamed for her light behaviour.

The issue of moral duty is not the least in its weight in the story. Stribling steadily pays the mortgage for the family of his dead beloved. He cleans the house every spring and only after the payments are redeemed, he feels freed and it took a load off his mind to realize he can start his life again. 

(by MissJane)



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