An Analysis Of William Faulkner's 'Dry September'

843 Words4 Pages
‘Dry September’ written by William Faulkner (1897-1962), is regarded as one of his greatest works and is widely read, even today. Set in the early 20th century, it brings forth a story about the horrifying acts of ‘lynching’ that were targeted against the blacks. Faulkner has very aptly portrayed the continuation of racial oppression in the Old South even after the legal abolition of slavery after the Civil War (1861-1865).

‘Dry September’ is essentially a story about a black man- Will Mayes- who has been wrongly accused of raping an aging white woman-Minnie Cooper, and hence, McLendon, a white man immediately decides to get rid of Will Mayes. Hawkshaw is a barber who believes Will Mayes to be innocent and is hence, referred to as a ‘niggerlover’. During a time when a large number of racial differences existed, being called a ‘niggerlover’ was considered as bad as being called a ‘nigger’. Akhil Katyal in one of his essays has truly captured what it meant to be called a ‘nigger’. He writes- “‘Nigger’-a word which has cast a most violent shadow over the American history- does not simply refer to a person, colour or body; it is instead a name for an expected code of behaviour.” Thus, even though Hawkshaw tries to fight for the justice of the black man, his efforts are all in vain. This short story has been beautifully crafted into five distinct sections which exceedingly magnify the essence of the story. By deliberate and constant references to the weather, dryness and dust,

More about An Analysis Of William Faulkner's 'Dry September'

Open Document