Light In August Literary Analysis

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Through the portrayal of Joe Christmas ' irrevocable separation from his origin, Light in August (1932) depicts a separation that many of Faulkner 's characters experience but which some overcome by virtue of self-composition. Christmas, however, can hardly speak; the dietician’s allegation makes him quiet, and he is soon tormented by McEachern 's goliath of a Bible. McEachern wishes to teach Joe to speak in words not his own, but the child prefers rebellious stupidness. Though he cannot provide words for himself, Christmas however is fated to receive a mark of articulation. He is caught all through the novel between the binaries of blackness and whiteness. The ending of the novel shows Christmas ' mortal failure to mark, to author himself. It is left to his community to blacken his face as it lynches him. The poststructuralist dilemma of language is once again foregrounded in terms of a human catastrophe replete with racial overtones. The condition that language represents what it cannot present; is what draws together incest and mourning in Flags in the Dust (1929). The novel 's plot sketches Bayard Sartoris ' labours to mediate loss and replacement. Bayard 's frantic strategies demonstrate two obsessions that endure into Faulkner 's later fiction. His refusal to grieve John 's death by enemy fire in the war reveals his intuition that any manifestation of grief or reminiscence only adds to loss. That Bayard 's rejections of mourning themselves turn out to be imprints of
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