Assess The Use Of Vivacity In Faulkner's

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By looking closely at Faulkner’s use of diction and through his description of the characters helps answer aspects of the story that first seem ambiguous and unclear. Through the direct events of the story and the way McLendon acts, it is evident that Will Mayes manages to escape and run away. The barber, who is on Will Mayes’s side, began to tug furiously at the door of the car and is able to kick the door open and swing onto the running board, the little step outside of the car door. There are a couple events that proceed after this that prove that Mayes is able to escape. To describe how Mayes manages to escape, Faulkner writes, “The soldier leaned across to grasp the Negro and grasped at him, but he had already jumped” (179). The use of…show more content…
Minnie Cooper, as Faulkner describes her, “When she was young she had had a slender, nervous body and a sort of hard vivacity which had enabled her for a time to ride upon the crest of the town’s social life…” (174). Vivacity means an attractively lively and animated human. Faulkner’s use of “vivacity” and “slender” shows the main reasons why Minnie Cooper was popular. It was because she had the perfect body and personality to attract potential spouses. Furthermore, “crest” is the highpoint of something, in this case, the town’s social life. This portrays to the reader that Minnie Cooper was the most popular out of the popular group. But, Faulkner foreshadows that Minnie Cooper’s popularity would not last for long with the use of the phrase “nervous body”. The whole reason why Minnie Cooper was popular was because she had the ideal body and personality that men were attracted to. But, she also had a “nervous body” which indicates she probably did not give men the chance to get close to her because she was afraid and jumpy. To describe Minnie Cooper’s loss of popularity, Faulkner writes, “She was the last to realize that she was losing ground… girls with whom she had grown up as they married and got homes and children, but no man ever called on her…show more content…
To describe how McLendon is feeling when he gets home, Faulkner writes, “ [McLendon] ripping off his shirt, and on the dark, screened porch at the rear he stood and mopped his head and shoulders” (183). “Ripping” has a frustrated connotation. Hence, McLendon is frustrated with himself about his actions. Additionally, he is standing on a dark and screened porch. This means that it is hard to see him because his face is shadowed. McLendon chooses to let himself lose his emotions in this specific place because watchers are unable to see his emotions. He does not want anyone seeing him at a time of weakness. Consequentially, McLendon “mopped his head and shoulders”, suggesting that he is sweating a lot because “mopped” has the connotation of cleaning up a lot of liquid. People only sweat when they are nervous, frustrated, or angry. But, despite these emotions, McLendon regains his control and “took the pistol from his hip and laid it on the table beside the bed, and sat on the bed and removed his shoes, and rose and slipped his trousers off” (183). “Took”, “laid”, “sat”, “removed”, “rose”, and “slipped” are all very calm and mundane actions that many people do. These are not the actions of someone that was just freaking out with their inner frustration. This proposes that McLendon was
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