Symbolism In Dry September

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The short story “Dry September” by William Faulkner, tells the story Will Mayes, an African American man, who is accused of raping Minnie Cooper, a Caucasian woman. Even though there is no evidence to prove that Will Mayes committed the crime, most of the residents of Jefferson, Mississippi believe he is guilty. Thus, Will Mayes eventually becomes a victim of a lynching. The reason Mayes does not survive is his skin color. In other words, Faulkner uses setting, imagery, and symbolism to connect racism and closed-minded people.
It is important to know the when “Dry September” takes, so one can understand the reason certain characters in “Dry September” act the way they do. The exact year when the events that transpire in “Dry September” is never revealed. Therefore, the reader must use certain clues given by the narrator to pinpoint the period. In the story, it is mention that there are two World War I (WWI) veterans. According to Digital History, WWI ended on November 11, 1918 (Mintz and McNeil). This puts the beginning of the period around 1919 or 1920. In addition, the second resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) began in 1915 but gain the significant following after WWI (Hebert). All of this connects to this specific part of the story, “…McLendon and three others were getting into a car parked in an alley”. McLendon and other three are white males who go after Will Mayes. Though it is not mentioned in “Dry September”, McLendon and the other three are possible KKK

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