The Importance Of The Land In Faulkner's Hamlet

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Sutpen’s claim to the land resulted from his desire for position, wealth and respectability. His life was planned to achieve his goal of becoming a part of the aristocracy. Only land, and the benefits its possession could obtain, could satisfy his desires. To defend his position, he had to deny his son, and by that denial he set in motion those events which were to destroy him, which were to carry out the curse of the land. Deriving his position from the land, in defending it he was necessarily defending the land upon which the entire superstructure of his life rested; and his efforts turned upon him and ruined him. Therefore, it was the land that gave Sutpen his power, and it was because of the land that he lost that power. Natural law and natural rights were revenged. In The Hamlet, this reaches to great heights of satirical humor, Faulkner portrays the lower class of whites in the South who come to control the area after the aristocrats fall from power. This entire group, whose efforts are largely commercial, is represented by the Snopes family. These people crush the Sartorises by their aggressiveness and their conniving.…show more content…
They take the land, and, by their ruthlessness, ruin it, for “what Faulkner calls the ‘legal fiction’ of ownership of the land has fallen to the Snopeses, who cut its forests, let its farms erode and its rivers silt, take everything from it and give nothing, until for instance Mississippi has become the poorest state per capita in the Union.”27 The wrath of Faulkner’s God is the wrath of Jehovah, an Old Testament wrath, for it turns loose upon the land men, still animals, who can but
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