William Faulkner ✧ LIGHT IN AUGUST. 3. PUBLISHER'S NOTE. The text of this edition of Light in August has been photographed from, and is therefore identical. Light in August (The Corrected Text). Read more · New Essays on Light in August (The American Novel) · Read more · New Essays on Light in August (The. The ambiguity surrounding Faulkner's characters drives the plot development in Light in August. For example, Joe Christmas's racial secret is a recurrent issue.
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Lena Grove, in Light in August, is one of the most mysterious and most underestimated of William Faulkner's fictional creations. In a interview, the writer. by Carolyn Porter. Light in August opens with Lena Grove sitting in a ditch waiting for. Armstid's wagon to reach her. In three pages we survey her whole history. put the matter briefly, the critical response to Light in August has been 1 M. Thomas Inge's “William Faulkner's Light in August: An Annotated Checklist of Crit -.
In which characters is this stringent, unforgiving strain of thinking most apparent, and what are its effects?
How are guilt and Calvinism linked? In Light in August, womanhood and female sexuality are often described with a combination of fascination, desire, and loathing. Does this psychological attitude originate in certain characters, or does it seem to emanate from the author? What are the most startling and memorable scenes in the novel?
Are these scenes extremely visual in their effects?
Do they seem appropriate to, or influenced by, the genre of film? Does he have a clear motive? Joanna is depicted as a masculine woman, a spinster, a Northerner and a nymphomaniac. Discuss the ways in which Chapter 19 explores the fantasies and fanaticism of both the individual and the group. Does Grimm intend to lead a lynching or to prevent one?
Does Grimm function as the executioner whose fantasy is merely an exaggerated version of what the community also believes?
How do their wanderings differ in spirit and in function? Light in August is primarily a book about racial identity, race hatred, and hysteria.
How does the reader react to Joe Christmas—with empathy, with distaste, with bewilderment? Discuss the ways in which Joe Christmas functions among the white community as an idea, a symbol, a negative image of their own ideal selves, and not as a person. What role does Hightower play in the novel?
A furniture dealer who gave Lena and Byron a lift in his wagon is the narrator of the final chapter, and their courtship is the subject of the comical tale he is telling his wife. Why might Faulkner have chosen to end the novel on this note of optimism and good-humored comedy?
In the family moved to the university town of Oxford, Mississippi, where Faulkner was to spend most of his life. Never a brilliant student, Faulkner left high school after the tenth grade. He tried to enlist in the U. Air Corps in but was rejected because of his small height and weight.
He went to Canada, where he pretended to be an Englishman and joined the Canadian RAF training program, which he did not complete until after the Armistice. He returned to his hometown in uniform, however, boasting of war wounds, and briefly attended the University of Mississippi, where he began to publish his poetry.
Faulkner spent brief periods of time in the literary capitals of the s, Paris and New York; in New Orleans in he met Sherwood Anderson, who encouraged him to try writing fiction. His first undisputed masterpiece, The Sound and the Fury, came out in and was followed by another masterpiece, As I Lay Dying, in In Faulkner married his childhood sweetheart, Estelle Oldham, after she was divorced from her first husband.
They had a premature daughter, Alabama, who died ten days after birth in ; a second daughter, Jill, was born in With the publication of his most violent and sensational novel, Sanctuary , Faulkner was invited to write scripts for MGM and Warner Brothers, which he continued to do for twenty years. William Faulkner's writings are often meditative in nature, and Light in August is a powerful but grim meditation on racism, religious intolerance, and the plight of women in Depression-era Mississippi.
Faulkner brings these themes to life through the characters of Lena Grove and Byron Bunch. Lena is a disadvantaged but determined young woman, who sets out to find the wayward father of her soon-to-be-born babe.
Instead of the father, shiftless Lucas Burch, she is directed to Byron Bunch, a co-worker of Burch's with a similar name. This mistake proves to her benefit, as Byron quickly falls in love with her and is willing to give her the home and security which the child's father fails to provide. The heart of the story, however, focuses on another co-worker of Burch and Bunch, named Joe Christmas.
Christmas has been a social outcast since birth due to his mixed bloodline. In the racist south, a man of mixed parentage is shunned by blacks and whites alike. Raised to be a racist, Christmas is unwilling to reconcile himself to his dual heritage.
He considers himself an abomination and freak, and behaves self-destructively to prove it. Christmas' story intertwines with Lena and Byron's because of Christmas' business relationship with Lucas Burch. Burch, who takes the name Joe Brown in order to avoid Lena, becomes Christmas' partner in an illegal whiskey-selling enterprise which is headquartered on Miss Joanna Burden's property.
Miss Burden is also a social outcast in the small town of Jefferson, Mississippi because of her family's abolitionist leanings. The aging spinster embarks on a torrid and obsessive love affair with Christmas, and gives him and his partner the use of a cabin on the back of her property.
She, like Christmas, is internally conflicted.