Saturday, October 12, 2019

Man’s Interaction with the Environment in Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses :: Faulkner’s Go Down Moses

Man’s Interaction with the Environment in Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses I found the short stories in Go Down, Moses to be long, boring, and hard to comprehend. As usual Faulkner writes his stories with no regard to punctuation. His run-on sentences are confusing and unnecessary. However, I did notice the theme of man and his interactions with the environment stressed throughout these stories. â€Å"Was† starts us off with ‘Uncle Ike’ McCaslin in his old age and tells the story of his elder cousin (and surrogate father) and his childhood with Uncle Buck and Uncle Buddy. I was not surprised to see the uncles reappear, as Faulkner loves to have characters make come-backs in numerous novels. Like its title, â€Å"Was† shows a past experience from McCaslin Edmonds’ childhood. The sentence structure in the beginning of the story confused me a bit. Faulkner uses no periods, choosing instead to start a new paragraph every time one sentence ends and the other begins (granted, these ‘sentences’ are basically paragraphs themselves!). Once the story about Edmonds’ past and the dialog start, Faulkner starts using periods again. Why would Faulkner set the story up like this? What is the significance of leaving out periods in the beginning of the narrative? Perhaps it is to signal that the narrator is speaking in present time, and on ce the periods are included, that signals that the event occurred in the past. This is a probable explanation, as we saw a similar structure in his other novels, including The Sound and the Fury, where italics were used to signal a change in narrative. Maybe the same thing is happening here. In â€Å"Pantaloon in Black† Faulkner seems to digress from the story of the McCaslin’s and focuses on a black man, Rider, who goes crazy with grief after his wife’s mysterious (to the reader) death, kills a white man he works with, and is executed. This story clearly illustrates the racial discrimination by whites. After the entire ordeal, the sheriff’s deputy tells his wife about the events and in the process allows us to see how racist he is. He compares blacks to a â€Å"damn herd of wild buffaloes† when it comes to having feelings (150). Also, when he describes Rider’s actions after his wife’s death, he says that the town â€Å"expected him to take the day off since even a nigger couldn’t want no better excuse for a holiday† cruelly suggesting that blacks are lazy and will use any excuse to have a day off of work (151).

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