– Styles Essay, Research Paper
William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy are known for their unusual, yet honest, styles of writing. Using a variety of sentence structure, vocabulary, and syntax, the two authors allow readers to explore deeper into the true meanings behind the well-told story lines. In Faulkner s The Unvanquished and McCarthy s All the Pretty Horses, these techniques, which parallel and contrast each other, are very apparent and convey messages to the reader that help to express the passage of boyhood into manhood.
It is obvious that the writings of Faulkner have influenced McCarthy s work, and so it becomes evident that there will be many similarities between the two. Both authors use many run-on sentences resembling, possibly, a stream of thoughts similar to that of a person thinking. This creates an aura around their stories, forcing the reader to focus on the text, as its structure is most likely unfamiliar to them. An example is in All the Pretty Horses, the paragraph beginning with the words, “That night he dreamt of horses…” on page 161 and ending with the words, “…in that resonance which is the world itself and which cannot be spoken but only praised” on page 162. The reader is brought there to the dream, to the high mesa and the running horses, not only by the meaning of the words, but also the flow of them, making it seem as if the story is true and the dream is real.
In addition to using profoundly long sentences, Faulkner and McCarthy also used compounded words within their works. Faulkner uses several of these on page 45, with words such as, coffinsounding, bedclothing, and headrag. These neologisms serve the purpose of flowing together, allowing them to come alive as well as lending a certain mythic quality to the text. McCarthy uses these same devices in his works as well, for example, “lightgauge” (p157), “floorpedestal” (p166), and “foldingtable” (p186). These also serve to draw attention away from the narrative to the narrator, giving the feeling of someone actually telling the story.
Although the two aforementioned examples show similarities between the two authors, there is one area in which the two diverge in their paths of writing. Faulkner and McCarthy vary the ways in which they use punctuation within their works. While both use the absence of punctuation, they differ to the extent of punctuation that is missing. Faulkner only omits punctuation when it is in the form of a contraction and rarely anywhere else to give the reader the sense that the narrator is actually speaking, which is a similar objective of the previously noted methods. An example is on page 153, I dont remember touching the door at all In contrast to Faulkner, McCarthy uses punctuation much less and seems to try to blur the distinction between narrator, reader, and character. This is evident when John Grady Cole asks Rawlins on page 77, What did you go and tell him that for? Said John Grady. There wasnt no call to do that.
William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy assert strong techniques in order to tell their narrative to the reader. In terms of syntax, diction, and sentence structure, these two novels share many aspects as well as contrast at certain points. The methods used by these two authors assisted in making the trail from boyhood to manhood more powerful to the reader. Although not fully understood in their time, the adherence of these two authors to their distinct techniques served as a medium to connect thematic stories to the hearts of their readers.