, Research Paper
One of the greatest writers of the 20th century is William Faulkner. He was born and raised in the southern state of Mississippi which greatly influenced his style of writing. Faulkner liked to use a variety of styles and themes in his works. In one of his most famous books, As I Lay Dying, he uses streams of consciousness, while in, A Rose for Emily, his style and theme is very morbid and grotesque. He chose a much more down to earth style of writing in his short story, Dilsey.
Faulkner s choice of using streams of consciousness in As I Lay Dying, tends to be confusing and complicated. It reveals the characters feelings, thoughts, and actions in an associative, rather than logical sequence. As I Lay Dying is a whole-hearted monologue that lacks the unity, explicit cohesion, and selectivity of direct thought. An example of this would be the instance in which Vardaman flips out over his mothers death, and his thoughts go on a wild rampage. This can be expressed when Vardaman says, My mother is a fish. Faulkner continues to express his characters mainly through their own words rather than by using a third person point of view.
A Rose for Emily, has an extremely morbid theme and is interestingly insane. The story begins by saying that Miss Emily is dead, and the whole town goes to her funeral, which in fact, is not true. The town mainly goes for the sole purpose of seeing her house. Miss Emily is not only weird and depressing, but also crazy. This is because no one in their right mind would kill a man and keep the dead body in their house. She must have killed Homer and kept him in her house for so long, thinking she could be with him forever. It is really hard to pinpoint the narrator in the this story, so he is never really known.
Faulkner takes another approach in his short story, Dilsey. This story is much more realistic and down to earth but still very twisty. He uses a theme of personal suffering and endurance. The predominant character, Dilsey is a black servant that takes care of the helpless Mrs. Compson and her children. Jason, one of the Compson children, is angry because someone broke his window. While trying to find out who broke it, he finds that his money has been stolen from a strongbox. He suspects Miss Quentin, and while on his search for her, he hits, knocks out, and fights many people along the way.
In all three of the stories the fact the Faulkner is from Mississippi shines out. This is easily perceived through the southern atmosphere, mood, and mostly by the language. In Dilsey, this is very easily recognized, for example, Dilsey says, Never you mind, I seed de beginnin, en now I sees de endin. Also the fact that many of the characters in his stories are black points towards a southern setting.
So one can see that while Faulkner enjoys a variety of styles and themes, he almost always sticks to a southern flare in his stories. So whether it is streams of consciousness as used in As I Lay Dying, or the morbidness of A Rose for Emily, or even the realistic views in in Dilsey, Faulkner always finds a way to make his stories both uniquely different and interesting.