Language in William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury”: Part I

Over the past few posts, I have been writing about Ernest Hemingway, modernism, the ways that language constructs meaning, and how authors such as Hemingway interrogated these constructions. Today, I want to look briefly at another modernist author who does the same thing in a slightly different manner than Hemingway. That author, of course, is William Faulkner, and the novel is The Sound and The Fury (1929).

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Language in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Battler”

Last post, I wrote about the ways that Ernest Hemingway highlights the ways that language constructs race in his story “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife.” There, I examined the ways that Dick Boulton and Henry Adams describe the logs that they pull out of the sand. Are they “stolen” or free for the taking. While Hemingway zeroes in on the ways that Boulton and Adams define the logs, he also focuses on the ways that Adams perceives Boulton, as a mixed-race individual. Adams places his preconceived conceptions on Boulton and wonder if his Native American half makes him lazy. The story concludes with Adams and his son Nick going to the forest to hunt squirrels. Today, I want to look at Hemingway’s “The Battler” as a continuation of the topics that he examines in “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife.”

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Language in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife”

Writing about the connections between Jean Toomer’s Cane and Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time, Margaret Wright-Cleveland argues that both texts examine social constructions of race. Specifically, she notes that Hemingway’s text “makes clear that both whiteness and blackness are racial constructions.” As such, both Toomer and Hemingway position “race as a formative idea for American modernism.” Today, I want to look at the ways that Hemingway examines language and the construction of meaning and power that language carries with it. I have written about this some before, specifically looking at “Indian Camp” and “Fathers and Sons.”

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