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Word Count: 656
Light in August by William Faulkner is a story about three characters lives-Joe Christmas Lena Grove and Rev Gail Hightower- blended together to show the consistent struggles A theme of Light in August a mans past experiences mold his present and future is concentrated on Joe Christmas and his racial identity Joe Christmas is perhaps the most controversial character in Light in August He is labeled as a victim because of his plights with Doc Hines the orphanage his adoptive father Simon McEachern and his waitress girlfriend Bobbie Allen At every major mile stone in Christmass life he was put down shut out or beaten by people that should have cared about him His racial grandfather Doc Hines gave him up for adoption Mr McEachern tried to force religion on him Bobbie Allen abused his trust Why I committed murder for her I even stole for her Faulkner 217 Christmas progresses through his life as at first only a little knowing child then an angry adolescent still capable of some human interaction then an adult at war with the world As Christmas arrives in Jefferson Mississippi his past struggles show through He is very anti-social at the mill and he lives in the woods Perhaps his biggest fear is someone finding out that he has black bloodRace is one of Joe Christmass biggest issues fear of the truth and trying to embrace it at the same time Throughout his life Christmas was punished for having a black father Given up by his grandfather Christmas lived in an orphanage At the orphanage the other children called him names and suspected his hidden racial identity After Christmas ran away from the McEacherns house he lived with some black women and tried to embrace his black heritage He thought that it was loneliness which he was trying to escape and not himself 226 When this failed he found himself living in Jefferson in an old slave cabin owned
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