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William Faulkners Southern Writing Style William Faulkner once said that the true story of man was that of the human heart in conflict with itself This expression is resonated throughout all of the different stories that he composed The key elements to Faulkners writing style are his emphasis on the descriptions of setting and character The influence on his material from themes and conflicts to storylines are deeply rooted in his southern cultural background and his perception of human nature interweaving both throughout to convey a message about society of that period One of his short stories Barn Burning describes the turmoil experienced by a poor southern family during the Great Depression of the 1930s Faulkner focuses on a young boy and his father throughout the story mainly focusing on the moral growth of the boy and his struggle to uphold loyalty to his family In this story the interrelation of culture to conflict is a writing tool of Faulkners that creates a powerful impact on the reader There are two other important points to this story that are characteristic of Faulkner They are that anyone can be heroic no matter what their social status and that the main conflict in the story is internal Brooks 19 All of Faulkners works tell the story of his region and his nation showing human nature and the search for truth and meaning in a world when values seem constantly to shift and erode He wrote most his work not only to tell a story but also to convey messages about the society of that period Williamson describes Faulkners work as essentially an exhaustive critique of Southern society and a thorough cataloguing of its failures to bring the human values inherent in man evident in the natural setting into the modern world358-9 Throughout all of his extensive career Faulkner stayed at home in the South among the places and people that he found universal meaning Williamson 362-4
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