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a mans future is inherent in that man -Faulkner Faulkners Light in August is a metaphor In fact it is many metaphors almost infinitely many It is a jumble of allusions themes portraits all of them uniquely important many of them totally unrelated In fact no 20th century writer has even approached the sheer quantity of symbolism Faulkner packed into every page with perhaps the exception of James Joyce who went so far as to surpass Faulkner in this regard So obviously it would be foolish to attempt to trace every line follow every branch to its root one could spend a lifetime dissecting the book in this manner Fortunately in the midst of this menagerie of wonders there are dominate themes There are veins of meaning that permeate throughout Chief among them Faulkners study of 20th century mans search for identity and his compassionate portrait of the origins of evil I have come from Alabama a fur piece Faulkner p3 The reader begins the book in this manner following the simple-minded and determined Lena as she travels neither coming nor going simply moving Immediately the book draws into her past relating events leading up to this point explaining her motives One gets a definite feel for her character and settles into her narrative but as soon as this happens the book switches gears turning instead to a vague character Joe Christmas With little introduction or warning the book reels into Joes past catching the reader totally unaware and throwing off the entire continuity of the book Faulkners desire for unity and coherence in the pattern is not as strong as is his desire for truth to individual response Reed p123 Thus Lena is a frame she serves only to accentuate Christmass story by contrast Faulkner demands the reader follow and realize this So we now see Christmass childhood From the beginning Christmas is two things One he is a totally
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