Presentation on theme: "Dry September (1931) William Faulkner (1897-1962)."— Presentation transcript:
Dry September (1931) William Faulkner (1897-1962)
a literary genius who captured the struggles of the human heart William Faulkner (1897-1962)
And who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950
Nobel Prize acceptance speech “ the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself … alone can make good writing ” and “ only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. ” 只有接触到人类内心的冲突，才能创作出好 作品，而且这也是唯一值得写、值得为之呕 心沥血去写的题材。
Nobel Prize acceptance speech “ love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice ” are “ the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed. ” 不反映爱、荣誉、怜悯、自尊、同情与 牺牲这些古老的普遍真理，任何小说都 只能昙花一现，不会成功。
The Deep South, or The Lower South, or The Cotton States
Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi Jefferson, Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi a parable or legend of all the Deep South
Which William Faulkner? Regionalist: ‘the postage stamp of my little native soil’. Traditionalist: conventional themes - themes of morality, of the relationships between individuals & community, ancient myths & modern decay, traditional value & historical change, of the conflict between South and North, and of the relationship between past and present, or most essentially as Faulkner said in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, of “the human heart in conflict with itself” Modernist: experimentalist in art: long and puzzling sentences, flashbacks, multiple points of view, and a stream-of-consciousness style
Lynching in the US Deep-seated and all pervading hatred and fear of the Negro in the South during 1880-1940 Lynching is a crime used to terrorize blacks and to maintain the white supremacy Ways of lynching: hanging, shooting, burning at the stake, maiming, dismemberment, castration, and other brutal methods of physical torture
Southern Womanhood Fear of miscegenation (racism) Worship of women’s chastity and modesty - a result of both paternalism and racism
Discussion Questions Compare the different modes of focalization used in “Hills Like White Elephants” and “Dry September”. Identity crisis is the common experience of the three major characters in the story. Identify their identity problem and the way they deal with the problem. What important symbols are there in the story? What is the theme of the story?
Focalization in “Hills Like White Elephants” External focalization: the narrator knows less than the characters Effect: - objective showing of characters - enhancing the theme of failure of communication (no way of getting to know each other’s real feelings, both for the characters and for the readers)
Focalization in “Dry September” McLendon: external focalization (camera eye) - effect: a man of violence / no feeling - distance / alienation between reader and character Hawkshaw: external & internal focalization - effect: a man of words and feelings (He could feel himself sweating and he knew he was going to be sick at the stomach.)
Focalization in “Dry September” Miss Minnie Cooper: layers of external focalization and much internal focalization - effect: a complicated character with her suffering and tragedy - sympathy from the reader - criticism of the society
Identity Crisis of McLenden He had his honor in WWI (being decorated for valor), but seemed to have passed his prime time now (living in a birdcage like small house, feeling impotent He uses this lynching event as a proof of his valor and value again.
Identity Crisis of Hawkshaw As Crane argued, Hawshaw in the story “Hair” was a braver man of strong morality Now corrupted and frightened by the dominant racism, he became weak toward the racists like McLenden, not able to confront them and stop them from lynching the seemingly innocent black. “limp”: his moral degradation
Identity Crisis of Minnie Cooper She used to be the most popular figure in the town’s social life when young - “a brighter and louder flame than any one” (p. 9) 是朵更为欢蹦乱跳的火焰 She is now losing her charm to men, being denied access to a decent marriage She spreads the rumor of rape by the black Mayes to attract men’s attention again.
Symbols Dust – moral decay / degradation Dry – lifeless; characters’ identity crisis Moon – a God like image that represents the ideal beauty and truth that is high, detached, indifferent, not to be corrupted and yet seems to accompany and witness the whole process.
Theme Racism against blacks in the 1920s south is deep-seated and widespread. Miss Minnie Cooper is a victim of southern womanhood.
Assignments for “Everyday Use” Background information research - The Nation of Islam and Malcolm X - The Black Power (Movement) - African Americans’ condition in 1950-1970 Briefly retell the most important part of the story that typically illustrates its theme. Which type of female does each of the three characters belong to? What are their attitude to black cultural heritage? Who can inherit and develop the black cultural heritage?