Sample essay topic, essay writing: William Faulkner - 1057 words
William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippiwhere he became a high school drop out and was forcedto work with grandfather at a bank. In 1925 Faulknermoved to New Orleans and worked as a journalist, herehe met the American Sherwood Andersen, a famousshort-story writer. Anderson convinced Faulkner thatwriting about the people and places he could identifywith would improve his career as a writer. After atrip to Europe, Faulkner began to write of thefictitious Yoknapatawpha County, which wasrepresentative of Lafayette County, Mississippi. Often in this series of novels one could read ofcharacters who were based on Faulkner's ancestors, African Americans, Native Americans, hermits, and poorwhites. At some point in this period of writing, around 1930, William Faulkner wrote the novel As I LayDying.
In this book, and others of this series, it wascommonplace to find sentences that stretched on for apage in order to create mood, multiple narrators, orshort stories complicated with astream-of-consciousness blather that was hard tounderstand. Therefore, readers had difficultyfollowing these novels, and Faulkner's popularity soondwindled, that is until Malcolm Cowley wrote ThePortable Faulkner, which contained excerpts from theYoknapatawpha series, and made Faulkner's geniusevident to his readers. Shortly thereafter, many ofFaulkner's works were reissued and he became aliterary giant, and was even awarded the Nobel Prizefor Literature in 1949. Until death, Faulknercontinued to create works of literature, includingboth short stories and novels. The Bundren family has recently suffered the loss oftheir most beloved mother, Addie. When Addie wasyoung and fresh out of labor with her second of fivechildren, she made her husband promise that when shedied he would burry her in Jefferson, the town whereAddie's family lived. Generally Jefferson was a one ortwo day trip, but when a rain spell floods the riverand destroys both bridges and washes out the directroad to Jefferson, Anse, Addie's husband has to fordthe river and take a much longer route to get toJefferson
While crossing the river, a large logflowing downstream starts a chain reaction thatresults in a badly battered wagon, the death of a teamof mules, a broken leg for the oldest of the fivechildren, and a one-day delay in the journey. Manyother troubles follow this family and the short tripto bury their mother becomes a nine-day journey with adead body that is beginning to rot in the back of thewagon. Each of the character struggles internallythroughout the novel, and when all is done, one endsup with a leg that may never work again, another isarrested, while the only Bundren daughter learns thatthere is no drug that will reverse a pregnancy. Obsession, it drives people to go above and beyond, to lie and to struggle so that they can satisfy theirinmost desire. In As I Lay Dying, the main idea, ortheme, is that of obsession. On the surface, thisnovel appears to be about the Bundren family's desireto give their mother what she wanted, even in death. However, after careful analysis it becomes evidentthat most of the novel's characters actually possessan ulterior motive that drives them to be sopersistent in carrying out their dead mother's wishes.
A good man and husband, Anse has everyone convincedthat he is determined to fulfill his wife's wish to beburied in Jefferson. Especially when he acts sostubbornly about accepting help from someone otherthan his own family. However, he is only stubborn, because it is in his nature, not his wife's burialwishes. As the troop draws closer and closer toJefferson, Anse talks more and more about what hetruly obsesses over. For the longest time Anse hasbeen able to eat all the food that his family andfriends enjoy so much because he no longer has all ofhis teeth.
His one true desire is to go to the nearesttown, it just so happens that it is Jefferson, and buyhimself a set of false teeth so he can "eat thevictuals He aimed for man to eat.." Cash, the oldest of the children, is greedy to makemoney and has used his life's opportunities to becomea carpenter, and a quite accomplished one at that. Heis always busy with one job or another, the onlytrouble is that he hasn't any way to travel from hishome to a job site except to walk or catch a ride withsomeone. Mr. Tull, a friend of the Bundrens, has hiredCash to do some work on his barn, but Mr. Tull livesquite a distance away. Cash knows that when he goeswith his family to bury his mother they will have topass by Mr.
Tull's house on the way up and back. Cashconvinces his father to drop him off at the Tull'shouse when they are coming home. Unfortunately, Cashbreaks his leg on the trip and because he doesn'treceive medical treatment soon enough, it is declaredto be almost useless for the rest of his life. The only Bundren female, Dewey Dell, also has anobsession that she wishes to fulfill on this journey. Around two months before her mother died, Dewey Dellwas impregnated by her boyfriend Lafe. Before sheleaves, Lafe gives Dewey Dell ten dollars and tellsher that there is a drug that can terminate apregnancy and that she can get it at any pharmacy intown. However, Dewey Dell learns that it isn't thatsimple, and the first pharmacist she visits runs herout for trying to commit such an immoral act.
InJefferson she stops at a different pharmacy, butinstead of finding a doctor, she finds a young boy, who poses as a doctor in order to take advantage ofher. At the start of the journey Darl, the second eldest, has no driving obsession, but slowly, at first, thingchange. Darl slips into insanity, perhaps because heis riding in a wagon with a rotting corpse, but soonhis inmost desire is to rid himself of the coffin. While the family slept in a kind man's barn, Darl wentso far as to set fire to the entire building inattempts to destroy the coffin and the corpse inside. Luckily, one of Darl's brothers gets his mother'scoffin out of the barn before it catches fire. Ironically, when the assembly finally gets theirmother buried and Darl is freed from his obsession, two men quickly imprison him again, by his ownfather's command, for burning down that barn. Vardaman, the youngest child is pushed by his desireto see the toy train that his sister had told himabout. Moreover, he wanted to make sure that no "townboys" got it before Santa Clause could deliver it tohis house, although it was still in the midst...
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