Racial Relationships in William Faulkners Writing

Racism is a subject that is more than often avoided by almost all seasoned authors, it is almost equally treated as an aspect of sex,sadism or any other theme that appear to be treated as personal. In general approach, racism pertains to the aspects of discrimination due to color or ethnicity. It is paramount to aver that, the dawn of civilization brought the concept of this social anarchy. Hence, William Faulkners Writing candidly explores and exposes this social ill with unmatched authority. Examining the ground prepared in the all round novel Absolom Absolom Evidently, the novel captures the uncompromised decay of humanity where titillating aspects of slavery and other forms of abuse are absolutely witnessed.

The novel offers a well articulated platform on which the author clearly presents a mind boggling picture of the magnitude of how fellow human beings treated others as unequal due to color dissimilarity. With a precision of a surgeon, the novel strikes out the destruction linked to the civil war, more so, in regard to aspects of racism, the characters employed are depicted as ever searching for the core explanations of the deteriorating social structures in their society. Examining the core aspects exposed in this work, it is apparent that, Faulkner approached the concept of slavery by presenting the essence of racism in such a way that, the interrelationship of the characters depicts how the portrayed society treated others as inferior or less human. This approach is equally reinforced by the plot line of the other Faulkners writing The Sound and the Fury. Examining the diverse aspects injected in this novel, the apparent details significantly exposes the moral decay evident in Mississippi where the once affluent Compsons family dwelt. In a profound depiction, the book provides a strange twist of how social and moral decay catapulted the aspects of sins which translated to prejudice and racism.

The Sound and the Fury  too, explores Faulkners themes from previous works allied to the demur of the American South, including diverse issues pertaining to morality, sin, and redemption, even if one could precisely dispute that his overarching apprehension was with the temperament of human existence. These last perceptions are weaved into a intricate embroidery of race and class-perception and internecine fight back as the Compsons compete with the interconnected dynamics of ancestors honor and female virtue inside the milieu of social tolerability, lifes apparent order, and the aspect of time.

Comparing the content of the novel Absolom Absalom, with immediate aspects of The Sound and the Fury, it is evident that the characters expose a profound distaste of other people who in essence were perceived as inferior. This developed into a powerful current of racism. Though the segregated or rather the discriminated community or individuals played a significant role in reinforcing both social and economic aspects of the whites, it is critically plain that, the relationship remained confined to the slave-master dynamics. Hence, as the narration of the two novels unfolds, it becomes apparent that, the narrator presents a story of declining family despite the fact that, the focal point remains anchored of the impact of blacks on whites and especially the black maids, who, though powerless by principle of color and social ranking, remained a force to reckon with. Equally on the same path comes Go Down Moses descriptively this novel attempts to engage the reader on the various aspects of racism that shaped the black-white relationship within the southern region. More so, from a close examination of this works, it is evident that, social decay which was a resultant factor of racism affected the manner Faulkner depicted the entire community. It should be noted that, along the lines of writing he painted a picture of a man who disliked any iota of social instability.

Thus using well balanced metaphors he managed to move from the conventional wisdom of prose writing, and quite frankly presented the raw image of how the diverse ethnic entities integrated though harshly. For instance, by delving into the appendix of The Sound and the Fury which concludes with an account of the black family that had tirelessly served the Compsons,their relationship with this family is told with unique and omniscient perspective, translating to a simple reference, hence the final entry is made up of two words They endured (Jones 62).

Perhaps, this is one of the many indicators of how racism was rooted within the said communities. Whites viewed the blacks negatively, treating them with impunity even without having in consideration in regard to their future. More so, whites trusted the blacks with their children, though, their relations often rotated within the axis of master-servant dialogue. But it is evident that The Sound and the Fury, the author presents a more cohesive and varied analysis of how the whites and the blacks carried off. Consider the fact that, the elements of racism as Faulkner presents them are in one way or the other more profoundly exposed by a black maid named Disley who used to work for a white man. Hence, in order to drive his point regarding racism Faulkner often narrated his tales through the use of multiple narratives, each with its individual comforts and biases, which permits us to piece collectively the true conditions of the story, not as inklings in an obscurity. The finale provides a key to accepting the broad scenery encompassing the essential episodes in a manner that conventional linear narratives basically are incapable to accomplish.

Therefore, this infers that, Absalom, Absalom, and As I lay Dying, exemplifies, as well involves the communal and cultural subjects of legacy including the sociopsychological fables of white superiority and Negro inadequacy. Also, The Unvanquished equally extols the concepts of racism whereby, Faulkner uses an unadulterated condensation of words, in fact formless, but premeditated to carry a more personal and fundamental portrayal of characters and subject matter in a novel.

Therefore, he seems to argue on the ground of   American allegories of race--white pre-eminence and black lowliness preserving a living existence and influence that is still, though extreme subterranean and is also present in modern American culture. Hence, in Absalom, Absalom, The obliteration of the father is seen to be passed down to his offspring. The calamity that ensue Henry Sutpen, the tolerable son, is that he is incapable to surpass his fathers ethical blindness (Jones 44). The acknowledgment of the wreckage of racial inequity is unthinkable to Henry, because he had it bored into his mind that his race and ethnicity including his gender are superior and supreme. In fact, his slaying of Charles Bon is founded far on Charles mixed blood than in the distaste of incest. However, the articulation of this theme is more and austerely explored in The Reivers.

In the novel, the author presents a crisp picture of how Lucius, a little boy learns of diverse aspects which negatively impacted on the society, some of these aspects includedsexim, corruption as well as racism.
 This exposed him also to a myriad of challenges that engulfed the relationship between the whites with the blacks. Despite such an observation, it would be instrumental to aver that, other factors that he came to face included learning of how to develop morality, self respect and equally dignity. Thus, comparing this observation with other Faulkners works which includes Absalom, Absalom , The Sound and the Fury and Go Down Moses all presents a pure analogy of how the author understood and got influenced by the aspects of racism in the south. Hence, through out this novel, some characters tend to display unending traits of both aspects of action and racism as well as prejudice. Though there are some instances where the elements of racism are seen to be negated, but it is vital to realise that, the southern region had lagged behind despite the fact that, the northern region was advancing in both governance and civilization. For instance, Butch Lovemaiden, , is racist in both thinking and action, as he time and again refers to  the black subjects niggers, calling  them only to query their aptitude, honor, status, integrity, or morality (Jones 55). Even Mr. Poleymus, who is somehow depicted as kind and decent man, demonstrates racism as he clearly argues his displeasure of Lucius living with a black family.

The scheme of the novels centres on so many susceptible circumstances that the narrative seems more or less too thrilling to be true. Nevertheless, every theme in Faulkners magnum opus has subsisted in human culture all through history. In the aforementioned novels, Faulkner involves himself with the duty of dealing with lust, insatiability, incest, miscegenation, prejudice, slavery, and massacre, all of which encompass aspects of sins and have in one way or the other caused public upheavals. Hence, Faulkners characters acknowledge espousing the perceptions set out for a Southern civilization nevertheless they picture Southern civilization as a place of duplicity. Jefferson, Mississippi, as an agent of the South in common, emerges as a region where those folks who went to war in order to form an ostentatious society did so by carrying out atrocious crimes against humankind and thus deceived the very standards they struggled to uphold by sustaining slavery and racism.        

One of the insincerities exposed in the Faulkner novels indicates that Southern people professed to have strong moral value regarding all aspects of family, yet they forfeited family willingly in favor of safeguarding some prearranged social arrangement. Pertaining to what Faulkner penned, it is apparent that, he presented a situation where the white community allowed their racist standards ruled their philosophy and demoralized their view for human opinion and this resulted in their hate for blacks. This is well illustrated in one of the novels where an individual named Henry was enthusiastic to disregard incest, yet he killed to avert miscegenation, and this exposes the personality of this social constitution as one founded on odium and demonstrates Faulkners staunch disparagement of the separation and prejudice that saturated Southern society throughout the Civil War period. To reinforce how racism had developed root within the southern region, Faulkner presented a scenario where Sutpen, who maintained to be a Southern guy, rejects his own blood so as to execute his atrocious design. Hence, his son, Charles Bon failed to fit into the plan due to the fact that he was part black. In essence, the novels portend that, image was more significant than family, and decency, forbearance, and even human compassion basically got in the system of forming a perfect civilization or a perfect aim.

In principal, these novels present a candid opinion of how Faulkner viewed the aspects of racism. More importantly, they presented how the relationship between the whites and the blacks evolved to be brutal and catastrophic. This can be linked to the fact that, the whites viewed the blacks as less perfect and treated them as heathens. Thus, the elaborate narration presented by Faulkner precisely portrays what the southern region depicted black to be. Hence, the overall relationship of the two races flourished on the anvil of hatred and misery and the whites assumed the upper hand by depicting themselves as more superior than the blacks (Jones 44).

Basically, it can be said that, Faulkner was compelled by the injustices which prevailed in the south hence this prompted him to write about the ever unstable relationship of the whites and the blacks. It is instrumental to assert that, cultural disparity, as well as ethnic dissimilarity played a paramount role in as far as the concepts of racism is concerned. Therefore, due to the diverse challenges which engulfed the southern region, diverse factors which revolved around the economic, political and social concern foresaw the raise of racism and slavery within the borders of the south.

In conclusion, I am not alleging Faulkner to be a racist in any simple meaning of that phrase. I am asserting that in his novels, and habitually in his life, racial fables seem to be deeply rooted in his deliberation. His efforts to tackle racism and assuage it in The Sound and the Fury would move on unabated in his tough glance at the cost of miscegenation in Absalom, Absalom  As well as in Go Down, Moses.


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