Light in August: Character Names

KeskusteluWilliam Faulkner and his Literary Kin

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Light in August: Character Names

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Muokkaaja: tammikuu 25, 2010, 2:34 pm

Faulkner doesn't do this often, but in Light in August, every character name seems to carry an almost too-obvious meaning. Christmas, Grove, Burden, Hightower, Grimm. Thoughts on the subtle and not-so-subtle implications of these and other names in this novel?

tammikuu 28, 2010, 10:46 am

Linda, I'm almost finished with LIA, but haven't been paying much attention here so I could avoid spoilers. Yes, the names certainly carry some baggage, but I've thought about them mainly where they amplify Faulkner's overwhelming use of Christian symbolism and imagery. I read the short stories and As I Lay Dying years ago so my memory of it all is a bit dim, but I don't remember the symbolism in those works being so blatant, though I'm sure it was there. I've thoughts on the use, but I think that's all I'll offer until I'm finished (which will be soon). I just didn't want you to think there was no one out here!

tammikuu 28, 2010, 2:02 pm

How about starting a thread to talk about all that symbolism and imagery when you're done?

tammikuu 28, 2010, 2:14 pm

Excellent idea! I'm on it.

tammikuu 28, 2010, 6:32 pm

I came across these in my obsessive mood after finishing Light in August and finding the pages so very interesting, I thought that perhaps some of the rest of us might benefit from the reading of it.


helmikuu 7, 2010, 2:17 pm

I agree, theelizabet, that the names are largely woven in with the Christian symbols or other obvious implications (i.e., Hightower), but there are others that have given me pause. For instance, how about Joe and Joanna -- are they like opposite sides of the same problem? Dark and light twins, or simply people sharing the same burden (Burden)?