William Faulkner: Translating His Life into His Works

Best Essays
Humankind through years of evolution has become a glorious race with an inexhaustible capacity to think. Each mind is filled with a profusion of ideas and other abstractions, which are sought to be expressed. Often, people find their medium of expression through art. Jean de La Fontaine, a renowned French fabulist begins his poem, The Hornets and the Bees with the line: “by the work one knows the workman” (The Hornets). If art is a method of self-expression, the creator, is thus, significant. In essence, art as the reflection of a being is inseparable from the being. To examine a masterpiece, the creator must be investigated, too.

In 1917, the United States aided the Triple Entente during the First World War. Faulkner enlisted for the Armed Signal Corps from which he was rejected for his height and frailty (Leary +). Despite his rejection, Faulkner was undeterred. With a British accent, a borrowed England address, and an added “u” to his name, he went to a recruiting office in New York, and enlisted for the Royal Air Force in Canada. Faulkner was accepted, and was ordered to report for Toronto immediately. Although, his efforts were successful, he set himself up for disappointment, for the war ended in 1918 without him having set foot in any battle. When he returned to Oxford a month later, however, he was outfitted in a British uniform paired with a swagger stick to support his injured legs. Early on, he said his injury was a result from a crash during training. Later, the injury would be of several various other causes (Parini 39-47). Although his lies mortified him for the rest of his life, Faulkner illustrated how he was inherently a storyteller, and his tales were his masterpieces. Through that incident he showed how concoc...

... middle of paper ...

...y Criticism. Vol. 1. New York: Helvetica Press, 1988. 145. Print.

Leary, Lewis. "The County and the Man." William Faulkner of Yoknapatawpha County. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1973. 1-37. Print.

Minter, David. William Faulkner: His Life and Work. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1980. 1-90. Print.

Parini, Jay. One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2004. 39-47. Print.

Shute, Sarah. "Absalom, Absalom!." Literature Online. Cambridge: Proquest Information and Learning Co, 2002. Literature Online. Web. 8 May 2012. .

"The Hornets and Bees, The Oak and Reed." Jean de La Fontaine. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 May 2012. .
Get Access