Essay on Class and Race in Faulkner's The Mansion

Essay on Class and Race in Faulkner's The Mansion

Length: 2617 words (7.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Class and Race in Faulkner's The Mansion

In The Mansion, the last of William Faulker's Snopes Trilogy, Flem Snopes is killed by his daughter Linda and his cousin Mink because he betrayed family and clan ties. Flem used his wife Eula for his success and finally drove her to suicide. He also took advantage of his daughter' s love for him and tried to deprive her of her property. When Mink, detained on a charge of killing Jack Houston, desperately needed Flem's help, the cousin didn't even appear. They took revenge on him for his betrayal. The story, though, as Cleanth Brooks pointed out (Brooks 227-28), can also be read as of a class struggle: a capitalist Flem is killed by a communist Linda and a poor white, a member of the exploited, Mink. First, I try to reinforce the reading by scrutinizing Mink's murder of Houston, which occurred thirty-eight years before that of Flem. The details strongly suggest that there were striking similarities between them--in fact, the latter repeated the former.1

In the Houston case, a five-dollar bill was stolen to buy buckshot shells to kill Houston, in the Flem case it was a ten-dollar bill to buy a pistol to kill Flem. Thirty-eight years before Mink spent a night in Jefferson Station, now, in the Flem case, it took place in Memphis Station. In both cases the first shell didn't go off, and the second one killed the target.2 Mink spent thirty-seven and a half days building fences before he killed Houston, and thirty-eight years in the Parchman penitentiary before he killed Flem. Mink himself remembered the Houston killing when he was afraid the pistol to kill Flem might misfire (687). A railroad track before Jefferson reminded him of thirty-eight years before (693). At the critical m...

... middle of paper ...

... William. The Mansion in William Faulkner: Novels 1957-1962. New York: Library of America, 1999, pp. 327-721.

Gregory, Eileen. "The Temerity to Revolt: Mink Snopes and the Dispossessed in the Mansion." Mississippi Quarterly, 29 (Summer 1976), 401-421.

Howell, Elmo. "Mink Snopes and Faulkner's Moral Conclusions." South Atlantic Quarterly, 67 (Winter 1968), 13-22.

Towner, Theresa M. Faulkner on the Color Line: The Later Novels. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2000.

Vickery, Olga W. The Novels of William Faulkner: A Critical Interpretation, 2nd ed. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964, pp. 191-208.

Watson, James Gray. The Snopes Dilemma: Faulkner's Trilogy. Coral Gables, Florida: University of Miami Press, 1968.

Wittenberg, Judith Bryant. Faulkner: The Transfiguration of Biography. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

William Faulkner and the Question of Race Essay

- William Faulkner was an odd, but outstanding man. He lived a life as an alcoholic. However, through these dark times Faulkner created outstanding literary works. These works tell how we should live, and not let ourselves become engulfed in the everyday battles between family, racial, and sexual differences. Faulkner received a Nobel Prize in 1949 for his powerful and unique contribution to the Modern American Novel ("The Nobel Prize in Literature 1949"). Through a variety of characters and situations, William Faulkner presents, questions, praises, and condemns the South's view of social standing....   [tags: social standing, the south]

Powerful Essays
1051 words (3 pages)

faulkner Essay

- The Southern Social Themes of Barn Burning William Faulkner undoubtedly ranks one of the best and most influential writers both in America and in history. Among his various works of art, the most famous ones are those set in his fictional Yoknapatawpha County, which is molded out of his “native soil.” Despite their Southern setting, these works convey something universally true. As Faulkner often claims, he is just a story-teller, telling about man in conflict, about how he “endures and prevails.” Before he received due recognition, Faulkner wrote quite a few short stories which he expected would help him improve his economic condition, so that he could write novels at ease....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1006 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Race, gender and class in Faulkner's Literature

- William Faulkner’s short story A Rose for Emily depicts the need for a hierarchy by which to rank and organize individuals by merit of their importance. Class, gender and race each play a vital role in determining the interactions of Jefferson’s residents. Notably, these issues affect how Emily Grierson, Homer Barron, and Emily’s Negro servant Tobe are treated by the townspeople, as well as their behavior. Together race, gender and class portray and define the characters for who they are and act to elucidate their positions in society....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Societal Structures]

Powerful Essays
873 words (2.5 pages)

The Southern Myth Of William Faulkner 's A Rose For Emily Essay

- The Southern Myth of William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” The story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner is primarily about gossip in a small town such as the author’s hometown himself. It is based on a woman who is buried alive in a house that has literally become a tomb; she is buried alive in the concept of southern lady hood, and to this the auxiliary concept of manhood is relevant. Faulkner shifts from third person to first person at a point in the short story and uses the pronoun “we” to indicate the agreement of the small town....   [tags: William Faulkner, Short story, The Mansion]

Powerful Essays
2421 words (6.9 pages)

A Rose For Emily By William Faulkner Essay

- William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” discusses the pitiful and lonely life of Emily Grierson from the perspective of the nosey townspeople. Emily’s peculiar and secluded personality is derived from the death of her father and inability to feel emotion and vulnerability again. Even after she lets a man into her life, she doesn’t treat him like a normal woman would. In order to maintain Emily’s reputation, the townspeople do everything they can to cover up for her strange actions that she does out of loneliness....   [tags: William Faulkner, Sartoris, The Mansion]

Powerful Essays
1107 words (3.2 pages)

Social Class And Race : A White Girl Is Born Into An Upper Class Family Essay

- On November 1st, 1995 a white, baby girl was born into an upper class family. Beginning at that moment, throughout her childhood, and until coming to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she did not realize the impact that being a white girl living in an upper class family would have on her life. Living in River Falls, WI, a suburb of the Twin Cities, provided her with a sheltered view of the world and the different lives that people live, but moving to Madison has changed her perspectives on social class and race....   [tags: Social class, Working class, Sociology, Race]

Powerful Essays
1892 words (5.4 pages)

William Faulkner 's A Rose For Emily Essay

- In the course of a woman 's life there is vanity that prevails at first and slowly fades with the the mishaps or missed opportunities in life, for instance a once young and beautiful woman lets her surroundings affect the way she really wants to live and love. As to say, once a rose so vibrantly red and blossomed becomes withered and grey in waiting days. William Faulkner 's early 20th century story " A Rose for Emily," is an American gothic horror tale that shows the transition in Emily’s life of living her youth in the Old South and then getting older in a fast changing world that turns into the New South....   [tags: William Faulkner, Sartoris, The Mansion]

Powerful Essays
1963 words (5.6 pages)

Questions On Class And Race Essay

- Tyson Ramone English 111-1 Summer 2015 Final Draft Class and Race This purpose of this paper is to explore if class and race plays a part in how children are raised. This paper will also explore how class and race plays a role when parents involve themselves in their child’s school, how the parents raise their children, ties to family, teaching, authority, and physical punishment. The hypothesis for this paper is that class and race does play a role in how children are raised and how parents of different backgrounds and class involve themselves in the child’s lives, school, etc....   [tags: Social class, Middle class, Working class]

Powerful Essays
1338 words (3.8 pages)

Defining Race, Gender, Class Lens Essay

- What is the Race, Gender, Class Lens. Race, gender and class shape the experience of all people. This fact has been widely documented in research and, to some extent, is commonly understood. New studies interpret race, gender, class as interlocking categories of experience that affect all aspects of life; thus they simultaneously structure the experiences of all people in society. At any moment, race, class or gender may feel more salient or meaningful in a given persons life, but they are overlapping and cumulative on their effect on people's experiences....   [tags: Race Gender Social Class]

Free Essays
389 words (1.1 pages)

Essay about William Faulkner's Race

- William Faulkner's Race Works Cited Missing William Faulkner, the eldest son to parents Murry and Maud Butler Falkner, was born in New Albany, Mississippi in 1897. Although Faulkner was not a keen student in high school, which eventually lead to his dropping out before graduation, he was very enthusiastic about undirected learning. After years of studying independently, Faulkner allowed a friend of his family, Phil Stone, to assist him with his academic vocation. This relationship inspired Faulkner and after a short period spent with the Royal Air Force in 1918 he decided to go to university where he began writing and publishing poetry....   [tags: William Faulkner Author Gender Papers]

Powerful Essays
1352 words (3.9 pages)