Racism in Faulkner’s Dry September Essay

Racism in Faulkner’s Dry September Essay

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Racism in Faulkner’s Dry September


When summer turns into autumn everyone knows that changes will occur. People start to wear heavier clothing, the leaves change colors and the most noticeable difference is the weather transformations. Dry September is a fitting title to this short story because numerous changes happen throughout the story as well as during the season.

The imagery created provides a solid background for a reader to understand exactly what is going on during this time period. Racial tensions were obviously prevalent and disrespect towards black people was an everyday occurrence. “You damn niggerlover!” (170). The “n” word is used repeatedly used to describe Will Mayes and other black folks living in this town. From what I gathered, Mayes did not do anything to the white men; however, they demean his reputation and name.

What exactly does the moon have to do with the story? On many occasions, a reference to the moon is made: “Below the east was a rumor of the twice-waxed moon,” and “The dark world seemed to lie stricken beneath the cold moon and the lidless stars” (175, 183).

In the first quote it seems to me that the word “twice” is important. “Did it really happen…this ain’t the first man scare she ever had, like Hawkshaw says. Wasn’t there something about a man on the kitchen roof, watching her undress about a year ago” (171). The men in this town seem to think that Minnie Cooper is either lying or making the whole thing up. From reading about her background it seems like she never had any real, true friends and since she wasn’t married maybe yearns for a partner.

The relevance of weather keeps popping up in the men’s conversations. “It’s this durn weather…it’s enough to make a man do anythin...


... middle of paper ...


... barber again and again says that he knows Will Mayes and he would never do such a thing against a woman like Minnie Cooper, or anyone for that matter. If anything went wrong back during this time when racism was at its peak, a white man ALWAYS blamed a black man. White men had so many stereotypes and misconceptions about black people that it baffles me today. Just because someone is of a different color than you, why must a person insist in degrading and humiliating that person? The world is a very different place since this story was written however; sadly some people still believe that blacks do not deserve to have all the freedoms that they enjoy today.

Dry September was a wonderful short story that included Faulkner’s many favorite subjects; racism and prejudices, colorful, outspoken characters and a storyline that keeps the reader attentive and interested.

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