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«Dry September» by W. Faulkner

  • Date Submitted: 04/10/2012 03:24 PM
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«Dry September» by W. Faulkner

The theme of racial hatred is prevailing in W. Faulkner’s works, who wrote that every white man in America was born crucified on the black cross, meaning the burden of guilt of the white towards the black. The story «Dry September» is a vivid picture of the racial tragedy in America.

The events of the story take place in a fictional town Jefferson. The author does not introduce the real scene of action implying the idea that the racial discrimination is not a tragedy of a certain town or state but is the one of America as a whole. To impart this idea the author employs a wide variety of expressive means and stylistic devices. Each of them forms a microtheme of the racial prejudice. In general, the language means, used by the author, aim at conveying the text hypertheme of hatred and hostility between human beings. It is reflected in the title of the story which indicates not only the drought in nature but also the callousness of people, whose perception of universal values is distorted. Besides, a coarse phonetic ring of the adjective «dry» evokes the associations of tension in the reader’s mind.

The author narrates about lynching a young Negro, Will Mayes, who is accused of insulting Minnie Cooper, a white woman. But all the accusations are based on rumors, and there is no evidence to prove the Negro’s gilt.

From the very beginning of the story the author reveals strained racial relations in Jefferson using the lexeme «fire» in the simile: «Through the bloody September twilight, aftermath of sixty-two rainless day, it had gone like a fire in dry grass: the rumor, the story, whatever it was. Something about Miss Minnie Cooper and a Negro». It has not rained for sixty two days, and the rumors, that something has happened between a white woman and a black man, spread with lightening speed. Throughout the whole story the author accentuates the idea that the air in Jefferson is terrible. The heat, the dust and the...


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