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Reflective Piece on "That Evening Sun Go Down"

  • Date Submitted: 04/10/2013 11:10 PM
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Reflective Piece on "That Evening Sun Go Down"

      The early twentieth century world in which William Faulkner lived hardly seems comparable to what it has become today. Through his short story “That Evening Sun Go Down,” a reader is introduced to a time when, ironically enough, values and morals reigned supreme, yet a person’s worth was based upon the color of his or her skin. During this day and age, family units exhibited strong, traditional Christian beliefs. Divorce and single parent homes which are incredibly common in today’s society hardly existed back then. African American people, while considered to be “free” according to the Constitution, still faced excessive amounts of discrimination. Many were required to work for affluent white families in order to pay their bills. Faulkner’s work, which is narrated by a young Quentin Compson, tells the tale of Nancy, an African American woman who works for the narrator’s family doing their laundry. Faulkner’s work in this short story provides for a prime example of how even though on the surface the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries appear to have very little in common, reflecting upon past literature reveals people living both then and now have been required to confront very similar social issues.

One issue presented in Faulkner’s work is that of racial economic disparity within a society. In the early 1900s, African American people like Nancy were not able to make as much money as their white counterparts because discriminatory hiring process hindered their job searches and they were not given the same quality education white students received if they even got any education at all. Racially diverse individuals had to accept whatever positions that became available to them, in other words, jobs that did not pay well and that white people probably did not want. Case and point, in “That Evening Sun Go Down” to earn a living, Nancy had to wash laundry for white people, earning just enough to live in a...


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