Examples Of Carnivalesque Idiom

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Thus, while Clytie kills Henry who is the last member of the white dynasty of Sutpen, Wash Jones puts an end to Sutpen’s various assaults and exploitations of both nature and human beings when he kills him. Thus, in carnivalesque terms, the “unofficial” blacks win over the “official” white Thomas Sutpen and ruin his “design". The dramatic scene of the murder represents the death of the “official” Sutpen by the “unofficial” Wash Jones or what Bakhtin terms “carnivalistic mésalliance (slave-king)” (Problems, 1984, 125). This is a carnivalesque triumph itself since it indicates the beating of the upper by the lower. In carnivalesque idioms, Thomas Sutpen’s death involves a rebirth. Paradoxically enough, Sutpen’s death together with the end of his line, symbolizes the rebirth of a new era that delivers the American South from the injustices of slave owners as Thomas Sutpen. Likewise, possible only during carnival times whereby freedom is allowed and…show more content…
In the novel, when Ellen attempts to protect her son Henry while wrestling with wild negros, Sutpen tells her “I don’t expect you to understand it . . . Because you are a woman” (24). Her sister Miss Rosa is described as a “female old flesh long embattled in virginity” (5) and her small body is contrasted to Ellen’s “full bodied . . . rounded and complete” (53). In Rabelais and His World (1984), Bakhtin explains that images of women are “ambivalent” because they embody the two poles of death and life “the temptation of flesh” as well as "the womb” (240). Accordingly, this ambivalence towards the female is noticeable in the novel whereby the white women are just “ladies” (5) as Quentin’s grandfather puts it, while the black women are sex objects. Never the less, in both cases, women are used for sole procreation and the whole narrative plot is build upon that desire for procreating and begetting a white male heir not a
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