In The Novel, Light In August, Joe Christmas Is Depicted

Better Essays

In the novel, Light in August, Joe Christmas is depicted as enduring an ongoing formation, into a more complete character and person through Faulkner’s use of hemes of denial and flight in order to provide insight into universal life lessons.
Joe Christmas, the protagonist, is forced into isolation early in his life by outside forces and attitudes. Part of his plight in life comes from the fact that he can never accept anything but partial responsibility for his actions, but simultaneously attempts to disclaim all responsibility for them. Prior to murdering Joanna Burden, he thinks: "Something is going to happen to me," this suggests that Christmas views his violent actions as being appropriate responses to exterior forces, which …show more content…

Therefore, during the rest of his life when the pattern or order of existence is broken, the result is usually disastrous. When he breaks McEachern 's rules he expects and receives punishment, which follows his idea of the order of things. This is again why he detests the interference of Mrs. McEachern. She, like the dietitian, represents a threat to the settled order of human existence that would be tested a multitude of times in his life. For example, with each prostitute during his years on the road, he would tell her that he was a Negro, which always brought one reaction, following this idea of the order; until this pattern is broken by the prostitute who did not care whether he was Negro or not, which evokes a violent reaction, in the form of a brutal beating. His violent outburst stems from his unconscious desire to punish the dietitian who had first violated his pattern of order; the same reaction is seen in his relationship with Joanna Burden. A relationship between the two flourished long enough to develop a pattern, but when Joanna broke this pattern with her demands that Christmas take over her finances, go to a black school, and finally that he pray with her in order to be saved, he again reacted violently to this violation of his concept of an ordered existence. Christmas ' need for order is violated in turn by each of the

Get Access