That Evening Sun: Literary Analysis Essay

641 WordsApr 27, 20123 Pages
“That Evening Sun” by William Faulkner is a good example of a great emotional turmoil transferred directly to the readers through the words of a narrator who does not seem to grasp the severity of the turmoil. It is a story of an African American laundress who lives in the fear of her common-law husband Jesus who suspects her of carrying a white man's child in her womb and seems hell bent on killing her. Many critics refer to "That Evening Sun" as one of the finest examples of narrative point of view. The story is told by Quentin Compson, whose voice Faulkner utilizes at two distinct times in the boy's life. First, we have 24-year-old Quentin remembering a 15-year-old episode concerning Nancy's fear of Jesus. This introductory point of…show more content…
Throughout the short story several symbols appear. Mr. Stovell for example who is an illustration of both the economic system, he is a cashier at the bank, and the religious institutions, he is a Baptist deacon, of the South, refuses to pay Nancy for her services. Stovell is representative of all the bad in the South, and how the White take advantage of the Blacks, and don't get punished for it; he represents both the wealthy and the religious. Another symbol is certainly the way that Faulkner uses dark and light in the story. For Nancy "that evening sun'' represents the danger that her absent lover presents to her. Jesus whose name is likely an ironic joke on Faulkner's part represents danger and violence to Nancy, and he will wait until night has come to fall upon her. When it is light she feels safer, but once the darkness hits, danger is represented. The title of "That Evening Sun" refers to a popular black spiritual that begins, "Lordy, how I hate to see that evening sun go down," which implies that once the sun sets, death is sure to follow. In conclusion, William Faulkner’s stories deal with a plethora of human problems, while at the same time they focus on social conflicts and misunderstanding. In, “That Evening Sun” this can all be clearly seen, as he focuses on one of the most urgent problems of that
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