The Diminishing Southern Code in William Faulkner's The Unvanquished

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The Diminishing Southern Code in William Faulkner's The Unvanquished In the novel The Unvanquished, by William Faulkner, most of the characters strictly follow by a code of laws and moral values called the Southern Code. At the beginning of the book, the characters follow the Southern Code more strictly than at the end. Some of the rules which start to diminish during the course of the novel are as follows: no stealing, no profanity, no lying, treat women and the elderly with respect, and seek revenge on those who have caused you pain. The characters obey these during the start of the novel, and eventually as the novel progresses, the rules are broken. The first two rules, no profanity and no lying, are the first two to be…show more content…
The is also probably the first time Granny has ever been in a "life or death" situation, which accounts for her lie. This life-saving lie that has just occurred is a little hint as to what will become of the Southern Code at the end of the novel. Stealing is the third rule to be broken. Ironically this "stealing" incident involves Granny. Granny, along with the help of Bayard and Ringo, steals horses from the Yankees. Granny forges a colonel's signature on forms which claim that she has permission to take possession of mules from certain posts of the Union army. This act of forgery is once again an example of lying. Granny steals hundreds of mules with this technique and then sells the stolen mules back to the Yankees. As Granny steals these animals, she realizes that it is wrong and clearly against the Southern Code. However, she brushes away her guilty conscious with the thought that stealing the mules is for a good cause. This is also an example of the human heart in conflict with itself. Bayard and Ringo also steal a horse, after they retreat from their burning home. Bayard's father. Colonel Sartoris, asks Bayard where he apprehended the horse, "Where did you get that horse?" Bayard replies, "We borrowed it." (Faulkner 62) This is a nice way of saying that Ringo and he stole it. Once again, this incident occurs early in the book and Bayard does not lie to his father that he stole. The rule, "treat

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