Essay on The Iniquities of the Father

5733 Words23 Pages
The Iniquities of the Father: A Look at the Faulknerian Family. Faulkner has been hailed as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, especially for his depictions of life in the Deep South. Many of his stories take place in fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. In the Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, he focuses on two very different families in this county, and explores how the “iniquity of the fathers” is revisited “upon the children” (Holy Bible: KJV Deut. 5.9). In both novels, through the use of stream of consciousness and various other modernist writing techniques, Faulkner looks at two deeply troubled families with weak parents and confused children and explores how these children cope--or fail to…show more content…
His grand-father, J.W.T. Falkner, inherited a railroad company, but instead of passing it on to his son whose “first and lasting love” was the railroad, he sold it for $75,000 (Minter 6-7). Young Faulkner and his family moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where his father, Murry, “a cold man whose ‘capacity for affection was limited,’” grew more and more bitter, drank whisky, and “remained distant and cautious” (Minter 9). The relationship between Faulkner’s father and his mother, who had probably married Murry Falkner thinking that he would eventually run the railroad company, became more and more strained. As the tension between them increased, Faulkner’s “father came more and more to regard him as his mother’s son” (Minter 9). As a child, Faulkner preferred to be the silent observer who moved “back and forth between participation and withdrawal” (Minter 12). He dropped out of eleventh grade twice, before getting a short job at his grandfather’s bank, where he “learned the medicinal value of his [Grandfather’s] liquor” (Meriwether 7). He eventually moved to New Haven, developed a British identity, changed his last name from Falkner to Faulkner, and joined up to become an R.F.C. pilot during World War I. He was still in training when the war ended. He described this part of his life during an interview with Marshall J. Smith in 1931, “War came. Liked
Open Document