The Mceachern's Light In August

Decent Essays
The McEachern’s, an older southern couple who raise Joe Christmas, are similar to Grant Wood’s American Gothic. Light in August by William Faulkner was written in the style of Sothern gothic and this painting is entitled American Gothic. The McEachern’s live on a farm similar to the family in the painting. Similar to the look the farmer man in the painting has, Mr. McEachern looks at a young, orphaned Joe Christmas whom he is about to adopt “with a stare cold and intent and yet not deliberately harsh. It was the same stare with which he might have examined a horse or a second hand plow.” Mr. McEachern relationship with Mrs. McEachern is one where he had all the power and “she had been hammered stubbornly thinner and thinner like some passive…show more content…
McEchern is not even treated as a person by her husband or by Christmas. In the painting the man is holding the pitchfork and thus holding all the power over his wife, like the McEcherns. The woman in American Gothic is looking toward the man with her brow together in disagreement but her mouth is shut tightly. This is similar to the McEacherns, when Mrs. McEachern tries to get between Christmas and the “punishment which, deserved or not, just or unjust, was impersonal.” Mrs. McEachern makes Christmas food behind Mr. McEachern’s back after a hash beating by Mr. McEachern. Although Mrs. McEachern tries to help Christmas in small secret ways, she is not brave enough to stand up to her husband and stop the beating and mistreatment of Christmas. Like in the house, the barn and the clothing the two people wear which is simple in the painting, which are both plain and simple, the McEacherns live plainly where they “fear God and abhor idleness and vanity.” The man in the painting looks cold and distant and the relationship between the two people in the painting looks unemotional. The steady beating of Christmas starting at a young age, is an extreme example of the unemotional harshness that Mr. McEachern has shown his wife before Christmas arrives slowing bending her to his will and making her “the medium and the vigorous and ruthless husband the
Get Access