During his childhood, Faulkner was deeply influenced by his mother and grandmother, who were both interested in art and literature. His family were fond of storytelling and Faulkner grew up listening to tales about the history of the south and of his great grandfather, who was a Civil War hero. When he was seventeen Faulkner enrolled at the University of Mississippi and met Philip Stone, who mentored the young writer. Faulkner married Estelle Oldham in and hoped to make a living as a novelist.
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There are electric line poles and paved streets; even the black women who still take in laundry have their husbands pick it up and deliver it in cars. But 15 years earlier, the streets would have been filled with black women carrying bundles of clothes balanced on their heads. Nancy was one of the women whom the Compson children liked to watch carry laundry on her head because she could balance her bundle while crawling through fences or walking down in ditches and then up out of them.
The emphasis on washing both in the first and last sections unifies the story. This first section provides much background information. On the way to jail, Nancy passes Mr. Stovall, a deacon in the Baptist church, and she begins to plead with the white man: "When you going to pay me, white man?
There, she tries to hang herself by removing her dress and using it as a noose. Stovall, to use Nancy as a sexual object, regardless of whether he pays her or not. But a black man could be hanged immediately if he even spoke familiarly with a white woman. Stovall, of course, knows that he will not be punished for striking Nancy. At the time the story takes place, a white man could harm a black person without the least fear of recrimination.
This episode also highlights the theme of small-town mentality. Quentin reports the encounter between Nancy and Mr. Instead, he knows about the incident because it soon becomes the talk of the town: "That was how she lost her teeth, and all that day they told about Nancy and Mr.
Stovall, and all that night the ones that passed the jail could hear Nancy singing and yelling. Again, we have a double vision: The adults discuss a subject that belongs to the adult world, and the young listeners misunderstand the sexual nature of that discussion.
So far, Faulkner has presented only background information. At this point, the main plot, narrated by 9-year-old Quentin, begins with his announcing that Nancy has finished washing the supper dishes, but that she remains sitting in the kitchen.
After speaking to Nancy, Mr. Compson tells his wife that he is going to escort Nancy home because she fears that Jesus is back in town. Her objection is a ridiculous complaint: In the Southern culture in which she lives, no black person, not even the feared Jesus, would break into the Compson mansion or threaten Mrs.
The children quickly decide to go with Nancy and their father. Nancy explains that Jesus was always good to her, but now nobody can protect her from his wrath. Listening to Mr. Compson tell her that this would never have happened if she had "let white men alone," Nancy is adamant that Jesus is close by. She can feel him, and she knows that she will see him only one more time, immediately before he cuts her throat with a razor. Compson tries to assure her that Jesus is most likely in St.
Her response is ironic given that this murderous violence is exactly what Nancy fears from Jesus. However, we should be aware that, essentially, Nancy is not blaming Jesus for wanting to kill her. Because she would decapitate Jesus for fooling around, she knows that Jesus is justified in using a razor on her for cheating on him.
Nevertheless, she fears having her throat cut, all alone, in the darkening night. Walking to her cabin, they prattle constantly about which one of them is more scared.
Caddy begins to tease Jason that he is a "scairy cat," which he fervently denies. By teasing each other, the children are clearly unaware of the abject terror that Nancy is feeling. None of them — particularly the inquisitive Caddy — understands the crux of Nancy and Mr. For example, when Mr. Compson tells Nancy that Jesus would not be upset if only Nancy had "let white men alone," Caddy immediately wants to know, "Let what white men alone?.
How let them alone? He is a child relating what he sees and hears. Nancy does not feel in control of her own fate. She constantly reiterates, "I aint nothing but a nigger. It aint none of my fault. Nancy has internalized this condemnation to so great an extent that she believes her life is without value.
Faulkner's Short Stories
There are electric line poles and paved streets; even the black women who still take in laundry have their husbands pick it up and deliver it in cars. But 15 years earlier, the streets would have been filled with black women carrying bundles of clothes balanced on their heads. Nancy was one of the women whom the Compson children liked to watch carry laundry on her head because she could balance her bundle while crawling through fences or walking down in ditches and then up out of them. The emphasis on washing both in the first and last sections unifies the story.
That Evening Sun
Taken from his Selected Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by a young man called Quentin Compson and it is worth noting that the title of the story comes from a W. Handy song, popular at the time the story was written, called Saint Louis Blues. Some critics argue that Quentin mirrors the changes progressive that have come to Jefferson and that he would do things differently while others suggest that Quentin remains the same, that he longs to return to a time when things were easier for southern aristocracy. While Nancy expresses a genuine fear of retribution for getting pregnant by another man from her husband, Jesus, the children never appear to fully comprehend what may happen to Nancy.