Light in August and Portrait of a Lady are two novels which embodies within them, life affirming morals. Authors like William Faulkner and Henry James possess the art of making the reader learn by experiencing for themselves. William Faulkner uses the technique of introspection as well as by showing how characters and their actions can affect one another. Henry James also shows that a character’s actions and decisions can greatly affect one’s future and happiness. Both authors focus on the power of words that function only to categorize individuals into certain races or social classes.
William Faulkner, in Light in August, centers his novel around the sensitive issues dealing with race, sex, social status and personal history. Faulkner shows the reader that people who are placed in such categories receive certain expectations from society. The characters generally accept these categories as truth, and cannot escape from their expectations, both from society and from themselves. Characters are placed under labels. These labels dictate how the characters should or should not act. These labels determine the character’s potential for good or evil.
Race is the most prominent label in Light in August. The race of the characters dictates how they are treated among others in society. A person’s race is translated into an image. Characters affected by racism include Joe Christmas, Old Doc Hines.
Joe Christmas was born an illegitimate child, from a white mother, and a father of unknown ethnic origin. From a child, he was called “nigger” by his peers, even before he knew the meaning of the w…
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…ertain situations. The reader really “sees” that labels have the power to change people and to alter their priorities, if the individual accepts them as truth.
Faulkner, William. Light in August. 1932. New York: Vintage, 1987.
James, Henry. The Portrait of a Lady. Ed. Geoffrey Moore and Patricia Crick. New York: Penguin, 1986.
Volpe, Edmond L. “Exploring Independence .” Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Portrait of a Lady: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Peter Buitenhuis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1968.
Krook, Dorothea. “Two Problems in The Portrait of a Lady.” Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Portrait of a Lady: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Peter Buitenhuis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1968.
Pitavy, Francois. Faulkner’s “Light in August.” Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1973
Comparing My Name is Asher Lev, Naked Lunch and Animal Farm
Comparative Analysis of My Name is Asher Lev, Naked Lunch and Animal Farm
What do a junkie, Communists pigs, and a little Jewish boy have in common? No, this isnÕt an Anti-Semitic crack. In fact, the answer is really nothing. Then how would Naked Lunch, Animal Farm, and My Name is Asher Lev make a good comparative research paper? ThereÕs no magic involved really. To solve this perplexity one must think like Chaim Potok who said that “no feeling, no thought, and no sensibility cannot be tapped or explored and revealed” (Abramson 59). By looking deeper into the fibers of history, satire, criticism, and philosophy that are woven into each of these stories, the connection becomes less ambiguous.
As with many great novels, there is usually more to the story than what is written on paper. Each author, in his novels, incorporated his critical view of the world into the story by using the theme of individual vs. society. These views portray their cultures in the negative light in which they saw them. Therefore, the criticisms were the authorsÕ way of exhibiting and lashing out against what, in their minds, were the evils within the society they lived in. These problems range from politics, to religion, to the human condition.
My Name is Asher Lev, Naked Lunch, and Animal Farm were all written with a specific, social criticism in mind. Chaim Potok, author of My Name is Asher Lev, though an ordained rabbi of the Jewish faith, (Abramson 2) sought to justify the “conviction that no idea should be foreign in our world (Potok)” by challenging the JewÕs belief that “art holds no place in the Jewish faith. (Kremer)” Though raised in a strict, Orthodox household Potok grew interested in art from an early age and,…
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…l. 2. Feb, 1976. 321-322.
Potok, Chaim. Interview with Jennifer Gilmett. Seattle Pacific University. 29 Oct. 1997.http://www.lasierra.edu/~ballen/potok/Potok.interviews. SPU.html
Potok, Chaim. Lecture. Southern College of Seventh-Day Adventists. Collegedale, Tenn. Ed. Dr. Jerry Gladson. http://www.lasierra.edu/ ~ballen/potok/Potok.unique.html#Asher
Seltzer, Alvin J. Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol. 42. Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1985. 80-85.
Skerl, Jenny. “William S. Burroughs”. http://www.bigtable.com/0009e.html
Smyer, Richard I. Animal Farm: Pastoralism and Politics. Boston: TwayneÕs Masterwork Studies, 1988. 11-30.
Smyer, Richard I. “Primal Dream and Primal Crime: OrwellÕs Development As a Physchological Novelist”. DIScovering Authors Modules Online. University of Missouri Press, 1979. http://www.galenet.com