On the Native Complex in William Faulkner’s Works毕业论文
- Introduction ————————————————————————1
- Demonstration ———————————————————————1
- The view on “root”————————————————————–1
2.1.1. The root of family ————————————————————1
2.1.2. The root of the Southern nobility——————————————-2
2.2. Community of the South——————————————–—-——-3
2.2.1. Relationship between upper level and lower level———————–3
2.2.2. Resistance of the individualism from the North ———————— 5
2.3. Harmony in man and nature—————————————————7
2.3.1. Relationship between human and nature———————————-7
2.3.2. Conflict and cycle in nature————————————————-9
3. Conclusion ————————————————————————11
On the Native Complex in William Faulkner’s Short Stories
William Cuthbert Faulkner (September 25, 1897–July 6, 1962) was an American writer of novels, short stories, poetry and occasionally screenplays. He is considered as one of the most important writers of the Southern literature of the United States. Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature.
He devoted his life to describing “the country like a stamp”. In most of his works, the place Yoknapatawpha County is frequently set as the background for the stories. It is an imaginary area in Mississippi with a colorful history and a richly diversified population, based on Faulkner’s childhood memory about the place in which he grew up, the town of Oxford in his native Lafayette County in the American South. Faulkner’s novels mainly have something to do with the three sagas in Yoknapatawpha County: the Sartoris family, the Compson family and the Snopes family, about the contradiction and conflict between the decayed aristocratic traditions and the new upstarts, including The Sound and the Fury, As I lay Dying, Light in August and Absalom, Absalom. Yoknapatawpha is Faulkner’s “postage stamp”, and the bulk of the works in which it appears are widely considered by critics to amount to one of the most monumental fictional creations in the history of literature. His work is a key to understanding the United States, especially life of the Southern society.
So there are a lot of studies on William Faulkner’s local color. For example, H. R. Stern Beck introduces the reflection of localism in Faulkner’s life and works in “William Faulkner and his localism”. Xiao Minghan, who specializes in studying William Faulkner, analyzes the characteristics of the Southern American society and its influence on Faulkner in “William Faulkner: Turbulent Souls” and “On William Faulkner”. Kong Qinghua discusses Faulkner’s native complex from the aspects of local language, environment, and characters in “On the Native Complex in William Faulkner’s short stories”. All these studies pay attention to the influence of localism on William Faulkner’s works, and some of them have touched on the writer’s native complex. However, no study has been made any overall and systematic analysis on William Faulkner’s native complex so far.
This paper, taking “A Rose for Emily”, “Spotted Horses” and “The Bear” as case study, attempts to discuss the image of rural people shaped by William Faulkner so as to explore his native complex from the aspects of man and man, man and tradition, man and nature, so that the readers can get a further understanding of Faulkner and his works. This thesis is composed of three chapters. The first chapter provides the background information which leads to the thesis writing. The second chapter elaborates William Faulkner’s native complex in three aspects and is thus divided into three parts. The first part explores Faulkner’s view on “root”, in which I discuss the root of family and the Southern nobility. The second part discusses the community of the South, in which I discuss the relationship among people. The third part elaborates harmony in man and nature in the south, in which I discuss the relationship between human and nature and conflict and cycle in nature. The last chapter gives a conclusion to the thesis and points out the meaning and significance of this study.
A complex is a core pattern of emotions, memories, perceptions, and wishes in the personal unconscious organized around a common theme, such as power or status. Primarily a psychoanalytic term, it is found extensively in the works of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. An example of a complex would be as follows: if you had a leg amputated when you were a child, this would influence your life in profound ways, even if you overcame the physical handicap. You may have many thoughts, emotions, memories, feelings of inferiority, triumphs, bitterness and determinations centering on that one aspect of your life. If these thoughts were troubling and pervasive, Jung might say you had a complex about the leg.(Wikipedia, 2016) William Faulkner’s works are all written around a common theme, the South, from which we discover Faulkner’s complicated feeling of love and hate to the South and memories of the South in the past. In Faulkner’s perception, the Southerners are closely bound with and concerned with each other. They have good qualities and live in harmony with nature in the past. All of these can be called William Faulkner’s native complex. In this study, Faulkner’s native complex actually reflects the relationship between man and tradition, man and man, man and nature. It is actually a combination of rural landscape, people, history and tradition, hope and dream, all of which is called “the eternal real feelings of human” by William Faulkner.
2.1. The view on “root”
The most important part of Faulkner’s native complex is his view on “root”. In his mind, land is the root, which is the survival soil of people. Family is the root, which is transmission of consanguinity and heritage of culture. Tradition is the root, it carries on the glory of the past, such as honor, pride, sympathy, compassion, and self-sacrifice. But to Faulkner’s sadness, the “root” has faded away.