Research Repository

“Man will not merely endure: he will prevail”; How the characters in William Faulkner’s novels meet and defy the expectations of the hero

Joshua, Sophie (2020) “Man will not merely endure: he will prevail”; How the characters in William Faulkner’s novels meet and defy the expectations of the hero. Masters thesis, University of Essex.

[img]
Preview
Text
Sophie Joshua Masters Corrections.pdf

Download (851kB) | Preview

Abstract

This thesis explores and investigates what creates the character of the hero, and how the characters in William Faulkner’s novels meet and defy these expectations and descriptions. The aim of this thesis is to study the characters in William Faulkner’s novels, compare them to existing scholarship surrounding the identity of the hero, and then ultimately to create my own definition of what makes a Faulknerian hero, based upon the characters being studied and the existing scholarship. The key concept of this thesis focuses on intention, and it is my argument that intention is integral in identifying the Faulknerian hero. I will also be presenting the influence which the reader has in this identification. I will be presenting the idea that ultimately it is the reader’s perception of a hero rather than the community perception of a hero which is most important and influential. Chapter one will explore the role of gender in William Faulkner’s novels and how this influences the identity of the hero. I will be drawing on ideas of femininity and masculinity and the role these play in identifying the hero in southern society. Chapter two will explore the southern ideologies of violence and war and how the perceptions of these themes create ideas of what creates a hero. This chapter will also focus on the way racial prejudice and white supremacy in the South creates the identity of the hero in the eyes of the reader and of the community in the novel. Chapter three explores the ways in which religion and mythology influence both the reader’s and the community in the novel’s ideas of what creates a hero, and the way this influences Faulkner’s characters. Christianity, its role in this research and in southern society is specifically highlighted. The ideas and characters explored in all three chapters will pinpoint my definition of a Faulknerian hero and will be brought together in my conclusion to clearly outline these in reference to my key concept of intent/intention and what makes a Faulknerian hero.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, Department of
Depositing User: Sophie Joshua
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2020 14:46
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2020 14:50
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/27138

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item