Faulkner believed that late-summer light in the South assumed unique qualities—an observation and title that may originally have been suggested by his wife. The strict doctrines that guide Mr. He is a friend and mentor to Byron.
In spite of these complaints, the novel came to be viewed positively because of its violence and dark themes, as this was a contrast to the sentimentalromantic Southern literature of the time. Consumed with rage, he is a bitter outcast who wanders between black and white society, constantly provoking fights with blacks and whites alike.
The characters in Light in August—who are mostly from the lower classes, with the exception of Reverend Hightower and Joanna Burden—are united by poverty and Puritanical values that cause them to regard an unwed mother like Lena Grove with disdain.
Christmas comes to Jefferson three years prior to the central events of the novel and gets a job at the mill where Byron, and later Joe Brown, works. Listening, he seems to hear within it the apotheosis of his own history, his own land his own environed blood: Though their relationship is passionate at first, Joanna begins menopause and turns to religion, which frustrates and angers Christmas.
In Mottstown, he is arrested and jailed, then moved to Jefferson. Gavin Stevens — an educated man and district attorney who lives in Jefferson and offers commentary on some of the events at the end of the novel. She scorns him and leaves him. Lena Grove — a young pregnant woman from Alabama who has traveled to Jefferson while looking for Lucas Burch, the father of her unborn child.
It was the woman: Joe Christmas is on the opposite footing: Like Christmas, she is an orphan, but rather than run from the past—or be symbolically imprisoned by it—in the end she heads optimistically to an unscripted future.
Thematically, the complex layering of both internal and external voices suggests a world—and the individual lives that inhabit it—that resists easy definition. McEachern — the adoptive father of Joe Christmas.
He is also perceived as neither male nor female,  just as Joanna Burden, whom Faulkner portrays as "masculinized," is also neither male nor female and is rejected by her community. Hines — the grandmother of Joe Christmas. Both Joe Christmas and Lena Grove are orphans, strangers in town, and social outcasts, though the former draws anger and violence from the community, while the latter is looked down upon but receives generous assistance in her travels.
Bunch tries to convince Hightower to give the imprisoned Joe Christmas an alibi, but Hightower initially refuses. This was Lena and Byron, who were conducting a half-hearted search for Brown, and they are eventually dropped off in Tennessee.
Faulkner shows the restrictiveness and aggression of their Puritanical zeal, which has caused them to become "deformed" in their struggle against nature. She conceives after a tryst with a member of a traveling circus, whom she claims is Mexican. She has never seen Christmas after the night of his birth and travels to Jefferson to ensure that her husband does not successfully have him lynched, because she wants to see him again once more before he is tried for murder.
Christian imagery such as the urn, the wheel, and the shadow, can be found throughout. Because of this, Joe Christmas is fixated on the idea that he has some African American blood, which Faulkner never confirms, and views his parentage as an original sin that has tainted his body and actions since birth.
She is unmarried, lives alone in a manor house outside of Jefferson, and is secretly engaged in a sexual relationship with Joe Christmas. The life and death of Joe Christmas is reminiscent of the passion of ChristLena and her fatherless child parallel Mary and Christ,  and Byron Bunch acts as a Joseph figure.
Although he has light skin, Christmas suspects that he is of African American ancestry. His grandparents arrive in town and visit Gail Hightower, the disgraced former minister of the town and friend of Byron Bunch.
Joe Christmas — a man who came to Jefferson three years prior to the events in the novel. The Isolation of the Individual Light in August is filled with loners, isolated figures who choose or are forced to inhabit the fringes of society.
Bobbie — a waitress at a restaurant in Memphis whom the adolescent Joe Christmas falls in love with and proposes to on the night that he kills his father at a local dance.
The novel is set in the American South in the s, during the time of Prohibition and Jim Crow laws that legalized racial segregation in the South. His wanderings become a symbolic journey to find out who he is, a search for wholeness and self-completion, but they are tragically and ultimately an illusive and elusive quest.
Reverend Hightower and Joe Christmas both are described as living outside of time, inhabiting their own temporal order and a world of their own making. The novel is characteristic of the modernist fascination with polarities—light and dark, good and evil—the burden of history on the present, and the splintering of personal identity.
Lena Grove emerges as the only figure able to sidestep the oppressive burden of the past. Whereas some individuals need these external cues to provide themselves with a sense of clarity, order, and definition, others struggle under the weight of what are often intrusive attempts to restrict and classify.A summary of Themes in William Faulkner's Light in August.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Light in August and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
Light in August is a novel by the Southern American author William Faulkner. It belongs to the Southern gothic and modernist literary genres. Set in the author's present day, the interwar period, the novel centers on two strangers who arrive at different times in Jefferson, Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, a fictional county based on.
Everything you ever wanted to know about the quotes talking about Religion in Light in August, written by experts just for you.
Essay on Light in August by William Faulkner Words | 5 Pages. Light in August by William Faulkner Light in August, a novel written by the well-known author, William Faulkner, can definitely be interpreted in many ways. However, one fairly obvious prospective is through a religious standpoint.
The purpose of this essay is to examine the usage, expression, and overall purpose of the use of figurative crucifixion and resurrection of Christ parallels in the novels Light in August and The Road by William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy respectively. Light in August: Top Ten Quotes, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.Download