by William Faulkner
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
Some critics suggest that Faulkner used the Civil War as a backdrop to the novel in order to reflect the idea of domestic conflict. The war between the North and the South is played out on a more personal level as the war between brothers, or even father and son. Whatever the two sides represent, the Civil War symbolizes the violence and discord going on in the lives of the characters on a much grander scale. And, of course, the bloody events of both the war between territories and the war within the Sutpen family relate back to feelings about race.
Which war do you think is more central to this book?