Light in August
Foreignness and 'the Other' Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Man knows so little about his fellows. (2.39)
While much of the novel concerns racial and gender "Otherness," there's also the sense in the novel that even the familiar can be "Other," since we never really know one another.
[Hightower] sits motionless, watching Byron with a sort of quiet astonishment. There is nothing militant in it, nothing of outraged morality. It is as though he were listening to the doings of people of a different race (4.10)
Hightower sees Byron as strange to him once he realizes that Byron is falling in love with Lena.
[Miss Burden] has lived in the house since she was born, yet she is still a stranger, a foreigner whose people moved in from the North during Reconstruction. A Yankee, a lover of negroes, about whom in the town there is still talk of queer relations with negroes in the town and out of it, despite the fact that it is now sixty years since her grandfather and her brother were killed on the square by an exslaveowner over a question of negro votes in a state election. (2.37)
Miss Burden is labeled an outsider both because of her refusal to marry and because her ancestors were dedicated to black rights – the town leaves no room for different viewpoints, and individuals who struggle against it seem to wind up as outcasts.