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Light in August

Light in August

by William Faulkner

Light in August Analysis

Literary Devices in Light in August

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The three characters in the novel who are the most pre-occupied with the past are also the ones who seem to experience ghostly presences: Hightower refers to himself as growing up "among phantoms,...

Setting

Faulkner used the fictional Yoknapatawpha county as the setting for many of his novels and stories, including Absalom, Absalom, The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and " A Rose for Emily." The...

Narrator Point of View

Much of the narrative is told in the third person omniscient style. With this approach, the narrator is able to convey all of the feelings and unconscious thoughts and desires of the characters, re...

Genre

William Faulkner was an American modernist through-and-through. As such, many features of modernism are present in Light in August. First off, the story is told from multiple perspectives and in se...

Tone

One of the coolest aspects of Light in August is the way the mood of the novel shifts constantly between light comedy and dark drama. There's a big difference in tone between the quicker-paced, com...

Writing Style

One of the major reasons why Faulkner can be so hard to read is his use of long run-on sentences like, say, this one:Knows remembers believes a corridor in a big long garbled cold echoing building...

What's Up With the Title?

Well, a few things, actually. First up, at the beginning of Chapter 20, Reverend Hightower sits at his window before the sun begins to set, and marvels at "how that fading copper light would seem a...

What's Up With the Ending?

We're going to go out on a limb here and suggest that there are not one but three endings to the novel. The first ending is when Christmas dies, the second is when Hightower dies, and the third is...

Tough-o-Meter

Light in August is actually an easier read than other Faulkner novels, so don't come into this one expecting the garbled tale of an "idiot" (Sound in the Fury) or too many dense paragraphs like the...

Plot Analysis

Joe Christmas is an orphan with an ambiguous racial ancestry, searching for his place in the world.As Christmas's story begins, we see how his strange racial origins will haunt him for his entire l...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Christmas runs away from the McEacherns, longing for freedom.Christmas leaves this repressive family because they will not nurture his search for identity. He longs for companionship, sex, and fun...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Joe Christmas is adopted by the McEacherns, where he has Christianity literally beaten into him every day. One day he fights with McEachern, hitting him over the chair and possibly killing him. He...

Trivia

Light in August is on Time magazine's 100 best English-Language novels from 1923 to the present (source).Faulkner's a lover, not a fighter. He spent most of his early years thinking that he was a p...

Steaminess Rating

While there aren't a lot of sex scenes in Light in August, the ones we get are violent and racially-loaded. Joe Christmas's friends lure a poor young black woman into a barn so they can take turns...

Allusions

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (17.15)William Shakespeare, Henry IV (17.15)Ku Klux Klan (3.19) The American Legion (19.15)

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