Study Guide

The Reivers Tough-o-Meter

By William Faulkner

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(3) Base Camp

You may already know how tricky Faulkner can be, both linguistically and thematically. But you'll be relieved to find out that The Reivers is the simplest of all the author's works. It's actually very straightforward.

We totally heard that huge sigh of relief.

It's always clear who's speaking, as Faulkner uses character names rather than those tricky pronouns he usually uses that leave us piecing together who exactly says what. He sticks with one narrator the whole time and doesn't switch halfway through. He also provides adequate clues to allow us to read between the lines and string together the sequence of events.

Faulkner's language is easy to tackle here, as it offers an adult critique of human nature through the lens of a child. It illustrates the greed, corruption, and racism that abounds in Lucius's world, but it does so with a layer of comedic relief. We're left to discover a bit about the world as Lucius would have seen it for the first time, way back when.

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