Study Guide

The Reivers Technology and Modernization

By William Faulkner

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Technology and Modernization

<em>The Reivers</em> takes place in a time when it was the almighty automobile that brought folks into the modern era. In fact, Faulkner offers an interesting look at how the landscape in 1905 was not actually that friendly to automobiles. Not only were roads unpaved and muddy, but people also didn't believe the automobile was a change that was going to have any lasting effects. To Boon, Boss Priest's car is a vehicle for introducing modernization into an otherwise sleepy town in Mississippi.

Questions About Technology and Modernization

  1. What is the common attitude toward the automobile? What does this say about people's views about modernization?
  2. Why does Boss Priest decide to get a car in the first place?
  3. Does The Reivers offer any other symbols of technology and modernization?
  4. Is the automobile a catalyst for change? Or is change inevitable?

Chew on This

Modernization is synonymous with sin, for bad things happen to otherwise good people, like Boon and Lucius, only after the automobile is introduced to Jefferson.

Modernization is synonymous with good. Characters like Boon and Lucius transform for the better only after the automobile is introduced to Jefferson, Mississippi.


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