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The Unity of Disunity Found in Faulkner’s The Unvanquished

The Unity of Disunity Found in Faulkner’s The Unvanquished

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Published by: Chanin on May 11, 2010
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[Student’s Last Name]1Chanin StormDr. Carlos DewsENGL 441: The Novel in America Since 191411 May 2010The Unity of Disunity Found in Faulkner’s
The Unvanquished 
There are many differing opinions on the right and wrong ways in which to write or compile a novel. The real question should be not what is the right way, but is there really a rightway? From my understanding of the matter the answer is no there is no specific right or wrongway to write a novel. Every novel does have specific elements such as the plot, structure, setting,descriptions, characters, viewpoint, and of course the dialogue within the storyline. However, isthis all that is needed for a novel to be considered a novel or are their other component andfactors that are considered when one decides they are writing a novel or if they are compiling ananthology of short stories. The fact that an author writes six stories that are published separatelyover a six month time frame does not necessarily insinuate a short story, but could show as anexcerpt of a novel (Akin 10). It is this fact that many critics use to show that the novel
is truly a novel and not just an anthology.The majority of readers would say that the one thing that creates a novel in a theme thatruns throughout out the entire novel. The theme is the most important factor. The characters can be the same, differ or come and go throughout. This concept of characters has been called intoquestion with books such as Sherwood Anderson’s
Winesburg, Ohio
, which has a single narrator,tells the stories of several different characters in which the plot of the story stays in focus butfrom the narrator’s concept of the characters differing perspectives (Akin 3; Lent 56). SoFaulkner’s
The Unvanquished 
is not alone. Along with Anderson and Faulkner, other novels are
[Student’s Last Name]2questioned as being short story anthologies or novels from other authors, such as Steinbeck andhis
Tortilla Flat 
, Cather and her 
The Professor’s House,
and of course, even Hemingway in his
 In Our Time
(Lent 56). The one thing all these novels have in common is the fact that eachchapter within these novels can stand alone as a short story, but that they also create a cohesivenovel when placed together in a single story form.The theme and the unity of Faulkner’s
The Unvanquished 
falls on the concept of theCivil War, the Southern Code and the maturation of Bayard Sartoris from a child of twelve to aman of twenty-four. It is the maturation of the young Bayard that revolves around the co-themesof the Southern Code and Civil War (Akin 4; Knoll 339; Sharpe). It is within the times of theCivil War that young Bayard learns of the Southern Code and what it means to the SouthernPlantation owner (Akin 5). In his own right, he is heir to his father’s plantation and therefore,must understand the code and the chivalrous acts of what constitutes the Southern aristocraticman (Akin 3; Collins 92; Knoll 339; Lent 56). The first six sections of the book prepare thefoundation for Bayard’s understanding and the changes that occur with the end of the Civil War and with the new way in which Bayard views life in the Reconstruction Era South.The first section of the book is “Ambuscade” begins with the young Bayard playing withhis friend, partner in crime and slave, Ringo. The child, Bayard, at this point “shadowy andindistinct” in all that he does at this time and is only at the age where he is to start learning theetiquette of the Southern man, and yet he is learning to manipulate the situations and yet torepent for those same actions (Knoll 339; Sharpe). Within this section, Ringo and Bayard protect their house by shooting a Yankee. They are terrified and run back to the house followed by the Yankee soldiers. Granny hides the boys and lies, which is against the rules of aristocraticsoutherners. Yet she does just what she teaches the boys is wrong, to save them. In the process
[Student’s Last Name]3they find out they shot the horse and not the man and are therefore saddened that they did notlive up to their expectations, but also because they were reprimanded in the end by Granny(Faulkner 33; Knoll 342).Comparing this section to the sections found in a novel the chapter seems to coincidewith the short story. The protagonist is introduced in the form of Bayard. The main enemy isintroduced which is the Yankees or the Union Army. This is not the only enemy, but it is thisenemy that creates the other enemies that Bayard must face in the remaining stories/chapters.The setting is given to the reader as well in a small Mississippi town of Jefferson inYoknapatawpha County on a plantation. Some facts that are left out are the specifics about the plantation, such as the layout, the number of acres, and the crops grown. These factors are notimportant in comparison to the understanding of Bayard’s being the heir to the plantation, and inhis case that is mainly the house. Even the view point is of importance in this analysis becausethe viewpoint is from a mature Bayard that now has he insight to see his errors, but also has theunderstanding and background that allowed those errors to feel like they were the right thing todo at that time in history. The narrator is not looking back in regret nor in frustration, but as aman looking back on the utopian and idealist dream of a child (Akin 5; Collins 92; Lent 56).Each of the other five section, chapters, or short stories, what ever they be considered, areall focused on the growth of the child, Bayard, from that twelve year old “naïve boy” into theman that is studying to be a lawyer within the seventh and last section of the novel (Akin 5).Within the chapter “Raid” the young Bayard is not older, but is still considered a child. Ringohas grown and matured in responsibility and helps Granny with the mule stealing. It is also inthis chapter that the reader is told by Bayard that even his father believes that Ringo is “a littlesmarter” than his own son Bayard (Faulkner 81). This is one of the sections that is not focused

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