Wash Faulkner Analysis

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Pages: 4

"Wash" by William Faulkner is a very in depth and intricate story. There are many moving pieces that affect how the story unfolds. Strong literary elements displayed in this short story include conflict, characters, and setting. These are just some elements that make “Wash” such a sophisticated and complex piece. Conflict is a major source of drama and suspense throughought the entire story. Wash is faces both internal and external conflict all throughout the story. At the beginning of the story, Wash seems to be at the bottom of the social heirarchy. Slaves make fun of him, calling him “white trash” and a “coward” for not fighting in the war, while Wash takes the harassment with almost no resistance. This external conflict brings an internal …show more content…
Wash Jones is the main character as well as the focal point of the story. Wash is a poor white man who lives on edge of a plantation in an old fishing shack with his granddaughter, Milly. The text describes Wash as "a gaunt, malaria ridden with pale questioning eyes" (1). It is clear that Wash is in poor physical condition and has bad health. It also becomes obvious that Wash has a very low social status. The slaves of the plantation call him "white trash" and a "coward" when he refuses to go and fight in the war, claiming that he need to take care of his family as well as watch over the plantation while Sutpen is away. The thoughts and intentions of was become more clear throughout the story. Wash wants to be important and become Sutpens closest friend in hopes of inheriting part of the wealth as well as the plantation. He wants to improve his overall social rank and to be like Sutpen. When Sutpen says he will not care for the newborn baby because it is female, Wash snaps. Wash loses all respect for Sutpen and goes from loving him, to wanting him dead in a matter of seconds. Though this is an irrational way of thinking, it shows that Wash does care for his family, although for only a short amount of time. Wash goes on to kill Sutpen as well as his granddaughter and great-granddaughter. This demonstrates just how emotionally and mentally unstable Wash really