William Faulkner and Fat Man Essay

Submitted By Jerrbearr22
Words: 292
Pages: 2

A Rose for Emily takes place after the Civil War and into the 1900?s in the town of Jefferson, Mississippi-a town very similar to the one in which William Faulkner spent most of his life. It is a story of the conflict between the old and the new South, the past and the present-with Emily and the things around her steadfastly representing the dying old traditions and the present expressed mostly through the words of the narrator but also through Homer Barron and the new board of aldermen. The issue of racism also runs throughout the story.
The heavily symbolic nature of the story “the Fat Man’s Race” lends itself to plenty of analyses and interpretations, and it's something very much working out. I'm not sure I have enough grounding in the particular milieus Erdrich is working in to hazard a reading — a more educated annotator than I could might be able to pin down the history and resonances of all this, of the I-guess-dying-out-in-the-19th century tradition of the Fat Man's Race, the Catholicism, the suspicions of witchcraft, the Blue Devil, the types of food and nature of labor and family and even the names. Or maybe the story is deliberately unmoored, I don’t know. In any case, it's an enormously engrossing parable but a lot comes through regardless, especially in the framing of the story as something a grandmother tells her granddaughter. For one thing, we get a sense of how myth can merge with memory, so that the world can seem a richer, stranger place, its supernatural…