“Where niggers crop on shares and live like animals”. Racialized Space in William Faulkner´s Light in August and Go Down, Moses
AuthorEgeberg, Martin Stray
This thesis sets out to explore the production of social space, with a particular focus on how these spaces are racialized, in two major works by William Faulkner, Light in August (1932) and Go Down, Moses (1942). By examining how different characters interact with various spaces appearing in the narratives, the thesis aims to illustrate how the racially segregated aspect of culture in Faulkner´s postbellum Mississippi plays a significant role in both individual and collective space production. Henri Lefebvre´s monumental work on the production of space has in this thesis served as an entryway into the discourse on social space. The thesis further considers insight gained from the concept of heterotopia, introduced by Michel Foucault. The thesis seeks to revitalize, and shed new light on, the discourse concerned with the intersection of space and race in Faulkner´s works, by considering and applying the more recent theory of Paul Outka on nature and race. To put these theorists in dialogue with Faulkner´s Light in August and Go Down, Moses enables an analysis of both the political and phenomenological aspect of space in Faulkner´s works. A division between interior and exterior spaces has been made for structural reasons, resulting in a total of four analytical chapters at the core of the thesis. In these four chapters the thesis contributes to already firmly established scholarly discourses, e.g. relating to Ike McCaslin´s environmentalism and the construction of Joe Christmas´s racial identity, while simultaneously aiming to bring previously overlooked characters and scenes into focus, as for instance Uncle Ash´s experience of nature and the several instances of lynchings and executions of black men.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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