Committee Chair

Stuart, Christopher

Committee Member

Shaheen, Aaron; Ingraham, Lauren

Department

Dept. of English

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

This thesis examines the role that memory and imagination play in three of William Faulkner’s novels: The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom! and The Unvanquished. While most scholars perceive Faulkner’s characters as burdened, debilitated, and destroyed by the past, I argue that Faulkner presents a wide spectrum of engagement with the past which includes the potential for memory to serve as a tool of redemption and power. Henri Bergson’s notion of the fluidity of all time past, present, and future forms the center of Faulkner’s understanding of time, and in this paradigm, Faulkner’s characters are capable of creating and re-creating their pasts through memory and projecting their futures through imagination. In emphasizing Dilsey’s role as a rememberer in The Sound and the Fury, Shreve’s role as an imaginer in Absalom, Absalom!, and Bayard Sartoris’s role as defeater of his cultural and familial past in The Unvanquished, I demonstrate that while Faulkner does present memory and imagination as harmful forces, he also illustrates their potential for preservation and redemption.

Degree

M. A.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts.

Date

5-2011

Subject

American fiction

Name

Faulkner, William, 1897-1962. Absalom, Absalom!; Faulkner, William, 1897-1962. Sound and the fury; Faulkner, William, 1897-1962. Unvanquished

Keyword

Memory and imagination in literature

Discipline

American Literature | American Studies | Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Literature in English, North America

Document Type

Masters theses

Extent

vii, 83 leaves

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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