The theme of alienation in Faulkner's Light in August



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My purpose in this thesis is to point out the examples of alienation in Faulkner's Light in August, and to examine the various sources, natures, and degrees of alienation exhibited by the three major characters. Joe Christmas' alienation stems from his viewing himself as an object and from his masochistic obsession with miscegenation. Gail Hightower is alienated from present reality by an obsession with his ancestral past. Joanna Burden is alienated by her concept of the relation between the white race and the Negro race. Existentialism, as the predominate philosophical influence of our century, has given man a terrible freedom and responsibility. Man is alone in the universe. He is separate from every other man, and yet, he is responsible for all. It is this sense of existential aloneness that is reflected in Faulkner's Light in August. [...]