Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Light in August : Colloquial Language

Faulkner uses dialectical language of the South to really immerse the reader in the environment of Yoknapatawpha County. It's an auditory experience- as if Faulkner want us to catch all the nuances of Southern life.

What do you think of his use of dialect in the book? Which specific examples stand out as memorable?

On page 76, Faulkner is using the narrator to explain what Gail Hightower sees coming down the street from his front window on a Sunday night :

"But on a Sunday evening, and with the echo of the phantom hooves still
soundlessly in the duskfilled study, he watches quietly the puny,
unhorsed figure
moving with that precarious and meretricious cleverness of
animals balanced on their
hinder legs....."

Faulkner uses a combination of e.e. cummings-type poetic language, in "duskfilled", and "unhorsed", coupled with higher-level vocabulary words like "precarious" and "meretricious", then throws in a colloquialisms like "hinder legs" just so you know you're still in backwoods Mississippi.

See if you can find examples of colloquial language Faulkner uses that sticks in your mind.

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