Light in August Reflection Questions

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1. What patterns in Joe's behavior do you see emerging?  What explanations can you offer for roots of these behaviors?

Joe continues to be unable to keep healthy relationships, but in chapters 9 and 10, we see him begin to regularly result in violence. Joe had a history of expressing his anger physically, which is first seen when he, as a teenager, beats a prostitute. His relationship with Bobbie is when we see the violent behavior begin to resurface. He hits her out of frustration, but does not understand its impact and still desires to love Bobbie and run away together, using all of the money he could obtain, which is stolen from Mrs. McEachern. Surprisingly, he does not result to violence when he is beaten by Mr. McEachern. This is likely because he only chooses to act violently when he feels that he is the dominant power. Joe’s final act of violence upon Mr. McEachern, which ends his life, is inspired by his one-sided love for Bobbie. Joe’s relational immaturity disables him from being able to realize that his relationship with Bobbie is fanciful and lacks grounding for the future. Pg 216, “What did I come for? I came to get Bobbie. Do you think that I- when I went all the way home to get the money to get married-“ Joe is left confused when he goes to such an extreme to defend Bobbie and he cannot pursue a further relationship with her. This is yet another failed relationship for Joe, though from it he is less devastated and more confused by the outcome. 2. We've had lots of windows in these first 10 chapters--people looking through them, people using them for entrance/egress.  What sort of symbolism might there be in these various depictions? 3. What sort of effect do you find Faulkner's choices having as he moves focus away from Lena/Byron/Hightower?  Who did you think was our protagonist in 1-4?  in 5-10?  Do you find these shifts to be distracting or engaging?  Explain.   

Faulkner’s choices in changing the time and the story focus are very...
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