AP English 12
10 September 2009
The Writer’s Duty
Upon receiving the Nobel Prize for his excellence in writing, William Faulkner expresses his dismay towards the writers of the day and laid out what he terms “the writer’s duty.” In his acceptance speech, Faulkner is disheartened by the fact that young writers continue to discuss “the end of man” in their work. Faulkner advocates that authors must make all efforts to “help man endure by lifting his heart.” Because man leads a difficult life, writers are obligated to use their work to uplift and inspire the reader’s sprit. In his memoir, Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt raises the reader’s spirits by illustrating that although one may have a reprobate nature, individuals always maintain redeeming qualities. Although his father drinks away any money that comes the family’s way, young Frankie explains his love for Malachy. Similarly, in her memoir, West with the Night, Beryl Markham motivates the reader to find a passion in life by portraying the relationship between a pilot and his/her flight tools. The two authors fulfill the duty that Falkner places upon them by using love and pride to place the reader in an uplifted frame of mind. McCourt encourages the reader to reexamine his/her relationships with others through his portrayal of Frankie. Although his father, Malachy, “drinks the dole money” forcing his mother “to beg … and ask for credit” (McCourt 208), Frankie is able to forgive his father and appreciate the positive aspects of Malachy’s character. With the justification that his “father is like the Holy Trinity with three people in him, the one in the morning with the prayer, the one at night with the stories, and the one who does the bad things” (210), the boy enables himself to evaluate the good in his father and ignore the disagreeable aspects of their relationship. As a result, Frankie is able to love his father for the time that they spend together, especially in the mornings...
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