William Faulkner Essay

Gabriel Arcia 9 Honors English Mr. Settle April 18, 2010 William Faulkner’s Accomplishments William Faulkner stood 5’6” tall, but was a giant in the realm of Americans (Padgett). He is a great image of literature up to this date for his many contributions to American literary works. He has helped humanity discover how important literature and art is in America. He had accomplished more artistically over a decade than most writers in a lifetime (Padgett). Between the years 1927-1934, he had books published every year (Reuben).

Many of his greatest novels were As I Lay Dying; Light in America, and above all, Absalom, Absalom. William Faulkner was known as one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers in history. He had special talents in drawing and writing poetry. His famous books made him president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and he received the National Book Award for A Fable (Hoffman 15). William Faulkner was born on September 25, 1897, in New Albany, Mississippi (Hoffman 13; Polk). William Clark Faulkner’s parents named him after his great-grandfather (Padgett; Polk). His parent’s names were Murry and Maud Faulkner.

His three siblings were Murry, Jr. , John, and Dean, with William being the oldest. In September 22, 1902, when Faulkner was only five years old, he moved to Oxford at the urging of his father and stayed there for most of his life (Hoffman 13; Padgett; Polk; Reuben). This is where he received his baptized name, which was William Cuthbert Faulkner (Reuben). In the sixth grade, Faulkner grew bored with his studies and demonstrated his artistic talents (Padgett). In 1914, Phil Stone became Faulkner’s best friend and encouraged Faulkner in becoming a great author and writer. Hoffman 13; Padgett). While William Faulkner loved being an author, Stone was schooled at Ole Miss and Yale and eventually became a lawyer (Padgett; Reuben). In September 1919, Faulkner enrolled at the University of Mississippi, but never got a college degree (Frenz; Hoffman 13; Padgett; Reuben). Part of the main reason why Faulkner never received a degree was that Mississippi was one of the poorest states during the time of the Great Depression (Padgett). He later dropped out after three semesters in November 1920. School was never on Faulkner’s mind.

It was mostly his writings and artwork that inspired him day by day. Faulkner’s childhood sweetheart was a young girl named Estelle Oldham, who was very popular and attended many dances and parties (Padgett; Reuben). There were many barriers between them and the reason for that is Faulkner’s mother sent him to school and this opened a door for someone else to fall in love with Estelle. The man who eventually fell in love with Estelle was Cornell Franklin. They married in Oxford on April 18th, 1918; however, in 1929 Estelle divorced Franklin and married William Faulkner on June 20th (Padgett; Reuben).

In 1931, Faulkner’s first daughter was born but died nine days later, but two years after his first daughter’s death, his second daughter was born and her name was Jill (Reuben). One of the best-known authors that influenced William Faulkner was Mark Twain. Mark Twain’s famous novels were The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (Polk). Faulkner was inspired by Twain’s famous novels and they led him to become an author. Faulkner’s first book published was The Marble Faun in 1924 (Hoffman 13). Other than being an author, Faulkner had a temporary job in a New York bookstore and the New Orleans Newspaper (Frenz).

Faulkner took an application to join the U. S. Air Force too. In his application, Faulkner changed his name to Finchley, lived in the county

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of Middlesex, England, birth date was May 25, 1898, and his current civil occupation was student (Reuben). His application in the U. S. Air Force was denied. He was not allowed to join because they thought Faulkner was too short. Faulkner then decided to join the Canadian Royal Air Force. He took part in World War I during this phase of his life. (Hoffman 13). He was later discharged from his position in the Royal Air Force, but received a commission as the honorable second lieutenant on July 8, 1918.

In 1932, Faulkner entered Hollywood as a motion-picture scriptwriter. This is where he worked for the 20th Century Fox and Universal Studios (Polk; Reuben). Faulkner’s tones in his novels were usually serious and even tragic (Polk). Faulkner’s fiction books discuss issues on sex, class, race relation, and relations with nature. In 1948, Intruder in the Dust was the most outspoken moral evaluation of relationships between blacks and whites (Frenz). Critics denounced his books with their emphasis on violence and abnormality. One of William Faulkner’s famous quotes is, “The past is never dead; it’s not even past” (qtd. n Reuben). In 1957, William Faulkner took two semester classes as Writer-in-Residence in the University of Virginia (Hoffman 15). In 1948, Faulkner was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Polk; Reuben). In 1949, William Faulkner received a Nobel Prize in literature and accepted it in December of 1950 (Hoffman 14; Reuben). William Faulkner was given the National Book Award for his collected stories in 1951. In 1955, he won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for A Fable (Hoffman 15). One of William Faulkner’s brilliant and best novels was The Sanctuary.

His last book before he died was The Reivers and it received another. In July 6, 1962, William Faulkner died of a heart attack in Oxford at the age of 65 (Padgett; Reuben). Right after his death, Faulkner was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Reivers (Hoffman 15). One of his quotes in the Nobel Prize speech was, “The young man or women writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agency and the sweat” (qtd. in Padgett). William Faulkner has inspired American literature and history.

He is known throughout the world, because he believed in his true dreams. He traveled from Japan to Nogan and many more places in the world to attend conferences and lecture many classes (Hoffman 15). Millions of people have failed once in their lives, but William Faulkner did not let failure get into his way. On a nice summer day, Faulkner was injured by a fall from a horse (Padgett). He did not let that fall stop him from his literary works. In every book Faulkner published, he reminded his readers of his universal values, which are love, honor, pity, pride, compassion, and sacrifice (Polk).

Of course, there were many critiques on his books and genres, but he also had thousands of fans that enjoyed his books and his amazing artwork. Faulkner was raised in a normal family like everyone else is raised in the world, but he decided to come into it and make a difference in it. He pursued his dreams until he finally got hold of it and used it to change the world. A lot of people do not notice Faulkner’s hard work and effort, but one day everyone will realize the importance of this universal figure and appreciate William Faulkner for his amazing contributions to American literature. Rios

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