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Who was Cassandra?


  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.

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« Reading Faulkner and the News - 3 | Main | Reading Faulkner and the News (5) »

August 27, 2010

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Of course Sutpen needs a wife to accomplish his design, since pure (white) Southern women exist (within this ideological framework) to gestate pure (white) Southern seed. Sutpen's design is built on the backs of slaves and white women, each of whom has a proper "place" in maintaining the status quo.

In The Sound and the Fury, the final narrator is Dilsey, a black woman whose narrative makes more sense than that of any of other (white) narrators: she gets the literal last word. In Absalom, we never hear Clytie tell her own version of the story: Clytie never gets to narrate. But she does have the "last word," in a sense, by her final action (which I won't specifically name here for those who haven't read the entire novel). Any design built by slaves and white women can be ultimately destroyed, Faulkner seems to suggest, by those same individuals.

"Any design built by slaves and white women can be ultimately destroyed, Faulkner seems to suggest, by those same individuals." I never thought about it that way. Quite right.

i just want you to know that i am enjoying these conversations immensely.

Speaking for Beth and myself, thank you so much, laurie!

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