That Evening Sun: Literary Analysis Essay
641 WordsApr 27th, 20123 Pages
“That Evening Sun” by William Faulkner is a good example of a great emotional turmoil transferred directly to the readers through the words of a narrator who does not seem to grasp the severity of the turmoil. It is a story of an African American laundress who lives in the fear of her common-law husband Jesus who suspects her of carrying a white man's child in her womb and seems hell bent on killing her.
Many critics refer to "That Evening Sun" as one of the finest examples of narrative point of view. The story is told by Quentin Compson, whose voice Faulkner utilizes at two distinct times in the boy's life. First, we have 24-year-old Quentin remembering a 15-year-old episode concerning Nancy's fear of Jesus. This introductory point of…show more content…
Throughout the short story several symbols appear. Mr. Stovell for example who is an illustration of both the economic system, he is a cashier at the bank, and the religious institutions, he is a Baptist deacon, of the South, refuses to pay Nancy for her services. Stovell is representative of all the bad in the South, and how the White take advantage of the Blacks, and don't get punished for it; he represents both the wealthy and the religious.
Another symbol is certainly the way that Faulkner uses dark and light in the story. For Nancy "that evening sun'' represents the danger that her absent lover presents to her. Jesus whose name is likely an ironic joke on Faulkner's part represents danger and violence to Nancy, and he will wait until night has come to fall upon her. When it is light she feels safer, but once the darkness hits, danger is represented. The title of "That Evening Sun" refers to a popular black spiritual that begins, "Lordy, how I hate to see that evening sun go down," which implies that once the sun sets, death is sure to follow.
In conclusion, William Faulkner’s stories deal with a plethora of human problems, while at the same time they focus on social conflicts and misunderstanding. In, “That Evening Sun” this can all be clearly seen, as he focuses on one of the most urgent problems of that
Generally you don't think of "Nobel Prize-winning authors" and "creeptastic horror" at the same time. Nobel Prize-winners are dry and dusty, right? And horror is awesome (and what snooty people call "lowbrow").
Well, rethink your genre divides, Shmoopers, because "That Evening Sun" is by Nobel Prize-winning virtuoso William Faulkner and It. Is. Chilling.
This story is about a terrified black servant who is abandoned by the white family she works for. Each time you read a new paragraph, you're left wondering if she'll get murdered… by her psycho razor-wielding husband. Yeah. Be prepared to double-check the locks and sleep with the lights on.
That's not to say this story is just nightmare food. It was written by William Faulkner, after all—one of the heavyweights of American literature. This widely anthologized story (first published in 1931) takes place in the racially divided Mississippi of about the start of the twentieth century, right around the time the Supreme Court decided it would be a good idea (worst idea ever) to have white students and black students divided into separate schools.
Faulkner forces us to face the injustice of discrimination head on in "That Evening Sun." It's a Scary Story To Tell In The Dark and a wake-up call.
It's also a work of Modernism. In typical Modernist form, this story treats us to a display of the tricky workings of memory and the differences in how people perceive reality. The events of this story occur fifteen years before the narrator tells us the tale, and Mr. Narrator seems to change his mind about how his white family helped (or didn't help?) Nancy as he strolls down memory lane.
So whether you're in the mood for a bone-chilling psychological thriller, a rage-inducing dispatch from the Jim Crow South, or a Modernist head-flip, give this bad boy a read. You will not be disappointed… although you'll definitely be seriously impressed.
You should care about "That Evening Sun" if you care about fear.
Take that however you'd like, Shmoopeople. Any kind of fear you can think of, "That Evening Sun" will deliver.
Is your favorite holiday Halloween? Is your favorite movie Halloween? Do you get a rush out of thrills n' chills? Did you spend your childhood under the covers reading Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark with a flashlight?
Well, then you'll (s)care about a short story about a woman slowly going insane every night after dark, because she's worried that her psycho, razor-wielding husband will murder her and her unborn child.
Do the dark twisted labyrinths of the human mind give you the willies? Do you stay awake wondering if what you remember actually occurred? Have you watched Memento four or five times? Is Psycho your favorite Hitchcock movie because (gulp) insanity could happen to you, too?
Well, then you'll (s)care about a short story about a man walking down memory lane, only to realize that what he remembered was all wrong; that his family was cruel when he thought they were benevolent; that he was evil when he thought he was angelic; that one woman's sorrow drove her past the brink of madness… and no one aided her.
Or maybe your fear is more rooted in the day-to-day, in the headlines? Maybe you're scared speechless that racism still runs rampant? That people's racism leads them to be scared of people with a different skin tone than theirs… and that that terror leads to even more horrifically terrifying acts of racial injustice?
Well, then you'll (s)care about a story that shows you the deepest evils of the Jim Crow South: a town literally divided by race, where white men can kick in a black woman's teeth in broad daylight and no one bats an eye. Where a black woman is left alone to fend off her abusive husband and no one helps. When a black woman is imprisoned for prostitution but her white customers walk away without even a slap on the wrist.
However you like to get your chills, "That Evening Sun" has you covered. This story scares because it cares… and it wants you to care as well.