William Faulkner, a Southern Gothic writer, accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, the most prestigious award that any writer can ever earn.
Please re-read Faulkner’s acceptance speech. Here, he speaks not only about his gratitude for the prize, but about what the art of fiction is all about. He writes that the purpose of fiction, the job of the writer, is to express some form of human truth through his or her work. He says that “the only thing worth writing about” is “the human heart in conflict with itself.” It is the writer’s “privilege to help man endure by lifting up his heart.”
As we’ve discussed, fiction is only plausible if there is conflict: human vs. human; human vs. self; and human vs. environment/society. Choose one of the short stories we have studied thus far.
Using one of the stories we have studied and William Faulkner’s speech, you must answer the following question in a 5-6 paragraph, thesis-driven essay:
Explore how the protagonist in the story avoids and/or finds some kind of truth about humanity through his or her experiences. By exploring one to two of the three types of conflict listed above, analyze the causes and effects of these conflicts and describe what the author’s purpose is in the writing of` the story. To put it plainly: What does the character confront that must be endured and/or changed? What is the message that the author means to show us about the human condition?
Drafts must be typed using Times New Roman 12 pt font and double-spaced.
As you’ve learned in your previous English classes, you should prewrite, write a thesis, plan, and draft.
Here are some questions you should answer as you begin your prewriting:
What is most important to the protagonist? What is least important?
What are the protagonist’s priorities, ethics, and goals?
Does the protagonist go through a dramatic change? What is this change? What propels it?
Consider the historical time period of the story. How does the character interact with his or her setting?
Consider the effects of the character’s behavior on others.
Finally, you may not use any outside sources in the writing of this essay. It must be entirely your own work.