Light in August Summary

In the field of Universal Literature, one of the novels of the American writer William Faulkner is known by the name of Light in August, which was first published in 1932 , thanks to the work of the Smith & Haas publishing house.


This novel is considered by the Critics as one of Faulkner’s four most important novels, being compared both in importance and mastery with others of his works such as The Noise and The Fury (1929); While Agonizing (1930) and Absalom, absalom (1936).

Likewise, the different critical sources point out that the structure of this work surprises with its level of perfectionism, despite the complexity of its history. It is also recognized as Light in August to be a story in which the most iconic and remembered characters of this author are gathered.

About the title Light in August

On the other hand, the title of this novel by William Faulkner has also been a center of discussion among specialists, since certain currents and readers feel that the translation that was made in Spanish is not entirely favorable to him, since the interpretation should be “Delivery in August”, which according to great critics, such as the writer Mario Vargas Llosa – as published in an opinion piece, written during the year 2013 – would refer to the birth of Lena Grove, a woman on whom one of the aspects revolves where the story that the author builds in this work can be considered divided.

Therefore, although this novel by William Faulkner continues to be edited under the title Light in August or even Light in August, in reality more and more readers and critics find in the literal translation Birth in August a greater literary sense.

Light in August Summary

As for the content of the story of this novel by William Faulkner it can basically be said that the story has two great aspects, which despite each following its course, makes up the plot of this work. However, it may be the easiest thing to do when approaching your content in a nutshell is to analyze the development of each of these sub-frames, as shown below:

History of Lena Grove

Being recognized as one of Faulkner’s most iconic or iconic characters, Lena Grove is the image of a woman who has suffered and wariness, who assumes the epic of finding her son’s father, a man named Lucas Burch, who for his part is described as a alcoholic and a scoundrel.

However, Lena Grove fails to find Burch before the birth, which takes place in August, in the middle of a Southern summer. This child comes into the world, thanks to the collaboration of Reverend Hightower, to find a wasteland, full of prejudice, violence and loneliness. Likewise, as for its literary symbol, the birth of this woman’s son is the central act of history, becoming the point where the main arguments of Fulkner’s novel coincide or are born.

After going through the experience of birth, Lena continues the search for her son’s father, a mission that seemed to go beyond the concrete fact, and assume epic vestiges, closing the story.

History of Joe Christmas

On the other hand, Wiliam Faulkner builds the story of Joe Christmas, a homeless man, who is described as an edge or outsider character, who fails to be included in the society to which he belongs, because of his racial origins, because it is the product of the interbreeding between blacks white. However, despite the fact that he carries white blood in his veins, the black blood that also runs through them condemns him to a position of outcast in the Southern Us territory that by the time of Faulkner’s story has failed to overcome his racism.

In addition to his inability to adapt and integrate into society, Joe Christmas must fight the murder charge that weighs against him, as he is noted as the killer of Joana Burden, a white woman, who shares the anti-slavery cause, and with which Joe Christmas was in a loving relationship.

However, even though justice has taken the case, in which Lucas Burch, father of Lena Grove’s son, and who calls himself Joe Brown, is the chief accuser, in such a reliable way, that even sometimes Burch is suspected of being the killer himself Joe Christmas does not end up receiving a conviction, but is executed by Percy Grimm, an ultranationalist and racist, who kills him, arguing an act of justice. The murdered Joe Christmas can also be interpreted as a depiction of a wasteland monkey, full of prejudice, loneliness and violence.

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Picture: Portrait of William Faulkner, Author of August Light / Source: wikipedia.org

Light in August Summary
Source: curiosities  
September 30, 2019


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