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Predatory Men in William Faulkner’s Novel, Sanctuary

In 1931, Faulkner released a novel Sanctuary, which represents either an expression of chaos and despair that owned the soul of the artist, or an attempt to tickle the nerves of the public and to scare and entertain at the same time with brutal detective description passions.

There are a lot of violence and crime scenes in the book, which creates a feeling of awesome meaninglessness of everything that happens. The senselessness is especially frightening: it is not clear why the main character Popeye, a bootlegger and a bandit, drags Horace Benbow in his den so to let him go the next day; the murder of apprentice Tommy by Popeye is not motivated at all; another murder remains unclear as well that was pictured in its natural authenticity: the Negro killed his wife by cutting her throat with a razor.

There are a lot of bright descriptions of murderous episodes in the novel. The biggest irony is the irony of the absurd – the title of the book. During one of the conversations in Japan, Faulkner said that every person should have a secure place where they can escape from the troubles. In the novel, such a sanctuary is a whorehouse, where Popeye makes his captive leave, a college student of Temple Drake.

The action in the novel begins in dilapidated plantation manor, located eight miles from Jefferson. Bootlegger Lee Goodwin lives here supplying whiskey to the respectable citizens of Jefferson. Also there are dens of Memphis here. In this neutral territory the life paths of Memphis gangster Popeye and daughter of the venerable judge Temple Drake crossed. She was left to fend by her companion, a gentleman from Virginia Gowan Stevens. After, Popeye killed Goodwin’s assistant Tommy, he rapes Temple and takes her to Memphis brothel. Goodwin gets accused of murder and gets in jail in Jefferson.

This is a brutal exposition of the novel. But the truly violent and predatory situations arise much later, when God-fearing Jefferson ladies make innkeeper throw into the street Goodwin’s wife Ruby with a dying child, when Temple Drake will appear in court as a witness and accuse Goodwin in the rape and murder, when finally Jeffersonian inhabitants blazing with righteous anger will pull out Goodwin of prison and burn him on the town square.

All the images in Sanctuary are static. The characters of this novel embody one feeling, one passion, same features, they lack the ability to internally grow and change. They are all predatory men, because they show an incredible atrocity in the novel, like real predators. All of them are symbols of rapacity. The protagonist of the novel, a gangster Popeye symbolizes true evil.

In 1931, Faulkner released a novel Sanctuary, which represents either an expression of chaos and despair that owned the soul of the artist, or an attempt to tickle the nerves of the public and to scare and entertain at the same time with brutal detective description passions.

Assignment ID
100000932
Type
CREATED ON
31 July 2016
COMPLETED ON
2 August 2016
Price
$11
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