• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15

As the number zero was the start of mathematics and the vacuum the foundation of physics.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A deafening silence Comic relief in stills in Faulknerian tragedy Term paper by R.Borst For Conrad & Faulkner by G.Moore 1st semester UVA 2003 Ronald Borst Jan v. Duivenvoordestr.183 1067 MT Amsterdam Studentnr. 9187944 Introduction As the number zero was the start of mathematics and the vacuum the foundation of physics, so silence became the standard measure of civilization. Yet, all three of these 'scientific' standards spring from human imagination and are only applicable by general agreement, but remain in principle fictional. Few compositions have caused such a division of opinion as John Cage's '4.33' from 1952, one of his own favourites. A well-dressed pianist entered the stage, sat down behind the grand piano, opened it, turned a page of the score in front of him every now and then and after about four and a half minutes he got up, made a bow and left the stage. Cage got the idea for this composition after a visit to a soundproof room and only wanted to show there is no such thing as absolute silence. This manifests itself on a recording of the piece that still exists. In it, a world of small tiny sounds opens up. Chairs squeak, uncomfortable coughing, the humming of the air-conditioning, some far-away sounds of traffic, the rustling of the pages of a program. Above all one can hear, just like the original audience back in 1952, the rushing of one's own blood in one's ears, one's heartbeat, swallowing and rumbling stomach. Through this, the audience becomes the performing artist of '4.33', and because one goes to a concert to listen, the uproarious silence had never been heard as well as just there. Does silence exist at all, one wonders, or is it like a hole in the ground, only observed because of the earth that surrounds it? After all silence is an arbitrary name for the absence of sound. ...read more.

Middle

Hightower's story begins in the third and ends in the next-to-last. These three stories do not proceed chronologically but are felt, by most readers, to fuse into one unified novel. Some readers have argued that the novel's unity comes from other elements than the structure; thematically the main characters embody such themes as racism, the heritage of the past, Christianity, community, male-female relations and personal identity. With the addition of Joanna Burden and Byron Bunch, the five central characters encompass subsidiary themes as the contrasting attitudes of the different characters to time, the issue of man and nature (as in Go Down, Moses) and fate and martyrdom. Others say that the coincidence of them all being in the same town between the two climactic events of Joanna Burden's murder and Joe Christmas's death provides enough unity, though their tales are separate and distinct. Still others argue that Faulkner's stream of life presentation would have suffered under a less loose and open construction. By contrast, to Lena, Joe Christmas does not know who he is; his uncertain racial identity affects every aspect of his life. When the 'uncertain' trace of black ancestry, for he is also called 'the mulatto' (Cowley, 51), is known, it provokes very different responses. Yet, his claim that he belongs to the black race is ambivalent since he uses it to rebel against both black and white. He roams the country, like Lena, but without purpose, never settling or entering a long-lasting human relationship. His fate seems to inevitably push his life's story to an inescapable and violent death. The reverend Gail Hightower, the preacher who is punished for not conforming to his congregation's idea of practicing religion and because he was unable to keep his wife from behaving sinfully, seems rooted in the past, obsessed with the heroic past of his forebears. His story ends when he realizes that his detachment from life does not prevent him from being concerned with the events of the present. ...read more.

Conclusion

Afterthoughts I think it was Bouwe Postmus3 who once said that one should never write about a work or an author one admires. I now see his point but it can not be avoided when one is just introduced to such a writer in the course of a term. Even by confining myself to what I thought to be a limited subject as comic-relief by means of the audio-visual modes of silence and still, the amount of perspectives is incredible. The shifting point of view and the distance and detachment with which the human enterprise is seen provides a response that transcends the individual's tragic encounter with the reality about him. I think I have shown that the mix of comical and tragical tones gives Faulkner's work an extra dimension by which life's duality is truly represented. Faulkner's use of style figures, like an oxymoron, helps to deepen the contradictory human aspects that are present in his characters. One cannot be forced to see the portrayed events in this paper in the same way that I do. It does not prevent them from being seen for what they are: images that give a defeaning sound in the surrounding silence. Works Cited Bentley, Eric. Life of the Drama. New York: Atheneum, 1964. Brown, Leslie ed. The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993. Camthout van, Martijn. Een oorverdovend niets. De Volkskrant, 21 dec. 2002 Faulkner, William. Go Down, Moses. New York: Vintage International, 1990. Faulkner, William. Light In August. New York: Vintage International, 1990. Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. New York: Vintage International, 1990. Howe, Irving. William Faulkner: A Critical Study. New York, Random House, 1952. Schelle, David. On Light In August for a class at Hotchkiss High. 27-01-2003. http://www.hotchkiss.k12.co.us/HHS/nobelnov/faulkner.htm 1 In this form, one of the principal sources of comedy is mime, which comes close to what I describe as the silent mode, but mime also acts out emotions, mostly by studied facial expressions, which plays a role in this story as well. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Fyodor Dostoevsky section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Fyodor Dostoevsky essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Analysis of Italian novel I'm not Scared

    3 star(s)

    This is supported when he is recalled saying Fillipo "was mine and that they had taken him away from me" [p. 169]. This attachment to Fillipo could be down to the fact that they both have been hidden from the truth about the world they live in and consequently Michele

  2. Albert Einstein is quoted as having said, "the world is a dangerous place to ...

    The old phrase is, "You can't fight city hall!" And that same attitude applies very often to the problems we see in the world. It's all too easy to be upset by them, but to convince ourselves that one person just cannot fix whatever it may be. And one person can't fix the whole world and the mess it seems to be in sometimes.

  1. Discuss Milton's presentation of Satan in Paradise Lost

    However, Burden (1967: P.140) suggests that the poem contains within it a 'satanic epic', of which Satan is the hero, and argues convincingly that Satan constantly thinks of himself in terms of the attributes of the hero of a conventional epic: ambitious, courageous and representing his people against the might of a fierce oppressor.

  2. Adolescence marks the turning point of an individual's life, establishing the foundation of their ...

    In this situation, Bernie is torn between telling Kurt the truth and the fear that Norman will punish him for doing so. In the past, as a result of contradicting Norman's beliefs about a movie, Bernie was subjected to being ignored by his peers, "Norman put the word out and nobody did talk to me.

  1. accidental death of an anarchist plot

    The maniac continues to mock Bertozzo showing characteristics of blatant insanity until he is thrown out of the room with his bags. He soon re-enters the room to find it is empty, he snoops round the desk and decides to empty the contents of the files of minor crimes out

  2. How can an audience identify with Charlie Gordon's desire to be 'smart'?

    Could it be that he was happier when he was less intelligent, all along? The operation possibly makes Charlie 'too intelligent'. He grows angry and afraid and feels let down by everyone else because nobody understands his complex language. He 'overtakes' the scientists' knowledge and at his peak of intelligence,

  1. Could I Have Lived My Life Differently? : The Diary of Bigger Thomas.

    desert Bigger, effectively ending his membership in their "gang," Bigger ends the scene by slicing the green felt of Doc's pool table. Doc promises to shoot Bigger the next time he enters the establishment. After taking a walk to cool off, Bigger heads to his apartment and after a brief

  2. The Poor Fellow Soldiers of Jesus Christ and the Temple of Solomon, better known ...

    He makes the case that it was their wealth. Philip IV's kingdom was in serious fiscal trouble due to many wars; he had already debased the currency, taxed the Catholic Church, and expelled the Jews so he could seize their property before turning his eye on the Templars.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work