Short Stories of Faulkner

4 April 2015
Role of the past, the Old South & slavery in “A Rose for Emily,” “Barn Burning” & “That Evening Sun.”

William Faulkner was one of the leading novelists of this century, and he drew upon his own town of Oxford, Mississippi for his stories, his setting, and his themes. The Civil War was the defining moment in history for the South, and the fact that the South had lived by slavery before that was an indictment of the old families of the South and a reason for the people of the new South to atone. The heavy hand of the past can be seen as having a hold on the present in stories such as That Evening Sun, Barn Burning, and A Rose for Emily, and in each case Faulkner infuses the story with a political and social structure related to the slave-owning past of the South and showing the effect of that past on the present.

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Jean-Paul Sartre noted the way Faulkner treated past and present:
The past here gains a surrealistic quality; its outline..

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