Writing Techniques in Light in August

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Stylistically, Light in August is easier to read than some of Faulkner's other novels.

It does not have, for example, the time shifts of The Sound and the Fury or the multiple narrators of Absalom, Absalom! However, Faulkner has written a novel with three major characters—Joe Christmas, Joanna Burden, and Hightower—with three strains of action and multiple flashbacks into their past lives. While the roughly ten-day action in the present traces events from the time of Joanna's murder to the murder of Joe Christmas, Faulkner exercises considerable skill in attempting to keep his novel moving and its plots integrated.

The first three chapters—dealing respectively with Lena, Joe Christmas, and Hightower—are held together by a common narrative point-of-view character, Byron Bunch. Byron is also used to describe Christmas's racial background to Hightower and Lena's entry into Jefferson in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 deals with...

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This section contains 825 words
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Buy the Light in August Study Guide
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