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Light in August Themes & Symbolism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 144 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Light in August.
This section contains 1,321 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
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Significant Topics

Racism

The theme of racism is the very crux of the novel Light in August. A Mississippi author, William Faulkner chooses to take on his state's chilling racism problem through the personal histories of his fictional characters. Published in 1932 and set in what was then modern-day, Faulkner has only to trace his characters back three generations to the Civil War and the official end of slavery. Racism and the lingering effects of slavery can be found throughout the story, and most notably in the central character of Joe Christmas. Christmas believes he has an African-American bloodline through his father's side, and although this fact is never confirmed, it shapes Christmas' entire life. He is literally at war with himself, as his Caucasian side treats his African-American heritage with violent contempt. A man labeled black who looks white has nowhere to go in this violently segregated society. Briefly, it...

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This section contains 1,321 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Light in August Study Guide
Copyrights
Light in August from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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