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Go Down, Moses and Faulkner's moral vision Dahlie, Hallvard 1964

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GO DOWN, MOSES AND FAULKNER'S MORAL VISION by HALLVARD DAHLIE B.A. University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1950 B.Ed. University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 19^6 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M.A. in the Department of ENGLISH We accept th i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, I96I4 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an- advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y Of • B r i t i s h Columbia,, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study* I f u r t h e r agree that per-m i s s i o n f o r extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood that, copying or p u b l i -c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h - Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada Date 10<-r~t-i i ABSTR4CT The purpose of thi s thesis i s to discuss the importance of Go Down, Moses in the working out of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n . By and large, c r i t i c s have considered t h i s book to be a central or piv o t a l work i n this process, seeing Ike McCaslin's renunciation as a meaningful response to the curses of slavery and mis-cegenation which have beset the South for so many gen-erations. Furthermore, some of them point out that Ike's i n i t i a t i o n into the primitive s i m p l i c i t y of the wilderness world of Sam Fathers represents a -solution for modern man in his own troubled world: somehow to effect a reversion to a simpler world with i t s concomitant virtues of innocence, humility, and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . On the whole, these c r i t i c s have concentrated mainly on "The Bear" section of Go Down, Moses, and to a lesser extent on "Delta Autumn" and "The Old People," the three st o r i e s i n which Ike d i r e c t l y appears. Consequently, t h e i r conclusions about Faulkner's moral v i s i o n stem almost e n t i r e l y from t h e i r interpretation of Ike's res-ponses to his,.two legacies, the wilderness world and the plantation world, with r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e attention being paid to the responses of the other inheritors of the McCaslin curse. Thus, Go Down, Moses as a thematically i l l u n i f i e d work has been l a r g e l y neglected, and the experi-ences of Ike McCaslin have been emphasized at the expense . of those of the other inhabitants of the plantation world. This thesis w i l l pursue the argument that the above interpretation i s misleading on several counts, and hence that i t i s necessary to see the c e n t r a l i t y of Go Down, Moses in a d i f f e r e n t perspective. F i r s t of a l l , by examining the nature of the plantation world, we w i l l see that what Ike r e a l l y repudiated was not just a l e g a l inheritance, but a very r e a l world i n which the constituents of a f u l l and meaningful l i f e were everywhere evident.- -Secondly, i t becomes evident in the analysis-of Ike*s renunciation that his decision meant i n effect that he was abdicating his r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r developing sound moral and e t h i c a l relationships within the world he was born into, and that his obsession with the values of the wilderness world represented l i v i n g in terms of r i t u a l rather than of r e a l i t y . In the t h i r d place, the responses of the other inhabitants of the plantation world r e f l e c t a f a r more meaningful grasp of both the past and the present than does Ike's, and in the perspective of these people, he suffers a s i g n i f i c a n t l y reduced stature. It becomes clear, then, that Faulkner uses Ike's responses to i l l u s t r a t e the f u t i l i t y i v of the s t a t i c i d e a l i s t rather than the s a c r i f i c e of a dedicated and determined reformer. And f i n a l l y , the evid-ence in such l a t e r novels as Intruder i n the Dust, A Fable, and The Reivers, as well as i n Faulkner's own public u t t e r -ances in the Nobel Priz6 Speech, at the University of V i r g i n i a , and at Nagano, indicates c l e a r l y how f a r man must progress beyond the idealism of the Ike McCaslins of the world in order to make an ef f e c t i v e contribution to the moral and e t h i c a l status of his society. This thesis does not dispute the fact that "The Bear" i s the key wsork i n Go Down, Moses, nor that Ike i s a central -figure, but i t does maintain that t h e i r s i gnificance can be, determined only by acclose examination of the work as a whole. Such an examination w i l l c l e a r l y reveal Faulkner's larger concern: that man must respond to his world as he finds i t , whether that world i s the wilderness, the plantation, or the modern world, and that the decisions he makes must be based on the r e a l i t i e s of the world he has in h e r i t e d . Within this perspective, i t i s evident that the-responses of the Edmondses, the B6auchamps, and the miscellaneous inhabitants of the McCaslin plantation world must be care-f u l l y analyzed, f o r only against the tangible exigencies of the day-to-day l i v e s of these people can the actions of Ike be properly assessed. V TABLE OP CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE I INTRODUCTION . . . . . 1 II SUMMARY OP CRITICAL OPINION. 16 III GO DOWN, MOSES; THE PLANTATION WORLD . . . 36 IV GO DOWN, MOSES; IKE'S RENUNCIATION I|7 V FAULKNER'S MORAL VISION; THE LATER WORKS . 86 VI CONCLUSION 115 BIBLIOGRAPHY 122 I INTRODUCTION Go Down, Moses was f i r s t published i n 19U2 under the t i t l e Go Down, Moses and Other Sto r i e s , but the second and th i r d printings of this e d i t i o n , and the 1955 Modern Library e d i t i o n , a l l appeared under the shorter t i t l e form. This change i n t i t l e , as James B. Meriwether points out, 1 indicates that Faulkner was concerned with emphasizing the unity of the seven stories contained i n the work, a unity which, as w i l l be shown, i s of prime significance i n the discussion of this book as a key work in the expression of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n . From the outset, c r i t i c s have expressed d i f f e r i n g opinions on the question of this unity, but Faulkner himself, in his University of V i r g i n i a lectures, stressed that i t was a novel which "happened to be composed of more or less complete s t o r i e s , but... held together by one family, the Negro and the white phase of the same f a m i l y . " 2 On the whole, recent c r i t i c s have tended to discuss i t i n terms of some unifying element, such as the Negro-white re l a t i o n s h i p , the plantation world, or priraitivism, as opposed to the e a r l i e r c r i t i c s , who appeared to be somewhat baffled by the more obscure sections of the book. 2 Of the seven s t o r i e s contained in t h i s work, only the opening se l e c t i o n , "Was," had never before been published. The second story, "The Pire and the Hearth," incorporated the extensive revisions of two e a r l i e r s t o r i e s , "Gold i s Not Always" from the A t l a n t i c Monthly of November, I9I4O, and "A Point of Law" from the June 2 2 , 19l|0 issue of C o l l i e r s , The t h i r d story, "Pantaloon in Black," i s a s l i g h t l y revised version of the o r i g i n a l published i n Harper *s i n October, I9I4O, while the fourth s e l e c t i o n , "The Old People," s i m i l a r l y represents a s l i g h t r e v i s i o n of the version published in the September, I9J4O issue of Harper's. The f i f t h and central story, "The Bear," incorporates substantial revisions of two e a r l i e r s t o r i e s , "Lion" from Harper's of December, 1935* and "The Bear" from Saturday Evening Post of May 9 , 19*4 2. The l a s t two s t o r i e s in the book, "Delta Autumn" and "Go Down, Moses," were o r i g i n a l l y published in Story (May-June, 191+2) and C o l l i e r s (January 25, 19U1) respectively, and were s l i g h t l y revised f o r inclusion i n this work. From th i s b r i e f summary, i t can be seen that Go Down, Moses represents some seven years of writing and revision on the part of Faulkner. It i s important to remember, too, that this seven-year period saw the publication of three other major Yoknapatawpha novels, Absalom, Absalomi in 1936, The  Unvanquished in 1938, and The Hamlet in 19^0, as well as one 3 minor novel, The Wild Palms, in 1939. It seems, therefore, that Faulkner's a r r i v a l at a moral turning point was not the product of a d e l i b e r a t e l y conceived process or of any sudden revelation, but rather that i t evolved from a protracted and often torturous experimentation with the facts of his exper-ience* What thi s thesis w i l l attempt to show i s that Go Down, Moses represents a c r i t i c a l point in the formulation of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n , but i t w i l l pursue t h i s theme from a d i f f e r e n t perspective from that generally held by c r i t i c s . It w i l l develop the premise that the work as a u n i f i e d whole, rather than just "The Bear," marks this turning point i n Faulkner's position, and that i t dramatizes t h i s s h i f t not, as i s widely accepted, through the l i f e of Isaac McCaslin, but rather by the juxtaposition of his renunciation and i t s e f f e c t s against the actions and achievements of some of the other plantation inhabitants. This thesis does not dispute _the fact that Ike i s a major character, nor that "The Bear" i s a c e n tral episode of Go Down, Moses, but i t w i l l attempt to demonstrate that Faulkner uses Ike in a sort of inverse manner to i l l u s t r a t e how a moral s t a s i s can develop from a f a i l u r e to understand the r e a l significance of one's h e r i t -age, and how the assumption of an ostensibly pure moral pos6 represented i n e f f e c t Ike's abdication of h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the human condition. Central to the burden of this t h e s is, it therefore, Is a discussion of Ike's renunciation, not in terras of i t s being a morally positive act, but i n terms of how i t measures up against the r e a l i t i e s of the plantation world as they are faced up to by a variety of in d i v i d u a l s , major or minor, Negro or white. For the response of each of these characters to his own p a r t i c u l a r r e a l i t y defines in a very r e a l way his own moral stature, and the sum of these responses becomes a key factor i n determining the true nature of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n . In this thesis, therefore, the moral unity of Go Down, Moses w i l l be an important assumption, and the bases of such unity can be understood by an examination of the major related strands which run through the seven episodes of this work. Underlying a l l the other unifying elements Is a tension which exists between the various inhabitants of the McCaslin plantation world, and which manifests i t s e l f with varying degrees of i n t e n s i t y i n the d i f f e r e n t episodes. This tension i s most c l e a r l y and most s i g n i f i c a n t l y formulated in the relationships between the whites and the Negroes, but of considerable importance, too, i s that e x i s t i n g between certain individuals of the same race or even of the same family. Sometimes t h i s tension i s supe r f i c i a l i n nature and by and large i s resolved i n a somewhat comic fashion, such as that e x i s t i n g between the McCaslin twins and the two 5 Beauchamps, or between Lucas Beauchamp and his "jiraber-jawed" son-in-law, George Wilkins. At other times, i t l i e s more fi r m l y embedded i n the s i t u a t i o n , even though i t mani-fests i t s e l f in an e s s e n t i a l l y comical l i g h t , l i k e that which exists between Tennie and Turl on the one hand, and th e i r respective owners on the other, or between Boon Hogganbeck and the various representatives of the mechanized c i v i l i z a t i o n he encounters on his whiskey-buying t r i p to Memphis. Most frequently, perhaps, i t r e f l e c t s what amounts to a v i r t u a l i n a b i l i t y to communicate with one another because of some character flaw, such as pride, i n s e n s i t i v i t y , or the un-willingness to face r e a l i t y . It i s such a tension which separates Rider from his community, both white and black, Ike from his wife and to a l e s s e r extent from Cass, and Roth Edmonds from almost everybody. But whatever the nature of ^ th i s tension, i t underlies a l l the relationships within the plantation world, and i t had i t s origins ultimately in the order established by old Carothers McCaslin. S p e c i f i c a l l y , this tension manifests i t s e l f in a number of recurring experiences—marriage, i n i t i a t i o n , death, hunting, renunciation, and reconciliation--and i n the various r i t u a l s which attend some of these experiences. The structure of Go Down, Moses ,resolves this complexity of strands into two basic patterns which are juxtaposed against one another in two groups of three stories each, with the f i n a l story 6 providing a synthesizing e f f e c t . Though a certain amount of overlapping occurs, the f i r s t three stories—"Was," "The F i r e and the Hearth," and "Pantaloon in B l a c k " — a r e concerned generally with Negro marriage and a pursuit of some sort, while the next three-"The Old People," "The Bear," and "Delta Autumn"—deal mainly with bachelorhood and the hunt. In the seventh story—"Go Down, Moses"--there i s a f i n a l r e c o n c i l i a t i o n or acceptance of the consequences of a l l the previous experiences, i n the form of the community— both Negro and white—banding together to pay i t s special type of homage to one of the least of the McCaslin des-cendants, thereby not only bringing peace to the victim's grandmother, Molly Beauchamp, but i n a sense bestowing a sort of ultimate j u s t i f i c a t i o n upon the order established by old Carothers. Throughout these s t o r i e s , the various experiences and r i t u a l s are presented In such a manner that the comic view of l i f e i s set off against the serious or the t r a g i c , so that we get a number of points of view from which to judge the plantation world. For example, the pursuit in "Was" represents a f a r c i c a l reversal of a number of s i t u a t i o n s ; depending on what i s at stake, the pursuer becomes the pursued, the pursued becomes the pursuer, and at a l l times, the runaway slave i s in complete control of his pursuers, 7 whether man or hound. In other words, t h i s story provides a comic perspective of the plantation world i n which slavery, freedom, and marriage are a l l mixed up, with the d i s t i n c t i o n between them being determined mainly by the way one manipulates the circumstances. The perspective provided by the pursuit i n "Pantaloon in Black," on the other hand, i s grim and t r a g i c , f o r i t represents an antagonism which l i e s deeper than the r a c i a l issue. I t stems, i t seems to me, from a h o s t i l i t y engendered whenever a community f a l l s to under-stand unusual or e r r a t i c behaviour, or whenever i t experiences an uneasiness in the face of a human g r i e f i t does not comprehend. So Rider was pursued on the one hand because he was a Negro who had murdered a white man; but the r e a l exasperation of the community arose from his i r r a t i o n a l behaviour—he f a i l e d to act th6 way a Negro should act. In the scope provided by Go Down, Moses, then, Rider's dilemma represents the basic i n s e n s i t i v i t y and inhumanity separating man from man, regardless of race or s o c i a l order, and his pursuit i s a grim dramatization of t h i s condition. The marriage relationships in these s t o r i e s , too, provide a si g n i f i c a n t comment on the various responses to the r e a l i t i e s of the plantation world. The attempted re-pudiation of marriage i n "Was" i s e f f e c t i v e l y counter-poised by the fine and d i g n i f i e d r e l a t i o n s h i p between Lucas and Molly Beauchamp in "The Fire and the Hearth," and by the incredible 8 p u r i t y and int e n s i t y , o f Rider's and Mannie's t r a g i c a l l y b r i e f marriage i n "Pantaloon in Black," A l l these r e l a t i o n -ships e s t a b l i s h a basis against which we can measure the consequences of Ike's only partially-consummated marriage, and of bachelorhood i n general, as revealed i n the three succeeding s t o r i e s . In "The Old People," Faulkner speaks of these consequences i n terms of extinction of a race, "now drawing toward the end of i t s a l i e n and irrevocable course, barren, since Sam Fathers had no children. " 3 Bachelorhood i s in e f f e c t , then, an abdication of one's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f or the human race, though I f e e l that Sam Fathers can be exonerated from t h i s charge on the basis that he chose to l i v e outside of society and to die when he saw the inevitable passing of his wilderness order. But Roth Edmonds, fo r his f a i l u r e to assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r his i l l e g i t i m a t e c h i l d , and Ike McCaslin, f o r f a i l i n g to accept r e a l i t y i n such a way that he could have children, both stand g u i l t y of thi s betrayal. As we w i l l see in Chapter IV, i t i s t h i s attitude towards marriage and other human relationships which defines an individual's moral stature, and i t i s by examining the di f f e r e n t responses of the plan-tation inhabitants towards these questions that we can in large measure determine the nature of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n . 9 Interwoven into these two basic patterns i n Go Down, Moses i s the r i t u a l of i n i t i a t i o n , a r i t u a l which takes on a great deal of importance as the story of Ike's renunciation unfolds. In "Was" i t i s Cass who i s i n i t i a t e d into the i n t r i c a c i e s of the plantation world, and in "The Old People" Ike i s received i n t o the ways of the wilderness world. These separate backgrounds, as we s h a l l see, take on a decisive significance in the fourth section of "The Bear," where Ike and Cass dispute over the relinquishment of the plantation, f o r in e f f e c t , Ike continues to l i v e in the realm of wilderness r i t u a l even a f t e r the disappearance of the order which gave r i s e to i t in the f i r s t place. F i n a l l y , the elements of renunciation and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n l i n k these episodes together, and provide yet another means of assessing the individual's responses to his world. By and large, i t appears that Faulkner regards renunciation in Go Down, Mose3 as a negative response, except where i t effects a meaningful r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with the forces of r e a l i t y . Lucas Beauchamp's relinquishment of his quest for sudden wealth, f o r example, i s a pos i t i v e act because i t strengthens the existence of a more enduring r e a l i t y - - h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with his wife. The attempted repudiation of both the Negro and marriage i n the story "Was" also i l l u s -trates a negative response to the world, f o r i t i s motivated by a force which i s b a s i c a l l y inhuman and which cannot endure 10 in the face of the unfettered s p i r i t d i r e c t i n g T u r l i n h i s cause. Thus i t i s too with those who d i r e c t l y i n h e r i t the plantation world, either as a l e g a l inheritance, as i n the case of Ike, or simply as an environment f o r l i f e , as with Lucas, Tennie's Jim, and Ponsiba. Of these four, only Lucas refuses to re l i n q u i s h , and i t seems to me that he i s the only one who ultimately finds some sort of freedom and r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with his world. These strains w i l l be developed f u l l y in Chapter IV of this thesis, where Ike's renunciation w i l l be examined c l o s e l y In contrast to a l l these other responses. In t h i s t h e sis, then, we s h a l l be able to see that the nature of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n can be determined by studying cl o s e l y h i s presentation of the various characters who inhabit the plantation world. The emphasis throughout w i l l be on Ike's relationships within human society, and i t w i l l be evident therefore that there i s a r e l a t i v e neglect of the wilderness episodes in his l i f e . My Intention i s not to minimize the importance of these experiences i n the development of Ike's s k i l l s and character, but simply to emphasize what I consider to be Faulkner's major pre-mise in Go Down, Moses—that a meaningful moral stature must evolve from one's relationships within the world of man, and that a moral position which denies the human bond i s e s s e n t i a l l y u n r e a l i s t i c and vulnerable. This i s why section 11 four of "The Bear" takes on a spe c i a l significance in this work, for i n i t the various worlds of Ike McOaslin a l l come together—the pure wilderness world which l i e s outside of man, the tainted plantation world, which r e a l l y represents the accumulation of man's transgressions and achievements and which i s therefore every man's inheritance, and the r e a l world of Ike's day-to-day existence. But i f we judge Ike's renunciation only against the hunting sections of "The Bear," we receive, I f e e l , a distorted impression of his action, f o r we are undoubtedly influenced by the strong discrepancy which exists between the taints of the McCaslin order and the purity of the wilderness order. For c e r t a i n l y i n the hunting sections there are episodes of unforgettable i n t e n s i t y and humor—Ike's f i r s t glimpse of Old Ben, Sam's t r a i n i n g of the mongrel, Lion, or Ike's and Boon's t r i p to Memphis to buy whiskey— and on th6 whole, Ike's cap i t u l a t i o n to the wilderness i s presented with great s k i l l and s e n s i t i v i t y . But what we might overlook i f we l i m i t ourselves to "The Bear" i s that neither of these worlds—the tainted one of old Carothers or the innocent one of Old B e n — r e a l l y exists any more, except in Ike's mind. The only world that does exist f or him i s the one that he had already inherited by being born into i t , and which he was to i n h e r i t in a l e g a l sense simply to emphasize his r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the human condition within that world. The importance of the other sections 12 of Go Down, Mosea l i e s i n t h e i r presentation of the various facets of this world, and therefore i n th e i r providing of a genuine and r e a l i s t i c order against which to measure Ike's renunciation. Indeed, I t i s only against the decisive actions of such characters as Rider, the g i r l in "Delta Autumn," or Lucas and Molly Beauchamp, that Ike's actions can properly be judged. I t i s one of my main contentions in this thesis, therefore, that while "The Bear" Is a key episode, i t cannot stand by I t s e l f i n a working out of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n , f o r i t takes on a s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t interpretation when studied i n r e l a t i o n to the other s t o r i e s . I t was long ago pointed out by Malcolm Cowley^—and Faulkner himself has emphasized this p o i n t ^ — t h a t one version of "The Bear" can be read as a superb hunting story by omit-t i n g the long and complex section four. But for an under-standing of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n , t h i s section i s of central importance, f o r i t synthesizes a l l the thematic variations which recur throughout Go Down, Moses, and s p e c i f i c a l l y i t provides, i n i t s juxtaposition of fragments from both the wilderness and the plantation world, a basis f o r understanding Ike's dilemma, and also, through the argu-ments of Gass, a means of recognizing the esse n t i a l weak-nesses of his p o s i t i o n . This section reveals c l e a r l y , I think, that i f Faulkner does have a moral spokesman, i t i s Cass rather than Ike, though I am aware of the problems of 13 assigning any Faulkner character this role, and i t i s not my intention to pursue t h i s point very f a r . I t i s necessary, however, to cl e a r up the ambiguity which surrounds Ike as a major Faulkner fi g u r e , f o r he seems to represent a d i v i s i o n within Faulkner himself as to what values are of l a s t i n g s i g n i f i c a n c e . This dichotomy is most apparent in "The Bear," and the r e a l value of the fourth section in this regard i s that i t reveals a side of Ike not brought out in the other four parts. The resolution of t h i s dichotomy, as we s h a l l see i n Chapter IV, i s in l i n e with what Faulkner has con-s i s t e n t l y upheld as the basis f o r a meaningful moral vis i o n — the a b i l i t y and willingness to act i n l i g h t of e x i s t i n g conditions. I think he shows us i n "The Bear" that Ike had t h i s talent in the wilderness world, but, unlike Cass and others, he did not have i t i n the plantation world--the world of man, and in that respect, he ceased to represent Faulkner's p o s i t i o n . As the next chapter w i l l indicate, just how Faulkner's moral position can be interpreted has been the subject of a great deal of c r i t i c a l speculation. Most of the pronouncements on t h i s question have r e l i e d c h i e f l y on "The Bear" f o r support, even when the c r i t i c ostensibly was concerned with Go Down, Moses, and, indeed, very l i t t l e has been said about the moral unity of the work as a whole. Ik My purpose i n this thesis i s not to put a l a b e l on Faulkner's moral v i s i o n , as many of these c r i t i c s have done, nor i s i t to d i s c r e d i t the interpretations which have been offered. But i t w i l l be necessary to examine these pronouncements i n considerable d e t a i l in order to appreciate t h e i r l i m i t a t i o n s when they are applied to the work as a uni f i e d whole. 15 Footnotes to Chapter I 1 James B. Meriwether, William Faulkner: A. Check L i s t . (Princeton, 1957), p. 5 . ~ 2 Frederick L. Gwynn and Joseph L. Blotner, eds., Faulkner in the Uni v e r s i t y : Class Conferences at the University of V i r g i n i a •1957-50. ( C h a r l o t t e s v i l l e , 1959), p. 1|. (Hereafter cited as Faulkner i n the U n i v e r s i t y ) . 3 William Faulkner, Go Down, Moses. (New York, 191+2), p. 165. (Hereafter documented i n t e r n a l l y as GDM). I4 Malcolm Cowley, ed., The Portable Faulkner. (New York, I9I46), p. 226. 5 Faulkner in the University, p. 273• II SUMMARY OF CRITICAL OPINION As indicated e a r l i e r , most c r i t i c s , in discussing, this novel in terms of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n , have been concerned mainly with "The Bear" and with Ike McCaslin's responses to his various experiences. On the whole, t h e i r analyses of Go Down, Moses as a novel have been limited to discussing the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of various s t r u c t u r a l l y unifying elements, with r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e attention being paid to the thematic unity as manifested in an underlying moral v i s i o n . This neglect stems in part, I think, from th6 early tendency to read the work as a c o l l e c t i o n of short stories rather than as a novel; but I f e e l that i t Is also due in some measure to the propensity to Interpret Ike McCaslin as a spokesman f o r Faulkner, and therefore to concentrate on those portions of the book devoted to him. This second tendency became most marked, i t appears, a f t e r Faulkner's Nobel PriZ6 speech i n 1950, which had the ef f e c t of s e t t i n g c r i t i c s off in a f l u r r y to f i n d f i c t i o n a l pronouncements to match h i s public utterances. And Ike I l l u s t r a t e d , i n his actions and words, enough of the virtues of endurance and s e l f - s a c r i f i c e to 17 make the relat i o n s h i p between himself and the public Faulkner for many c r i t i c s a f a i r l y obvious one. At any rate, discussions of Go Down, Moses i n terms of moral v i s i o n have been rare. For example, of the twenty-three essays included i n William Faulkner; Three Decades of  C r i t i c i s m , ^ none i s devoted to t h i s consideration, 2 although one of them s p e c i f i c a l l y deals with "The Bear," while another refers b r i e f l y to the same story in i t s 3 discussion of the wilderness and c i v i l i z a t i o n theme. It i s true, of course, that Go Down, Moses has been viewed as a turning point in the development of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n , but almost always the support f o r such assertions has come from "The Bear" rather than from the work as a whole. For example, R.W.B. Lewis, in his essay, "The Hero in the Modern World," sta t e s : I f . . . the novels and stories preceding Go Down, Moses possess an atmosphere l i k e that of the Old Testament, then "The Bear" may be regarded as Faulkner's f i r s t sustained venture towards the more hopeful and liberated world a f t e r the Incarnation... .Ij. And in much the.-same vein, William Van O'Connor states that "fro Down, Mosej) marks a profound s h i f t in his work," although he goes on to discuss the novel in terms of con-f l i c t i n g themes, with the role of "The Bear" as a synthesizing force: 18 The theme i m p l i c i t i n the sections devoted to Lucas Beauchamp Is white Injustice to the Negro, and the theme i m p l i c i t i n those devoted to Isaac i s the n o b i l i t y of character to be learned from l i f e i n the wilderness. In "The Bear" Faulkner attempts to bring the two subject matters and therefore the two themes together, with the wilderness theme dominating.-3 Lawrance Thompson agrees with O'Connor on the synthesizing e f f e c t of "The Bear," although he narrows i t down even further than t h i s . " I t would seem c l e a r , " h.6 states, "that the commissary episode [section IV] was designed to make 'The Bear' thematically integrated with other parts of Go Down, M o s e s . A n d f i n a l l y , Irving Howe sees the moral v i s i o n of Go Down, Moses in terms mainly of "The Bear," but also of the other stories about Isaac: Isaac McCaslin's recognition of the wrong and shame that corrupt his inheritance i s the cen-t r a l moral action of Go Down, Moses, primarily in the superb story, "The Bear," and then, by way of confirming postscript, in the fine story "Delta Autumn."7 It i s evident, therefore, that the novel as a whole has been neglected, and i t i s my contention that many of the c r i t i c a l judgments passed on "The Bear" and other McCaslin st o r i e s must be modified considerably when they are applied to Go Down, Moses as a thematically u n i f i e d work. Before going into these considerations, however, i t i s necessary to examine i n more d e t a i l the c r i t i c i s m which has been pronounced upon this work. 19 Though there i s a certain amount of overlapping, such c r i t i c i s m f a l l s f a i r l y conveniently into three categories. F i r s t , there i s that which analyzes the work in terms of a c o n f l i c t between priraitivism and modernism; secondly, there i s the interpretation of i t as a Christian v i s i o n of l i f e ; and l a s t l y , there i s the interpretation which sees i t i n humanistic terms. These categories are not mutually exclusive, of course, nor are they exhaustive, but they cover the general nature of the chief c r i t i c i s m a r i s i n g from t h i s book. Chief among the proponents of the primitive approach are Harry M. Campbell and Ruel E. Foster, who f e e l that the main pattern i n Go Down, Moses i s one of regression to a culture dominated by the Indian and the Negro. They f i r s t propound a statement of the i r main t h e s i s : It becomes increasingly evident i n his l a t e r books that Faulkner i s i m p l i c i t l y s e t t i n g up a scale of values i n which people who follow the simple, primal drive of primitive s o c i e t a l l i f e are more l i k e l y to survive than those people who have been corrupted by the fa l s e and d e b i l i t a t i n g s t i m u l i of modern society." arid they then apply this generalization to the book: In Go Down, Moses, i t i s f i r s t Sam Fathers and then Ike McCaslin who oppose a simple, nomadic, primitive l i f e to the encroaching forces of c i v i l i z a t i o n and emerge, i f not completely v i c -torious, at least undefeated and "enduring"... .9 But i t i s "The Bear" rather than the whole work that they 20 see most c l e a r l y in p r i m i t i v i s t i c terms: In terms of allegory, this story might be i n t e r -preted thus. It would seem that there are two worlds: the primitive world of the old free fathers... the wilderness and the animals... and the men who l i v e by and in and through the wilderness; and the c i v i l i z e d world of contemporary man who has insulated himself against the primitive w o r l d . 1 0 Campbell and Poster contend that the p r i m i t i v i s t i c approach enables Faulkner to create a broader f i c t i o n a l world, and thus to bring the reader into contact with a cultural and psychological type that the modern world has rendered v i r -t u a l l y e x t i n c t . It i s i n these terms that they see Ike, for they argue that his whole development, from his i n i t i a l responses to his world to his mature and prolonged l i f e of s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , has been along p r i m i t i v i s t i c l i n e s : It i s to the enduring and noble aspects of nature and of men close to nature l i k e Sam Fathers,, not , to the ante-bellum aristocracy or t h e i r descendants, . that Isaac turns f o r i n s p i r a t i o n . . . . Nor i s there any indication that Faulkner finds in r e l i g i o n any sa t i s f a c t o r y solution of the problem of e v i l . Even {ike's] "redemption" through a l i f e of "atonement" fo r the sins of his ancestors i s apparently a s t o i c a l , humanistic, and p r i m i t i v i s t i c accomplishment, to which these r e l i g i o u s metaphors can be applied only because his moral p r i n c i p l e s and those of Chris-t i a n i t y are both on a high plane of s a c r i f i c i a l goodness.11 While Campbell and Foster have been the most con-sis t e n t exponents of the p r i m i t i v i s t i c approach, both William Van O'Connor and John Lewis Longley also read the novel, at l e a s t in part, in these same terras. O'Connor interprets "The Bear" in much the same way as Campbell and Foster: 21 This i n general i s the meaning of the s t o r y — O l d Ben i s the wilderness, the mystery of man's nature and origins beneath the forms of c i v i l i z a t i o n j and man's proper r e l a t i o n s h i p with the wilderness teaches him l i b e r t y , courage, pride and h u m i l i t y . 1 2 But, unlike them, he does not see the benefits of the wilderness as having a p a r t i c u l a r l y marked e f f e c t upon Ike: Ike never seems a p a r t i c u l a r l y good representative of the virtues to be learned from the wilderness because he i s i n e f f e c t u a l or inactive i n contexts where the virtues he has learned in the wilderness, p a r t i c u l a r l y the respect f o r l i b e r t y , might motivate him to some positive a c t i o n . 1 3 This point I intend to discuss at much length i n Chapter IV, for i t represents an observation which i s central to my reading of the whole book; but at t h i s point I simply wish to summarize the main c r i t i c a l judgments passed on t h i s book. For the moment, therefore, O'Connor's statement serves simply to indicate that c r i t i c s who agree, on the one hand, that Faulkner reveals a p r i m i t i v i s t i c outlook in "The Bear," are nevertheless f a r from agreement as to the exact values he i s expounding through this philosophy. Longley's reading of "The Bear" i s that primitivism i s "one of the most persistent" of the many themes i n -herent i n t h i s story. He describes i t i n terms of "the p r i s t i n e innocence being destroyed by the march of progress and the disappearance of the f r o n t i e r . " 1 ^ Like Campbell and Foster, he stresses the psychological basis of a primi-t i v i s t i c v i s i o n of morality: 22 The Wilderness l i f e — n o matter how primitive or open or f r e e — i s in essence a l i f e or morality based on an i n t e r i o r and private awareness and belonging... Longley sees Ike, i n e f f e c t , i n a constant state of adjust-ment, "attempting to l i v e Uhis] code of the Wilderness... 16 in the world... of materialism and mendacity." In my opinion, the most erroneous of th6 c r i t i c i s m s which have interpreted "The Bear" as an expression of a p r i m i t i v i s t i c v i s i o n of l i f e i s that of Kenneth LaBudde, as expressed i n an a r t i c l e written in 1950. The concluding paragraph of t h i s a r t i c l e reads in part as follows: In Part IV we r e a l i z e "The Bear" i s an affirmation of primitivism. C i v i l i z a t i o n i s e v i l . ("This whole land, the whole South i s cursed, and a l l of us who derive from i t . " ) The only means of s a l -vation i s to sweep a l l t h i s man-made structure away so that man w i l l hold "the earth mutual and intact in the communal anonymity of brotherhood.".... Sam i s a noble savage, and i t i s from him that Ike learned wisdom. Ike learned about God in the wilderness.... Wisdom i s achieved by i n t u i t i o n schooled by nature rather than by reason fashioned according to the ways of men.1? Mr. LaBudde i s g u i l t y of many f a l l a c i e s here, but the most serious error i s his vast over-simplification of the highly complex issues contained in "The Bear," which appears to me to be based on a misreading of some of the other parts of Go Down, Moses. For example, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see how a c a r e f u l reading of "Delta Autumn" could produce the i n t e r -pretation of "wisdom" which i s contained in the l a s t sentence of the above quotation.. These and other f a l l a c i e s of t h i s sort w i l l receive further consideration in the chapter 23 devoted to a close analysis of Go Down. Moses, where i t w i l l be shown that attempts to read this s t o r y — o r the work as a whole--in r i g i d l y exclusive terras d i s t o r t or abort the many legitimate ideas inherent in i t . The second main category of c r i t i c i s m of Go Down, Moses or i t s separate parts i s that which views the work as a Christian or r e l i g i o u s v i s i o n of l i f e . C r i t i c s who have p e r s i s t e n t l y read Faulkner i n Christian terms have never been in short supply, and, by and large, Go Down, Moses has received a f a i r share of t h e i r pronouncements. But again, as with the exponents of primitivism, these c r i t i c s concern themselves mainly with "The Bear," and tend to see Ike, i f not as an actual Christ figure, at least as a s a i n t l y person with a great number of C h r i s t - l i k e a t t r i -butes. Equally popular i s the tendency to treat the primi-t i v e wilderness i n r e l i g i o u s terms, i n which scheme Sam Fathers becomes the high p r i e s t , Boon Hogganbeck the acolyte, and Ike the n o v i t i a t e , who i s "formally consecrated" into the wilderness reigned over by the godhead, Old Ben. The keynote of this r e l i g i o u s interpretation i s struck by H.H. Waggoner, who states that "the meanings of Faulkner's f i c t i o n are for the most part b a s i c a l l y con-sistent with the broad outlines of the c l a s s i c Christian view of man and the world." In more s p e c i f i c terms, he goes on: 21* Beginning with "The Bear" Faulkner's work i s characterized by i t s repeated attempts to restate fo r modern man what Faulkner takes to be the ess e n t i a l meaning of the Christian myth.... The fundamental assumption that shapes many of Faulkner's works of the f o r t i e s and f i f t i e s i s that the dogmas of the Christian creeds are at once f i g u r a t i v e and profoundly true.^9 In the "Preface" to his book, Waggoner speaks of 20 Faulkner's "uneasy r e l a t i o n to his Christian background," and l a t e r elaborates on t h i s statement by observing that there seems to be a certain inconsistency between Faulkner's public and f i c t i o n a l statements. "The main d r i f t of . Faulkner's [public} statements," he explains, "has been e s s e n t i a l l y humanistic,... but the f i n e s t works of his imagination have presented the issues of l i f e i n t r a d i t i o n a l Pl r e l i g i o u s terms." This putative dichotomy has troubled other c r i t i c s besides Waggoner, who in many cases have revealed a rather patronizing attitude towards the public Faulkner, suggesting that somehow his formal pronouncements do not r e a l l y represent his true ideas. Howe, for example, pronounces as follows upon this question: Too complacent in t h e i r weariness, Faulkner's s t o i c a l pronouncements.often seam unearned, statements drawn from other books and voices rather than authentic to his own.22 Of t h i s whole question, more w i l l be said i n Chapter V, where Faulkner's "Nobel Prize speech and other public state-ments w i l l be examined in r e l a t i o n to his moral v i s i o n . But I think i t i s e s s e n t i a l to stress the point that there i s 25 not such a discrepancy between the substance of his public utterances and the themes i m p l i c i t in his novels as many of these c r i t i c s have maintained. As we w i l l see, the voice in both these media i s authentically Faulkner's own; he has simply chosen two d i f f e r e n t ways of expressing a truth of the human condition as he sees i t . Another c r i t i c who sees Go Down, M0S6S in r e l i g i o u s terms i s R.W.B. Lewis who, in the essay referred to e a r l i e r in t h i s chapter, describes "The Bear" thus* "The Bear" i s a canticle or chant r e l a t i n g the b i r t h , the baptism and the early t r i a l s of Isaac McCaslin; i t i s ceremonious i n s t y l e , and i t i s not lacking In dimly seen miraculous events. We get moreover an incarnation, i f not the Incarnat-io n : or at least we get a reincarnation; and we witness an act of atonement which may conceivably flower into a redemption. 23 More s p e c i f i c a l l y , he sees the f i r s t h a l f of the story as "the r i t u a l by p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n which... McCaslin becomes reborn and baptized, receives the sacramental blessing and accomplishes his moral liberation...... {while] the rest of the book t e l l s us how a properly baptized and educated hero may act when confronted with e v i l . " 2 ^ I t Is not clear whether Lewis i s r e f e r r i n g only to "The Bear" when he speaks of "the rest of the book"; i f he i s , then his interpretation of Ike, i t seems to me, i s based on incomplete evidence. I f , on the other hand, he includes the rest of Go Down, Moses, then i t i s d i f f i c u l t to accept the l a t t e r part of his statement in l i g h t of Ike's reactions to the r e a l i t y he 26 faces In "Delta Autumn." Lewis speaks of the r e l i g i o u s element involved in the vi s i o n Ike receives as his two experiences come into c onjunction—his i n i t i a t i o n into the wilderness- ( i . e . , his b i r t h ) , and his awareness of the e v i l in the world. "Only a person adequately baptized," he maintains, " i s capable of having the vi s i o n at a l l ; and only the grace bestowed at the baptism enables the i n i t i a t e 25 to withstand the e v i l when i t i s encountered." There remain f o r b r i e f discussion two other c r i t i c s who, while they see Faulkner's v i s i o n p a r t i a l l y i n r e l i g i o u s terms, nevertheless are not so r i g i d l y committed to thi s interpretation as i s Lewis. Gleanth Brooks i n his recent book on Faulkner states, "There i s in the account of the McCaslins a deeply r e l i g i o u s element in Isaac's attempt at expiation f o r the family's g u i l t and his vow of re-n u n c i a t i o n . . . , " ^ and Irving Howe contends that "at least intermittently Faulkner seems to believe very deeply i n the i n t r i n s i c value and ultimate e f f i c a c y of passive 27 suf f e r i n g . " However, neither Brooks nor Howe interprets Faulkner as a t r a d i t i o n a l or a consistent C h r i s t i a n ; Brooks, f o r example, feels that while Ike's acknowledgement of e v i l i s a Christian manifestation, his subsequent attempts to atone f o r i t represent Stoicism, not C h r i s t i a n i t y . And Howe concedes only that one of the sources of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n i s "an imperiled version of C h r i s t i a n i t y , " imperiled because, l i k e other forces or i n s t i t u t i o n s of the 27 South, I t has gone through a process of decay. The tendency to q u a l i f y one's assertion of Faulkner as a Christian moralist i s perhaps best i l l u s t r a t e d in a quotation from H.H. Waggoner, a c r i t i c already quoted e a r l i e r : Clearly, Faulkner's d e f i n i t i o n of C h r i s t i a n i t y as simply a moral code i s not an adequate statement of his p o s i t i o n . He takes credal C h r i s t i a n i t y , appar-ently, as u n h i s t o r i c a l myth containing profound and redemptive moral and psychological truth which he has undertaken to reinterpret in modern terms.3.0 The t h i r d general Interpretation of Go Down, Moses--the humanistic approach--is perhaps an attempt to arrive at such an "adequate statement of his p o s i t i o n , " an approach that i s c l e a r l y represented by Neal Woodruff, J r . , in an essay e n t i t l e d , "'The Bear' and Faulkner's Moral V i s i o n . " Here he challenges the often expressed view that "The Bear" represents a t r a n s i t i o n from the "Old Testament gloom" of the early works to the "New Testament l i g h t " of his l a t e r novels, by his p o s i t i v e l y stated assertion that "Faulkner's moral v i s i o n . . . c l e a r l y i n v i t e s formulation 31 in humanistic, not r e l i g i o u s terms...." He elaborates with reference to "The Bear": (j^ The Bear3 expresses more p l a i n l y than any other work the humanistic values consistent throughout his work—values c l e a r l y Implicit in the best short s t o r i e s and the great novels of 1929 to I9I4O, and more e x p l i c i t , though often less clear, in the novels published since 191+8.32 What change i s apparent i n novels subsequent to Go Down, Moses, he contends, i s not so much a s h i f t i n values as i t i s in aesthetic technique, "a change from the dramatic and 28 i m p l i c i t to the r h e t o r i c a l and e x p l i c i t . W o o d r u f f r e a d i l y concedes that there i s a strong p a r a l l e l between the Chr i s t i a n and humanistic values i n Faulkner's f i c t i o n , and he attempts to indicate why he adopts the humanist approach: His f i c t i o n , i t must be granted, i s often am-biguous i n the values i t expresses; no perver-s i t y i s required to decide that they are Chris-tian values, f o r i t i s at least p l a i n that they are consistent with Christian values. The Chris-tian motifs and B i b l i c a l analogies, however— both covert and overt, early and late—seem to me to p a r a l l e l a humanistic v i s i o n , to i l l u m i n -ate and reinforce i t , but not to transform i t into a Christian account of man. They are a part of the structure of the in d i v i d u a l works, but they do not determine the esse n t i a l burden of the work as a whole. 3k He proceeds to show that many of the ceremonies that Ike undergoes in the wilderness are l i k e r e l i g i o u s r i t u a l s , but they represent i n fact a l i t e r a l apprenticeship and not some a l l e g o r i c a l experience. What Woodruff i s implying here, I think, i s that Faulkner builds his moral v i s i o n in the f i r s t instance on a l i t e r a l r e a l i t y , and not on some r e l i g i o u s or c u l t u r a l abstraction. It was the r e a l i t y of Old Ben and the wilderness, for example, and not some myth about them, which evoked in Faulkner whatever ideas he may l a t e r have worked into his moral vision.. The d i f f i c u l t y many readers experience in trying to resolve the apparent paradoxes i n Faulkner's moral position is i n part explained away by the l a s t of the c r i t i c s I wish 29 to consider in this survey, Lawrance Thompson. While conceding that inconsistencies do exis t i n Faulkner's themes and techniques, he has thi s to say about his moral v i s i o n : There i s no actual paradox or inconsistency i n his position:.His i n t r i c a t e rearrangements and adaptations have provided him with a firm t h e i s t i c base for one foot, and a firm humanistic base for the other foot. His reason f o r keeping the greater part of his weight on the humanistic base should... be c l e a r . He sees a mistake i n man's tendency to reduce his own need f o r endeavor, and to a l l e v i a t e his own r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , by appealing to God for help. He also sees a mistake in man's consequent tendency to hold God responsible, sooner or l a t e r , for man's own failures.3 5 The arguments put f o r t h by Thompson are c l e a r l y relevant to events in Go Down, Moses, though he offers them as a comment on Faulkner's works in general. But, as we s h a l l subsequently see, i t i s the "need f o r endeavor" which Ike f a i l s to recognize, and the acceptance of responsi-b i l i t i e s which so strongly distinquishes many of the other s i g n i f i c a n t characters i n the novel. Like Woodruff, Thompson argues that Faulkner's moral v i s i o n i s based s o l i d l y on the r e a l i t y of the world around him, that i t i s , i n e f f e c t , synonymous with the "truth" one perceives i n his world: "Truth" i s the qu a l i t y of being in accordance with those facts or r e a l i t i e s of experience which have thus f a r enabled man to achieve and preserve his "immortality." Thus the human perception of "truth" i s the conscientious awareness of the individual,.and then of the s o c i a l group, concerning that which must be done to assert and thus renew the v i a b i l i t y of v a l i d and constructive human experience.3° 30 In this chapter, I have been concerned with providing a summary of the major categories of c r i t i c i s m directed against Go Down, Moses or i t s separate parts, in so f a r as t h i s c r i t i c i s m gives an interpretation of Faulkner's moral vision as i t finds expression i n this work. It i s possible, as we have seen, to make a f a i r l y strong case f o r each of the three interpretations — p r i r a i t i v i s t i c , C h r i s t i a n , or humanistic—but, as i s true of so many cases where multiple interpretations e x i s t , the "correct" one i s l i k e l y to be a.combination of a l l three. Though i t i s not my primary intention or desire i n th i s thesis to uphold consciously any one of these i n t e r -pretations, my main arguments throughout w i l l appear to have a humanistic basis. In eff e c t , I am generally d i s -carding both the p r i m i t i v i s t i c and the Christian bases of interpretation, and I do t h i s on the evidence provided by other pronouncements made by Faulkner, both f i c t i o n a l and public, as well as, of course, ray own reading of Go Down, Moses. For example, my reading of h i s "Wilderness" stories does not uncover s u f f i c i e n t evidence that either the i n d i v i d u a l or the community depicted therein exemplifies a moral stature or a moral pot e n t i a l that Faulkner would advocate. S i m i l a r l y , ray general r e j e c t i o n of the Christian interpretation stems in part from my reading of Faulkner's public statements, which I f e e l are secular or humanistic and not r e l i g i o u s utterances, and i n part from my b e l i e f that his dependence In many of his f i c t i o n a l works on 31 C h r i s t i a n and B i b l i c a l a l l u s i o n i s a question of technique more than of theme. The humanistic interpretation, on the other hand, does not give r i s e to these inconsistencies when other statements of Faulkner's position are applied to i t . And more important, i n terras of thi s thesis, i t i s reinforced by a l l the sections of Go Down, Moses, whereas the other two interpretations lose a great deal of t h e i r a p p l i c a b i l i t y when they are removed from the context of the McCaslin s t o r i e s . This thesis w i l l proceed, therefore, on the premise that Faulkner's moral v i s i o n i s e s s e n t i a l l y a humanistic one, whether I e x p l i c i t l y use that term or not, but i t s main purpose w i l l be to examine the position that Go Down, Moses occupies i n the development of that v i s i o n . This process involves several important steps. In the f i r s t place, we must examine c a r e f u l l y the text i t s e l f to decide on such questions as the nature of the plantation world which Ike declined to i n h e r i t , the exact nature of Ike's ren u n c i a t i o n — t h a t i s , i t s causes, i t s manifestations, and i t s e f f e c t s — a n d the significance of the difference between his response and the responses of the other inheritors of the McCaslin legacy. Secondly, we must determine how the vi s i o n wh.ich emerges from a l l t h i s stands in r e l a t i o n to the position that Faulkner has expressed subsequent to Go Down, Moses. And f i n a l l y , we must 32 formulate some conclusions about the significance of th i s work i n Faulkner's moral development. The remaining chapters of this thesis w i l l be given over to these questions. 33 Footnotes to Chapter II 1 F.J. Hoffman and O.W. Vickery, eds., William Faulkner: Three Decades of C r i t i c i s m . (New York, I960). n f e r e -a f t e r c i t e d as Three Decades). 2 William Van O'Connor, "The Wilderness Theme in Faulkner's •The Bear.'" Three Decades, pp. 322-330. 3 Ursula B'rumm, "Wilderness and C i v i l i z a t i o n : A Note on William Faulkner." Three Decadesj pp. 125-131*. 1* R.W.B. Lewis, "The Hero in the New World: Faulkner's 'The Bear.'" Interpretations of American L i t e r a t u r e , eds. Charles Fiedelson, J r . and Paul Brodtkorb, J r . (New York, 1959), p. 332. 5 O'Connor, p. 323. 6 Lawrance Thompson, William Faulkner: An Introduction and Interpretation. (New York, 1963), P« 92. 7 Irving Howe, William Faulkner: A C r i t i c a l Study. (New York, 1962), p. 92. 8 Harry M. Campbell and Ruel E. Foster, William Faulkner: A C r i t i c a l Approach• (Norman, Oklahoraa, 1951), p. 11*3• 9 I b i d . , p. l i j l * . 10 Ibid., p. 11*7. 11 Ibid., p. 163. 12 O'Connor, p. 325. 13 Ibid., p. 329. II4 John Lewis Longley, The Tragic Mask: A Study of Faulkner's  Heroes. (Chapel H i l l , 1957), p. 80. 15 I b i d . , p. 81. 16 Ibid . 17 Kenneth LaBudde, "Cultural Priraitivisra i n William Faulkner's 'The Bear.'" Bear, Man, and God; Seven Approaches to  William Faulkner's "The Bear," eds. Francis L. Utley. Lynn Z. Bloom, and Arthur F. Kinney. (New York, 1964), P. 233. 31* 18 H . H . Waggoner, William Faulkner; From Jefferson to the World. ( dexlngton], 1959), p. 247. 19 I b i d . , p. 21*6. 20 I b i d . , p. v l . 21 Ibid., p. 21*0. 22 Howe, p. 11*6. 23 Lewis, pp. 332-333. 21* Ibid., pp. 33U-335. 25 Ibid., p. 31*0. 26 Cleanth Brooks, William Faulkner; The Yoknapatawpha Country. (New Haven, 1963), P* 21*5. 27 Howe, p. 96. 28 Brooks, p. 373. 29 Howe, p. 11*8. 30 Waggoner, p. 2l*8. 31 Neal Woodruff, J r . , "'The Bear' and Faulkner's Moral Vi s i o n , " Studies in Faulkner. (Pittsburgh, 1961), p. 1*1*. 32 Ibid., p. 1*5. 33 Ibid., p. kk* 3k Ibid. 35 Thompson, p. 175. 36 Ibid., p. 171*. I l l * GO DOWN, MOSES; THE PLANTATION WORLD Olga Vickery has c o r r e c t l y noted that one of the s t r u c t u r a l l y unifying features of Go Down, Moses i s that a l l the stories are "related through th e i r connection with the plantation.""*" On the whole, however, the plantation world i n i t s many manifestations has received r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e attention in the discussions of the moral s i g n i -ficance of this work, except f o r the frequent observation that i t was something that Ike repudiated. It w i l l be p r o f i t a b l e , I think, to examine the various facets of this world c a r e f u l l y , to see just what i t was that he did rel i n q u i s h , and thus to be better equipped to judge the value of his repudiation. It i s important to note at the outset that I am making a d i s t i n c t i o n between the plantation as a l e g a l property and the plantation as a more or less self-con-tained world. In the f i r s t case, i t was something formulated and circumscribed by old Carothers McCaslin and passed down through his sons and Ike to various members of the Edmonds family* that i s , i t was a legacy involving r e l a t i v e l y few people. But as a world or a framework f o r 36 l i f e , i t was, l i k e the earth, "ho man's but a l l men's, as l i g h t and a i r and weather were," (GDM, p. 3 ) , in that i t s dimensions Impinged upon the l i v e s of many: black or white, slave or master, sharecropper or millworker, with much the same consistency. In his well-known book about the South, W.J. Cash provides some illu m i n a t i n g comments on the nature of this plantation world, pointing out, among other things, that a strong t r a i t of individualism characterized the inhabitants of thi s world, from the planter down to the poor whites. In t h i s respect, Cash points out, the plan-tation system preserved and perpetuated the f r o n t i e r con-2 ditions which fostered individualism in the f i r s t place. He comments further: Again, the plantation system tended to f i n d i t s center i n i t s e l f : to be an independent s o c i a l unit, a self-contained and la r g e l y s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t l i t t l e world of i t s own.... And what i s true of the planter i s true a l s o . . . f o r the poorer whites under this plantation order. The farmers and crackers were in t h e i r own way s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t t o o — a s f i e r c e l y c a r e f u l of t h e i r prerogatives of ownership, as jealous of t h e i r sway over t h e i r puny domains, as the grandest lord.3 In other words, the plantation system, for a l l i t s c o n t r i -butions to human misery and exp l o i t a t i o n , did, i t appears, provide the scope or the atmosphere for the engendering of such q u a l i t i e s as pride, individualism, and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . Thus, i t would seem that Ike's repudiation of the plantation as a l e g a l property i s one thing, but that h i s repudiation of that world as a continuum of l i f e i s quite another. 37 There i s s u f f i c i e n t evidence in the various episodes of Go Down, Moses, i t seems to me, to indicate that t h i s world provided a normal amount of g r i e f and. joy, of hope and despair, of f a n c i f u l i l l u s i o n and stark r e a l i t y ; in short, of a l l those c o n f l i c t i n g emotions and exigencies which go to make up the t o t a l i t y of l i f e . In saying a l l t h i s , I am not overlooking the fa c t that throughout the novel there are omnipresent reminders of the ugliness of slavery or i n j u s t i c e to the Negro, but these e v i l s , one must remember, are not r e s t r i c t e d to a plantation world, and, i n Faulkner's view, not o r i g i n a l with that world. The opening story "Was," presents th i s world in a doubly s i g n i f i c a n t perspective. In the f i r s t place, we see i t only one generation removed from i t s founder and the source of i t s t a i n t , Carothers McCaslin, and we thus receive a more detailed and intimate acquaintance with t h i s world, i t seems to me, than Ike would receive from Cass's recounting of i t some years l a t e r . We enjoy, as i t were, the l i m i t l e s s perspective of the omniscient author, while Ike's version, though doubtless more immediate, would nevertheless r e f l e c t the distorted and r e s t r i c t e d perspective of a nine-year old boy. Ike was excluded from t h i s world not only because of an accident of chronology; the remark, "This was not something participated i n or even seen by himself" (GDM, p. 3), though doubtless relevant to his birthdate, seems, in addition, to point to a myopic quality 38 i n his v i s i o n which, some t h i r t y years l a t e r , was to con-tribute to his decision in the commissary. And secondly, we see thi s world already in the process of melioration under i t s r e l a t i v e l y enlightened owners, Buck and Buddy McCaslin, who, i f they kneiW of t h e i r father's e v i l , seemed si n g u l a r l y unconcerned about i t . At any rate, t h e i r immediate concern was the pl i g h t of the slaves whom they had inherited from t h e i r father and whom, in t h e i r own way, they emancipated long before "the stranger in Washington" did. "They are," as Cleanth Brooks explains i t , " s i n g u l a r l y undoctrinaire a b o l i t i o n i s t s , who have worked out a kind of p r a c t i c a l accommodation between themselves and th e i r slaves."^ The story relates, too, many incidents of plantation l i f e which are thoroughly and wholly comical—the opening scene of the indoor fox chase, f o r example, or Sophonsiba's successful plot on Buck, or Turl's b r i l l i a n t manipulation of the f a t e f u l poker game. These and s i m i l a r scenes point out, I think, the e s s e n t i a l l y human and comic s p i r i t which governed the various a c t i v i t i e s and relationships e x i s t i n g on the plantation, thus i n d i c a t i n g that the r e a l i t y of slavery and i n j u s t i c e was mitigated somewhat by an underlying humanity and tolerance. This i s not to suggest that Faulkner viewed slavery l i g h t l y , but only that he recognized i t as a r e a l i t y of that p a r t i c u l a r world, and i n this story he simply i l l u s t r a t e s one of the many possible responses to thi s p a r t i c u l a r e v i l . Cleanth Brooks sums up Faulkner's position ( 39 quite adequately i n these remarks: The judgment passed upon slavery generally i n Go Down, Moses i s a withering one. What Faulkner i s doing i s giving human depth to what i s too often treated as melodramatic abstraction, and t h i s process points two ways: i f , by "humanizing" slavery, he seems to make i t more tolerable, the same process makes i t more t e r r i b l e and anguish-ing. In general, Faulkner i s providing the per-spective in which we s h a l l have to view Uncle Ike's act of renunciation and in which perspective the complexity of his motives w i l l be revealed. Only as viewed in such perspective can the f i n a l value of his action be made.5 This perspective i s achieved l a r g e l y through the device of juxtaposition, f o r a great number of incidents in the story are echoed, in either i r o n i c or t r a g i c contrast, throughout the rest of the novel. Most of the action of the story, for example, i s on the l e v e l of r i t u a l , but i t i s a r i t u a l which no one takes very seriously. The pursuit of Tomey's Tur l i s a good example of t h i s , f o r twice a year this "chase" follows i d e n t i c a l patterns: Turl dresses up i n a white s h i r t , Buck dons his t i e and has a l e i s u r e l y breakfast, and by and large the pursuit turns into a s o c i a l occasion at the Beauchamps, while Turl goes about his business of courting Tennie with a minimum of interruption. And Sophonsiba's designation of t h e i r plantation as "Warwick" i s another meaningless r i t u a l , with the post-horn sounding o f f at the gateless gate-post, Hubert drinking toddies with his feet in the spring water, and a l l the other pretensions towards the g e n t i l i t y of the landed gentry. But the point i s that a l l these people recognize i t as r i t u a l , and quite r e a d i l y forego i t when more important considerations come up. For example, in her pursuit of Buck, Sophonsiba quickly gives up her pretensions of being a high-born lady and adopts the t a c t i c s of a scullery-maid by l y i n g in wait f o r him— i n his bed. That i s , the ceremonies of the r i t u a l do not render them incapable of responding to the r e a l i t y of t h e i r world in the most e f f e c t i v e way. With Ike, however, the process of r i t u a l becomes quite another thing. He i s i n i t i a t e d into the wilderness order i n a r i t u a l i s t i c ceremony conducted by Sam Fathers, and f o r that p a r t i c u l a r order the r i t u a l s i n question have a purpose and a r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . But, i t seems to me, so complete i s his c a p i t u l a t i o n to t h i s world that, i n a sense, the r i t u a l s become a substitute for the r e a l i t y of l i f e , or at any r a t e they render him incapable of accepting the world which superseded this order. Ike, in other words, unlike his f a t h e r and Sophonsiba, continued to operate on a r i t u a l i s t i c basis even when conditions dictated that some other approach was e s s e n t i a l . Throughout this novel, we recognize that the plantation world posed i t s own peculiar problems which demanded a variety of solutions. The minor ones, usually the comical ones, could simply be avoided by recourse to r i t u a l ; Hubert, for example, could continue to ignore the rotten floor-board in his house as long as he entertained the i l l u s i o n that his kl plantation was the Warwick estate. But those problems which touched deeply the human experience required other responses. Thus Lucas Beauchamp could not solve the problem of Zack Edmond's exploitation of his wife by any r i t u a l i s t i c r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n ; the r e a l i t y on which the r i t u a l was based operated f o r old Carothers, and a lesser man than Lucas might have accepted the r i t u a l as a reduced form of r e a l i t y . Lucas went through the r i t u a l — k e e p i n g the f i r e burning on the hearth, but the r e a l solution was something stronger; ... h i s own wife, the black woman, now l i v i n g • alone in the house which old Cass had b u i l t f o r them when they were married, keeping ali v e on the hearth the f i r e he had l i t there on t h e i r wedding day and which had burned ever since though there was l i t t l e enough cooking done on i t now; — thus, u n t i l almost half a year had passed and one day he went to Zack Edmonds and said, "I wants my wife. I needs her at home." Then—and he hadn't intended to say t h i s . But there had been that h a l f -year almost and himself alone keeping a l i v e the f i r e which was to burn on the hearth u n t i l neither he nor Molly were l e f t to feed i t , himself s i t t i n g before i t night a f t e r night through that spring and summer u n t i l one night he caught himself standing over i t , f urious, bursting, b l i n d , the cedar water bucket already poised u n t i l he caught himself and set the bucket back on the shelf, s t i l l shaking, unable to remember taking the bucket up even--then he said ; "I reckon you thought I wouldn't take her back, didn't you?" (GDM, pp. l+6-i|7) The important thing f o r Lucas was not to refuse to accept the o r i g i n a l e v i l — Z a c k ' s taking of Molly—but to act d e c i s i v e l y in l i g h t of that condition. The r i t u a l dictated that Lucas, as a Negro, should accept exploitation by a white man, but he confronts Zack and emphatically establishes his stature: 1*2 "I'm a nigger," Lucas said, "But I'm a man too. I'm more than just a man. The same thing made mY P aPPy that made your grandmaw. I'm going to take her back." (GDM. p. kl) Thus Lucas overcomes one of the most agonizing problems that any.world--plantation or otherwise—can create, and he does so without compromising his i n t e g r i t y and without dishonour to his family. Par from withdrawing in horror, as Ike does, from the "thing that made my pappy," he u t i l i z e s the positive q u a l i t i e s of character that old Garothers transmitted along with his evil--the q u a l i t i e s of pride, courage, and individualism, and established his moral order on his own terms. Many years l a t e r , an even more shattering catastrophe overtakes another inhabitant of the plantation, a young sawmill worker named Rider, i n the form of the death of his wife of six. months, Unlike Lucas or Ike, t h i s man had no t i e s with the McCaslin plantation except in a s t r i c t l y economic sense--it provided him with a place to l i v e and work. Before his marriage, he had been a t y p i c a l rootless, violent young man, given to drinking, wenching, and gambling, " u n t i l he saw Mannie, whom he had known a l l his l i f e , f o r the f i r s t time and said to himself: 'Ah'm thu wid a l l dat, 1 and they married and he rented the cabin from Carothers Edmonds and b u i l t a f i r e on the hearth on t h e i r wedding night...." (GDM. p. I38) Now, six months l a t e r , he stands in front of the empty house, reminiscing about t h e i r i n c r e d i b l y k3 b r i e f l i f e together, and we get a picture of one of the f i n e s t relationships Faulkner has depicted anywhere: ... and he would r i s e and dress and eat his breakfast by lamplight to walk the four miles to the m i l l by sunup, and exactly one hour a f t e r sundown he would enter the house again, f i v e days a week, u n t i l Saturday. Then the f i r s t -hour would not have passed noon when he would mount the steps and knock, not on post or doorframe but on the underside of the g a l l e r y roof i t s e l f , and enter and ri n g the bright cascade of s i l v e r d ollars onto the scrubbed table in the kitchen where his dinner simmered on the stove and the galvanised tub of hot water and the baking powder can of soft soap and the towel made of scalded f l o u r sacks sewn together and his clean overalls and s h i r t waited, and Mannie would gather up the money and walk the h a l f -mile to the commissary and buy t h e i r next week's supplies and bank the rest of the money in Edmonds' safe and return and they would eat once again with-out haste or hurry a f t e r f i v e days—the sidemeat, the greens, the cornbread, the buttermilk from the well-house, the cake which she baked every Saturday now that she had a stove to bake i n . (GDM, pp. I 3 8 - I 3 9 ) Against such a background, the inordinate g r i e f that Rider desperately t r i e s to assuage becomes understandable, and his responses the only ones possible. Without detracting from the stark horror of Rider's violent end, one of the most frightening aspects of "Pantaloon in Black" i s the u t t e r lack of f e e l i n g and s e n s i t i v i t y on the part of the community, as i l l u s t r a t e d in the exchange between the deputy s h e r i f f and his wife. "His wife dies on him," the s h e r i f f r e l a t e s , in describing Rider's actions. " A l l r i g h t . But does he grieve? He's the biggest and busiest man at the funeral." (GDM, p. 155) kk What the s h e r i f f did not see, of course, and, to a certain extent, what Zack did not see, was that the actions of Rider and of Lucas were simply assertions to themselves that they were, as Irving Howe expresses i t , " i n some ultimate and indestructible way... sentient human creatures, capable of pain and, therefore, perhaps of joy." Both these men, through t h e i r gestures, reveal a strength and an i n t e g r i t y which the white community, and in Rider's case, even his own people, f a i l e d to recognize. Their responses off e r , too, a s i g n i f i c a n t contrast to Ike's reaction to the problems of e v i l , i n j u s t i c e , and personal calamity, a question which w i l l have to be explored more f u l l y l a t e r , f o r i t involves, I think, an aesthetic dichotomy on the part of Faulkner i n his creation of Ike. For the present, however, i t seems evident that Faulkner offers both Lucas and Rider as powerful i l l u s t r a t i o n s of his moral vision., and as proof that the plantation world which Ike relinquished provided ample scope f o r the deepest expression of one's humanity. Irving Howe explains c l e a r l y the e s s e n t i a l s i g n i -ficance of the gestures made by Faulkner's characters: It can be a gesture of r e b e l l i o n or submission; i t can s i g n i f y adherence to r i t u a l or the need to accept defeat in t o t a l l o n e l i n e s s ; i t can be an a r b i t r a r y sign of self-hood or a f i n a l , assertion of i n d i f f e r e n c e . But always i t i s the mark of d i s t i n c t being, the way a man establishes and defines himself. An affirmation of human capacity or a p a l t r y insistence on human l i m i t a t i o n , the gesture marks each man in his singularity. 7 Most of the characters i n the plantation s t o r i e s — Buck and Buddy, Lucas Beauchamp, Rider, and the g i r l in "Delta Autumn"—establish t h e i r s i n g u l a r i t y , i t seems to me, by affirming the necessity to l i v e i n terms of present and future conditions, rather than by "a paltry insistence on human l i m i t a t i o n s , " which i s e s s e n t i a l l y the stand adopted by Ike in the fourth section of "The Bear." And as e f f e c t i v e as these plantation stories and characters are in them-selves, I think they take on a special s i g n i f i c a n c e for understanding Faulkner's moral v i s i o n when they are studied in r e l a t i o n to Ike's arguments in t h i s section. This observation w i l l become clea r in the next chapter, where the whole question of Ike's renunciation w i l l be c l o s e l y examined. i+6 Footnotes to Chapter III . 1 Olga Vickery, The Hovels of William Faulkner. ([Baton Rouge], 1959), P. 125. 2 W.J. Cash, The Mind of the South. (Garden City, I9i+1), P. 1+5. 3 Ibid., pp. i+5-1+6. i | Brooks, p. 2l+8. 5 I b i d . • • -~ — - ••<• 6 Howe, p. 153* 7 I b i d . IV GO DOWN. MOSES: IKE'S RENUNCIATION In determining the place of Go Down, Moses i n the development of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n , the most important step i s to decide on the nature of Ike McCaslin's renunciation, and thus to assess i t s value in terms of the world he l i v e d i n . As my second chapter indicated, c r i t i c s have long wondered just how to dispose of Ike, for on the one hand he seems to be Faulkner's moral i d e a l , while on the other hand he has a l l the ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s of an i n e f f e c t i v e dreamer. I think that this confusion might be the re s u l t of a d i v i s i o n within Faulkner himself, which stems from his fondness f o r the wilderness on the one hand, and his r e a l i z a t i o n , on the other hand, of the f u t i l i t y of l i v i n g . in terms of the past, whether that past i s a sort of pr i s t i n e wilderness, or an era tainted by e v i l and i n j u s t i c e . This dichotomy requires further consideration, but f i r s t I think i t i s esse n t i a l to examine Ike's relinquishment i n some d e t a i l . By understanding Ike's responses to his twin interitances--the wilderness code and a l l i t stands f o r , from Sam Fathers, and the plantation system, with i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and obligations, from his grandfather, Carothers McCaslin, we s h a l l be able to assess the value of his decision to refuse one of thera, and at the same time perhaps see more c l e a r l y what Faulkner intended Ike to represent in his o v e r a l l moral v i s i o n . One of the basic problems i n interpreting Ike's reactions stems from a general tendency on the part of c r i t i c s to believe that he i s Faulkner's spokesman i n some of the Important sections of this novel. This p r o c l i v i t y might arise from the fact that In the three stories in which he d i r e c t l y appears—"The Old People," "The Bear," and "Delta Autumn"—he i s on the whole sympathetically portrayed, e s p e c i a l l y in those sections which constitute e s s e n t i a l l y a hunting story. It i s very easy, therefore, to read Ike as a noble figure whose virtues which he learned i n the wilderness from Sam Fathers are progressively, being rendered i n e f f e c t i v e , i f not anachronistic, by the steady encroachment of c i v i l i z a t i o n . Because the hunting or wilderness sections of these stories are the most clear and e x p l i c i t , i t i s tempting to interpret them, rather than the long and often confusing fourth section of "The Bear," as the expression of Faulkner's true feelings towards Ike. Such a reading, i t seems to me, Is not only a vast over-s i m p l i f i c a t i o n , but in many ways a misreading of the book. I think i t i s possible to show that while Faulkner does admire Ike f o r his many strengths and v i r t u e s , he never-theless uses him to i l l u s t r a t e the f u t i l i t y of s t a t i c U9 idealism i n a world that, l i k e a l l worlds, needs posit i v e action more than i t does retrospective expiation or nostalgia for an old order. In Chapter II we saw what a good number of c r i t i c s have had to say about Ike and the significance of his renunciation. It w i l l perhaps be illuminating at t h i s point to see what Faulkner himself said about t h i s question during one of his interviews at the University of V i r g i n i a , recorded i n part as follows: Q. Mr. Faulkner, Isaac McCaslin in "The Bear" relinquishes his heredity. Do you think he may be in the same predicament as modern man, under the same conditions that he can't find a humanity that he can f i t in with? A. .Well, there are some people in any time and age that cannot face and cope with the problems. There seem to be three stages: The f i r s t says, This i s rotten, I ' l l have no part of i t , I w i l l take death f i r s t . The second says, This i s rotten, I don't l i k e i t , I can't do anything about i t , but at least I w i l l not p a r t i c i p a t e in i t myself, I w i l l go o f f into a cave or climb a p i l l a r to s i t on. The third says, This stinks and I'm going to do something about i t . McCaslin is the second. He says, This i s bad, and I w i l l withdraw from i t . What we need are people who w i l l say, This i s bad and I'm going to do some-thing about i t , I'm going to change i t . l Even allowing f o r over-simplifications and extravagances of expression which off-the-cuff interviews are l i k e l y to produce, I think i t i s reasonable to accept these remarks as a key to Faulkner's view of Ik6's renunciation, or of such action on the part of man in general. It i s not only Go Down, Moses which supports this contention, but, as we 50 s h a l l see, his Nobel Prize speech and such works as A Fable and Intruder in the Dust r e i t e r a t e this position, both e x p l i c i t l y and i m p l i c i t l y . Certainly, the three stages Faulkner refers to are e f f e c t i v e l y represented i n his novels: i f Ike stands for the second stage, then Bayard Sartoris in Sartoris or Quentin Compson in The Sound and  the Fury represent the f i r s t stage, and Chick Mallison in Intruder in the Dust or the corporal in A Fable the t h i r d . In many respects, of course—and t h i s i s part of the dichotomy referred to e a r l i e r - - I k e i s both l i k e and unlike these characters. Like Quentin, he was i n effect immobilized in his own world by a strong sense of the past, but unlike him, he f e l t he could evade the t a i n t i n his l i f e , not by death, which Quentin chose, but by enter-t a i n i n g a v i s i o n of l i f e which in a way ante-dated t h i s e v i l . For Ike, t h i s v i s i o n stemmed from a r e a l i t y which was chronologically not very f a r removed, though of course the discrepancies which existed between his vis i o n and the a c t u a l i t y of that l i f e removed i t in e f f e c t from a l l of time. The wilderness, though in the process of receding, was s t i l l r e l a t i v e l y close at hand, and Ike's own experiences in t h i s wilderness were s t i l l deeply Impressed upon his consciousness. His desire to return to the past was there-fore more r a t i o n a l and meaningful than Quentin's, which was based almost wholly on a concept of honour which, i f 5 i i t did at one time exist in the South, had c e r t a i n l y not been a part of Quentin's own experience. But, by the same argument, of course, Ike's motivation by that other p a s t — the tainted one of his grandfather—was also a vicarious one, and i n that sense just as u n r e a l i s t i c as Quentin's. Perhaps a l l we can judge on this score i s t h e i r solution of the problem: Quentin committed suicide and Ike did not. Again, l i k e Chick Mallison, Ike was intensely aware of i n j u s t i c e or wrong-doing in his world, but unlike him, he lacked that urgent sense of the present which would enable him to translate his idealism into any kind of decisive action. One has only to compare the decisiveness of Chick' actions i n helping Lucas Beauchamp with the f u t i l i t y of Ike platitudinous offerings to the g i r l in "Delta Autumn" to r e a l i z e the inadequacy of Ike's responses. Commenting on a passage from Intruder in the Dust, Alfred Kazin expresses a sentiment which i s relevant to t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n between Chick and Ike: We suddenly f e e l i n some momentary shock to our physical being that we are being played on by history, by the forces of our own character, by that tangle of rights and wrongs, of present i n j u s t i c e and perhaps ultimate i n j u s t i c e , too, that asserts i t s e l f in every human s i t u a t i o n . And i t i s only such an awareness, such a willingness to l i v e the s i t u a t i o n with everything we are, that m o l l i f i e s the ache of being alive.2 In other words, we rejoice at the i n t e g r i t y and action displayed by Chick, and are somewhat saddened by the com-promise that Ike makes with his world. At any rate, as 52 we s h a l l see, Ike's tangible and posit i v e accomplishments were a l l achieved in the wilderness world--a world which existed outside of soci e t y — a n d his poten t i a l f o r good in the "human s i t u a t i o n " f e l l f a r short of f u l f i l l m e n t because of his r e f u s a l to accept the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and obligations of the plantation world. And i t i s thi s refusal which sets him o f f most markedly from people l i k e Chick Mallison and other characters in Faulkner's l a t e r novels, as well as from the major Negro characters, f o r example, in Go Down, Moses. One of the f i r s t questions to consider in assessing Ike's repudiation i s what caused i t to occur in the f i r s t place. It i s well known that his decision, though not announced to his cousin, McCaslin Edmonds u n t i l his twenty-f i r s t birthday, had in fact been made some f i v e years e a r l i e r , as he examined the entries of the commissary ledgers. Ever since he had learned to read, he had .from time to time taken the old ledgers from t h e i r shelves and examined them in a cursory manner, but, i r o n i c a l l y , he-had f e l t i f he ever were to examine them c a r e f u l l y , " i t would only be on some i d l e day when he was old and perhaps even bored a l i t t l 6 since what the old books contained would be afte r a l l these years fixed immutably, finished, unalterable, harmless." (GDM, p. 268) From these entries, laboriously written by Ike's father and Uncle Buddy, Ike learned certain facts about the plantation and about his grandfather, Carothers 53 McCaslin. The facts relevant to his decision are quite p l a i n : his grandfather bought the slave g i r l , Eunice, in 1807; she was married to Thucydus in 1809; her daughter, Tomasina, was born in 1810; she drowned her s e l f on Christmas Day, l832j and Tomasina died in giving b i r t h to her son i n June of 1833* When Ike.was sixteen, he became puzzled over the entry which indicated that Eunice had drowned hers e l f , as his f a t h e r had been when he f i r s t read Uncle Buddy's entry: Eunice, Bought by Father in New Orleans 1807 $6j?0  dblara. Marrid to Thucydus 1809 Drownd i n Crick  Cristmas Day 1832 (GDM, p. 2&71 and l a t e one night he entered the commissary again to examine the ledgers: Then he was sixteen. He knew what he was going to find before he found i t . . He got the commissary key from McCaslin's room af t e r midnight while McCaslin was asleep and with the commissary door shut and locked behind him and the forgotten lantern s t i n k -ing anew the rank d6ad i c y a i r , he leaned above the yellowed page and thought not Why drowned herself, but thinking what he believed his father had thought when he found his brother's f i r s t comment: Why did Uncle Buddy think she had drowned herself? finding, beginning to f i n d on the next succeeding page what he knexj he would f i n d , only this was s t i l l not i t because he already knew t h i s : Tomasina calle d Tomy Daughter of Thucydus @  Eunice Born 1810 dide in Child bed June 1»33 and Burd. Yr stars f e l l nor the next: Turl Son of Thucydus ©Eunice Tomy born Jun 1833  yr stars f e l l Fathers w i l l and nothing more, no tedious recording f i l l i n g this page.... (GDM, pp. 268-269) 5U Prom these entries, Ike concluded that his grandfather had been g u i l t y of both miscegenation and incest, and therefore of Infecting the plantation system with a ta i n t that could be cleansed only by an act of renunciation and by prolonged expiation• I t w i l l be in t e r e s t i n g , however, to determine just how Ike arrived at these conclusions. I f we examine the three ledger entries c a r e f u l l y , we can see that in terms of l i t e r a l t r a n s c r i p t i o n , the only one which i s not completely self-explanatory i s the l a s t one, for i t does not Indicate who Turl's father was. The other two can be taken at face value: Tomey was the daughter of Thucydus and Eunice, and therefore no miscegenation was involved. It would have been quite legitimate f o r Ike to read the entries in thi s way, and then assume that the paternity of Tu r l was simply unrecorded. That slave g i r l s were expected to produce o f f -spring was apparently an accepted condition of the plantation system; Frederick Olmsted, discussing this question, quotes a l e t t e r he received in which the writer, a slaveholder, states: "Planters command t h e i r g i r l s and women (married or 3 unmarried) to have children...," Pursuing this hypothetical interpretation, Ike could then have assumed that Eunice's drowning was either accidental or, i f a suicide, brought about by certain shameful circumstances of her daughter's 55 pregnancy. It i s possible, for example, to read the l a s t entry as: "Turl Son of Thucydus and Eunice's Tomy," thus making the incest attributable to Thucydus, a circumstance which would have provided ample cause for Eunice's despair. The other interpretstion--the one Ike to o k — r e s u l t e d from a combination of circumstances surrounding these entries, rather than from any s p e c i f i c revelation. Ike must have asked himself many questions as he pondered these e n t r i e s : why his grandfather bought Eunice in the f i r s t place, why she was not married to Thucydus e a r l i e r , why she drowned herself, and why Turl was provided f o r in Garothers 1 w i l l . These questions' are a l l c r u c i a l ones, and they provide a convincing case for' Ike ' s suspicions, much more so, f o r example, than his rather u n s c i e n t i f i c speculations based on his own acquaintance with T u r l : "And Toraey's Ter r e l was s t i l l a l i v e when the boy was ten years old and he knew from his own observation and memory that there had already be6n some white in Tomey's T6rrel's blood before his father gave' him the rest of i t . . . . " (GDM,'pp. 270-27D This hypothesis e f f e c t i v e l y i l l u s t r a t e s the main point I wish to make with a l l these suppositions: that Ike's whole theory of Ca'rothers being the bearer of a curse i s based l a r g e l y on conjecture and not on f a c t . It is tru6, of course, that Carothe'r's-'" provision for Turl i n his w i l l i s a strong argument in support of Ike's position, 56 f o r t h i s act suggests a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y which goes beyond the normal pl a n t 6 r - s l a v e r e l a t i o n s h i p . Nevertheless, Ike himself concedes that these entries describe an act "of which there was s t i l l no d e f i n i t e incontrovertible pr,oof that he acknowledged...." (GDM, p. 269) The fact that Ike "knew what he was going to find before he found i t " suggests that his knowledge of the e v i l s of the plantation world had other sources besides the ledgers themselves. It was as though his v i s i o n was one page ahead of his turning the leaves; the ledgers simply made e x p l i c i t what he had already surmised through some process of ex-perience or i n t u i t i o n . One explanation of his acquiring such knowledge could be simply that he knew what a plantation system before 1865 represented: that i t made possible i f not ine v i t a b l e , miscegenation at l e a s t , and perhaps unknowingly, in c e s t . It was possibly something l i k e this that R.W.B. Lewis had in mind when he said that "Ike McCaslin i s the f i r s t of Faulkner's characters to understand American history."^ It was, therefore, Ike's r e a l i z a t i o n that he was to i n h e r i t , not so much the plantation i t s e l f , but the human exploitation which appeared to be i t s inevitable concomitant, that h o r r i f i e d him and presumably haunted him f o r the next five years. By the time he announced his decision to Cass, 57 he had formulated a complex, theory about the relationship between his grandfather's e v i l and the curse which a f f l i c t e d the South in general: 'And Grandfather did own the land nevertheless and not-withstanding because He permitted i t , not impotent and not condoning and not blind because He ordered and watched i t . He saw the land already accursed even as Ikkemotubbe and Ikkemotubbe's father old Issetibbeha and old Issetibbeha's fathers too held i t , already tainted even before any white man owned i t by what Grandfather and his kind, his fathers, had brought into the new land which He had vouch-safed them out of p i t y and humility and sufferance and endurance.*, and no hope for. the. land anywhere so. long as Ikkemotubbe and Ikkemotubbe' s descendants held i t in unbroken succession. Maybe He saw that only by voiding the land.for a time of Ikkemotubbe's blood and substituting f o r i t another xblood, could He accomplish His purpose. Mayb6 He knew already what that other blood would be... when He used the blood which had brought in the e v i l to destroy the e v i l as doctors use fever to burn up fever, poison to slay poison. Maybe He chose Grandfather out of a l l of them H6 might have picked. Maybe He knew that Grandfather himself would not serve His purpose because Grandfather was born too soon too, but that Grandfather would have descendants, tb.6 right des-cendants; maybe' He had foreseen already the des-cendants Grandfather would have, maybe He saw already in Grandfather the seed progenitive of the three generations He saw i t would take to set at least some of His lowly people fre e - - ' (GDM, pp. 258-259) In t h i s rather involved explanation, Ike has moved from his e a r l i e r p o sition that the land had never belonged to anybody in the f i r s t place. "I can't repudiate i t , " he had told Cass e a r l i e r . " It was never mine to repudiate. It was never Father's and Uncle Buddy's to bequeath me to repudiate because i t was never Grandfather's to bequeath them to bequeath me to repudiate...." (GDM, p. 256) There i s a curious inconsistency in Ike's reasoning here, 58 and i t i s l i k e l y that he recognized t h i s himself. For i f , as he s.tates, there never had been any plantation f o r him to i n h e r i t , then what, in e f f e c t , was he repudiating? His whole case rested on the premise that he stood to i n h e r i t a very tangible piece of property, and he doubtless recognized that he had to o f f e r substantial reasons f o r r e j e c t i n g i t , rather than simply evade the issue by pre-tending that i t never existed. But when x^ e examine his arguments, and contrast them with the counter-arguments of Cass, we can see that Cass's position seems to be the more r e a l i s t i c . Ike digresses f a r a f i e l d , and resorts to some rather far-fetched B i b l i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l interpretations, whereas Cass, i t seems to me,, proceeds on th.6 basis of the facts of the world as they exist f o r Ike and as they existed for Carotherst You, the d i r e c t male descendant of him who saw the opportunity and took i t , bought the land, took the land, got the land no matter how, held i t to be-queath, no matter how, out of the old grant, the f i r s t patent, when i t was a wilderness of wild beasts and wilder men, and cleared i t , translated i t into something to bequeath to his children, worthy of bequeathment for his descendants' ease and security and pride and to perpetuate his name and accomplishments. (GDM, p. 256) Cass was as much aware of the "tedious and shabby chronicle of His chosen" as Ike was, yet, x^ihile t h i s might be a cause for regret, i t was for him no cause fo r repudiation. Carothers was simply one more of the many individuals; throughout hi s t o r y who had contributed to this human condition, 59 and his plantation world was i n eff e c t a microcosm wi i c h r e f l e c t e d the same stage in moral evolution that the Old World i t s e l f had manifested. And though McCaslin has always been aware of the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of some form of i n j u s t i c e or imperfection i n the world, he also was con-sistent in his recognition of the poten t i a l f u l f i l l m e n t of l i f e that t h i s same world offered. In a passage near the end of "The Old People," he explains his position to Ike, and at the same time expresses what I f e e l i s in part a statement of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n : Think of a l l that has happened here, on this earth. A l l the blood hot and strong f o r l i v i n g , pleasuring, that has soaked back into i t . For grieving and suf f e r i n g too, of course, but s t i l l getting something out of i t for a l l that, getting a l o t out of i t , because a f t e r a l l you dont have to continue to bear what you believe i s su f f e r i n g ; you can always choose to stop that, put an end to that. And even suffering and grieving i s better than nothing; there i s only one thing worse than not being a l i v e , and that's shame. But you cant be a l i v e forever, and you always wear out l i f e long before you have exhausted the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of l i v i n g . And a l l that must be some- • where; a l l that could not have been invented and created just to be thrown away. (GDM, p. 186) It i s in t e r e s t i n g to note that t h i s passage expresses in condensed form a statement*of the general progress Faulkner has manifested over the years, as f a r as his moral vis i o n i s concerned. There i s the echo of Quentin Compson here, or of Bayard S a r t o r i s , in McCaslin's recognition of suicide as one response to s u f f e r i n g ; and there i s the l a t e r Faulkner, in the urgent insistence on l i v i n g f u l l y , even in the face of g r i e f , a position expounded as early as The Wild Palms, 60 which concludes with Wilbourne's strong statement of moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t y : "Yes, he thought, between g r i 6 f and nothing  I w i l l , take grief.. It seems evident that throughout the relevant sections of Go Down, Moses, Cass's pronouncements r e f l e c t Faulkner's moral position more c l o s e l y than do Ike's, even though Ike receives more of Faulkner's attention. Cleanth Brooks quotes to this e f f e c t from an unpublished manuscript: I f there i s a. Chr i s t i a n hero of "The Bear" i t i s Cass. Like Isaac, though perhaps more re l u c t a n t l y , he accepts the g u i l t as a burden, but unlik6 Isaac, h6 i s not immobilized by i t . Cass takes on respon-s i b i l i t y , enters into the stream of l i f e , even though he acknowledges the f a i l u r e of justice to f u l f i l l love.6 Certainly, Cass's statements and actions, l i k e those of other r e l a t i v e l y minor characters i n Go Down, Moses, have generally been overlooked or neglected in the examination of Faulkner's moral position in t h i s work. It i s one of ray main contentions in this thesis that a more proportionate attention to these characters w i l l bring about a clearer understanding of the moral statements that he does make, and w i l l make more meaningful the rel a t i o n s h i p between h i s public and- a r t i s t i c pronouncements on this question. As I pointed out e a r l i e r , there has been a tendency on the part of c r i t i c s to commend Ike f o r his decision to reject his legacy, as his action was based at least in part on the virtues of unselfishness and idealism. But the value 61 of an action must be judged by i t s results as well as by i t s sources, and by this c r i t e r i o n , Ike does not come off so w e l l . His reaction to the McCaslin taint was vastly d i f f e r e n t from that of any of i t s other i n h e r i t o r s , and in the long run his turned out to be the most unproductive and u n r e a l i s t i c , in terms of the benefits accruing to the inhabitants of the plantation world. I f we consider the four main inh e r i t o r s of the McCaslin t a i n t — B u c k and Turl in the f i r s t generation removed, and Ike and Lucas in the second—we w i l l find some s i g n i f i c a n t manifestations of the d i f f e r e n t responses. Ike has less McCaslin blood i n him than any of the other three, yet none of these three i s rendered inactive because of the taint as i s Ike. We have already seen how Buck, acting on the conditions as he inherited them, i n s t i t u t e d an enlightened p o l i c y towards the slaves, and how T u r l , one of these slaves, decided his own destiny in a very r e a l way by his manipulation of the f a t e f u l deck of cards. And Lucas, f a r from r e c o i l i n g from his inheritance, exploits i t punctually and d e c i s i v e l y : "Whar's the rest of that money old Carothers l e f t ? " he demands on his twenty-first birthday. "I wants i t , A l l of i t . " (GDM, p. 282) One has only to contrast Lucas's action with Ike's on his twenty-first birthday to see what coming-of-age r e a l l y can meani But the differences in response and in results go fa r deeper than these immediate 62 actions, which in a sense are only s u p e r f i c i a l manifesta-tions of a basic difference in character, and of a vastly-d i f f e r e n t outlook on the world. Perhaps the most revealing way of viewing these d i f f e r e n t responses i s to consider the effects that they had on the people of the plantation world. For i f there i s to be a melioration of the human condition, i t must be effected in large part by the i n d i v i d u a l acting within his community in accordance with the conditions that obtain at his p a r t i c u l a r time. Both Buck and T u r l act within the framework of a slave society, while Ike and Lucas are part of an emancipated world, so i t i s necessary to judge t h e i r actions in l i g h t of this understanding. There are two human relationships common to a l l these people—marriage and what, for lack of a more appropriate term, we can c a l l the owner-worker re l a t i o n s h i p , and on both these counts, i t seems to me, Ike shows up in a poor l i g h t i n contrast to the others. It i s true, of course, t h a t Buck and T u r l in both of these relationships are shown in an e s s e n t i a l l y comic perspective, in that both are at once the pursuer and the pursued, depending on which r e l a t i o n -ship i s at stake. But beneath this comic surface, there exists a basic human rel a t i o n s h i p between Buck and his slaves, and there i s no doubt that the human condition within the plantation world was s i g n i f i c a n t l y bettered during Buck's 63 tenure of ownership. The comic element is very strong also i n the two marriage relationships, for Tu r l i s running towards a poten t i a l wife, while Buck i s running away from one. But even here—and Faulkner i s perhaps simply making the observation that everybody's courtship i s comical except one's own--we subsequently learn that these marriages do take place and operate on a very s o l i d basis of r e a l i t y and, i n Turl's case at l e a s t , with an element of dignity and suf f e r i n g which l i f t s t h i s r e l a t i o n -ship forever beyond the f a r c i c a l note on which i t started. It i s d i f f i c u l t , I concede, to think of Buck's and Sophonsiba's marriage in terms of solemnity, f o r the impression created by "the earrings and beads clashing and j i n g l i n g l i k e l i t t l e trace chains on a toy mule" (GDM, p. 11) i s not re a d i l y forgotten. Nevertheless, this r e l a t i o n s h i p , too, accomplishes one of the main purposes of marriage—the production of o f f s p r i n g — a n d in that sense i l l u s t r a t e s a very r e a l acceptance of one's r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . Both Buck and Turl were close enough to the a c t u a l i t i e s of the t r a d i t i o n a l planter-slave structure to know how a runaway slave should behave and what should happen to him, and the r i t u a l they perform dramatizes this awareness: Because, being a nigger, Tomey's Turl should have jumped down and run f o r i t afoot as soon as he saw them. But he didn't; maybe Tomey's Turl had been running off from Uncle Buck f o r so long that he had even got used to running away l i k e a white man would do i t . (GDM, p. 9) i 6i| In other words, the.humanity inherent in t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p almost immediately makes a mockery of the r i t u a l , and a l l that i s l e f t i s a harmless vestige of the grim order r e-presented by old Carothers. Thus, i n a society born out of the very curse which Ike wanted to deny, and only one generation removed from that t a i n t , there i s ample evidence of an enlightened human relat i o n s h i p b u i l t upon a strong sense of moral and e t h i c a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . This condition i s a direct r e s u l t of Buck's acceptance of the past, or perhaps more accurately, his ignoring of i t , and of Turl's acting as though neither the McCaslin curse nor the slave system i t engendered concerned him in the l e a s t . In other words, i t i s the e f f o r t put into one's l i f e , not the i n -herited circumstances which surround i t , that for Faulkner provides the basis of a healthy moral and e t h i c a l outlook. That human f u l f i l l m e n t r e s u l t i n g from such effort i s possible under a variety of circumstances i s one of the main positions adopted by Faulkner throughout Go Down, Moses, and i t i s most c l e a r l y i l l u s t r a t e d , as we s h a l l see, in those episodes concerned with Lucas Beauchamp and his family. As the main second generation i n h e r i t o r of the McCaslin legacy on the Negro side, Lucas provides, i n the two r e l a t i o n -ships referred to e a r l i e r , a strength and a dignity which give him a stature matched by few other Faulkner characters. Certainly, alongside his actions, Ike's gestures take on a feeble and i n e f f e c t i v e quality, and i n general, these two 65 l i v e s o f f e r an interesting contrast between s e l f - f u l f i l l -ment and s e l f - d e n i a l . Lucas's whole l i f e spelled out pride, independence, and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , whether his interest at the moment was looking a f t e r his i l l i c i t s t i l l or demanding his wife back from Zack Edmonds. Indeed, 6ven when doing nothing, he somehow managed to manifest these a t t r i b u t e s : ... maybe s i t t i n g through a whole morning on his front g a l l e r y , looking at i t and thinking i f that's what h6 f e l t l i k e doing), with Edmonds r i d i n g up on his. mare..., and maybe once during the season stopping long enough to give him advice about i t which he completely ignored, ignoring not only the advice but the very voice' which gave i t , as though the other had not spoken even, whereupon Edmonds would ride on and he would continue with whatever he had been doing, the incident already forgotten condoned and forgiven, the necessity and th6 time having b6en served. (GDM, pp. 35-36) The owner-worke-r relationship here i s a f a r cry from even the enlightened one which had existed between his father and Uncle Buck, for here there i s no indication whatsoever that Lucas feels in any way subservient. Indeed, his pride stems in large part from the very fact that he i s a McCaslin: "The oldest McCaslin descendant even though in the world's eye he descended not from McCasllns but from McCaslin slaves...." (GDM, p. 36) In a l a t e r novel, he reasserts his proud origins very f o r c e f u l l y : "I aint a Edmonds. I dont belong to these new f o l k s . I belong, to the old l o t . 7 I'm a McCaslin."' I r o n i c a l l y , then, the source of Ike's despair becomes the source o f Lucas's strength, which in effect i s the recurring pattern throughout this work. 66 Lucas finds strength and f u l f i l l m e n t in his relationships within the plantation w o r l d — i n his marriage, and in his inherited position in the structure of th i s world; Ike finds s a t i s f a c t i o n in neither of these, though, as we s h a l l see, his marriage provided the poten t i a l for a close and s a t i s f y i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p . Lucas's marriage rel a t i o n s h i p offers one of the strongest testimonies of the positive consequences inherent in accepting one's inheritance. It w i l l be remembered that of the three surviving Beauchamp children, only Lucas elected to remain on the plantation a f t e r he came of age. But more than that, he married a town g i r l , Molly Worsham, and brought her out to l i v e in this world that his brother, his s i s t e r , and his cousin, Ike, a l l had forsaken in t h e i r attempts to f i n d t h e i r freedom. Lucas found his freedom within himself, and manifested i t in his relationships with Molly and with the plantation owner, Roth Edmonds. In his own world, of course, Lucas was as much the autocrat as the most t r a d i t i o n a l slave-owner, a qual i t y he inherited from his grandfather.: "He's more l i k e old Carothers," observed Roth on one occasion, "than are the rest of us  put together, including old Carothers." (GDM, p. 118) But at the same time he could demonstrate a kindness and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y towards Molly which invested t h e i r re-lat i o n s h i p with a warmth and dignity that contrasted 67 sharply with the many eases of human exploitation through-out the McCaslin h i s t o r y . In "The Pire and the Hearth," for example, there i s a scene i n th.6 flashback concerning the Zack-Molly a f f a i r , where Lucas i s preparing to go to Zack's to revenge this v i o l a t i o n of his code; H6 prised the b r i c k up with his knife blade and scraped away the warm d i r t under i t and l i f t e d out a small metal dispatch box which his white grandfather, Carothers McCaslin himself, had owned almost a hundred years ago, and took from i t - the knotted rag tight and s o l i d with th6 coins, some of which dated back almost to Carothers McCaslin's tim6, which he had begun to save before he was ten years old. His wife had removed only her shoes... before l y i n g down. . H6 put the knotted rag into one of them and went to th6 walnut bureau which Isaac McCaslin had given him f o r a wedding present and took his razor from the drawer. (GDM, pp. 51-52) Here, i n what must have been one of the tensest cris e s of his l i f e — f o r he knows his k i l l i n g . o f Zack w i l l be.inevitably followed by his own lynching—h6 proceeds with calm and purposeful deliberation to make provision for. Molly and the children (Zack's son as well as his own), by leaving for her his entire l i f e ' s savings. In many smaller ways, too, he expressed his af f e c t i o n f o r his wife, such as his buying her a nickel's worth of candy to i l l u s t r a t e his deeply-felt joy at having her back with him aft e r the abortive divorce case, and his forsaking of his v i s i o n — in the form of a gold-finding machine--in order to retain the tangible r e a l i t y of his marriage r e l a t i o n s h i p . The high regard he plae-e-d on his relationship with Molly becomes apparent when we r e a l i z e that, in the two situations where 68 he stood a very r e a l chance of l o s i n g her, he surrendered his pride and convictions in order to hold on to her. He did not want to f i n d out, f o r example, i f she had been un-f a i t h f u l to him during her sojourn at Zack'sj keeping her, even under the suspicion of i n f i d e l i t y , was more important than upholding his honor at the r i s k of l o s i n g her. And in the courtroom scene, he makes two concessions v i r t u a l l y unheard of f o r Lucas—he takes o f f his hat, and he refers to Roth as "Mister Roth Edmonds"— both on the insistence of the court. The judge held the upper hand here, and Lucas knew i t , f o r the divorce b i l l was about to be pro-nounced upon, so Lucas r e a d i l y discarded any manifestation of his independence which might antagonize the judge and hence jeopardize his chances to retrieve Molly. What Lucas recognized throughout his l i f e , and what his brother and s i s t e r and Ike e s s e n t i a l l y f a i l e d to recognize, was that one's f u l f i l l m e n t i s not dependent upon what Roth ca l l e d "the geography and climate and biology  which sired old Carothers" (GDM, p. 118), but upon the bearing of the person facing a l l t h i s . Fonsiba and Ike—and pre-sumably Tennie's Jim--could not face this condition, and a l l suffered from the same d e l u s i o n — t h a t escaping from the plantation world would somehow S6t them f r e e . Ike could c a u s t i c a l l y ask Ponsiba's husband, "Freedom from what?" (GDM, p. 279), but he f a i l s to see that the question could be equally applied to himself. E s s e n t i a l l y , Lucas was the 69 only one of the four main McCaslin inh e r i t o r s who enjoyed genuine freedom, f o r he was the only one who recognized that i t was a product of character, and not of circumstance. Buck and T u r l , of course, share one important attribute with Lucas; l i k e him, they are able to do something that Ike cannot do, and that i s to accept the world they are born into, and act p o s i t i v e l y with humor and decision and perhaps a b i t of shrewdness within t h e i r world, unfettered by any g u i l t from a bygone world. Ike's problem, on the other hand, i s a surplus of worlds. The one he i s born into he cannot accept; the one that renders him inactive i s gone; and the one that he wants to l i v e in i s inexorably disappearing as c i v i l i z a t i o n encroaches upon the wilderness. It i s this l a s t one~-the world of Sam Fathers and Old Ben--that has shaped Ike in such a way that he i s incapable either of forgetting the world of Carothers McCaslin, or of accepting the world that his cousin Cass points out as r i g h t f u l l y belonging to him. His apprenticeship in the wilderness, excellent as i t was for survival and achievement i n that world, f a i l e d to pre-pare him for the dual relationships in the s o c i a l world of man—his r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s towards the inhabitants of the plantation world, and his r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s towards his wife. For i t i s in these areas where the effects of Ike's re-nunciation take on the most sig n i f i c a n c e , and where they are in strongest contrast to those already discussed. 70 Perhaps, too, Ike's place i n Faulkner's moral v i s i o n w i l l take on a new perspective when we examine more clos e l y the r e a l effects of his renunciation. The most dire c t r e s u l t , and the most far-reaching, was of course that i t l e f t him childless-"uncle to h a l f a county and father to no one." (GDM, p. 3) This whole question takes us into the f i e l d of marital r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and no doubt i t i s possible to conclude that his wife must share some of the blame for t h i s state of a f f a i r s , but the fact s t i l l remains that Ike's decision meant that the male McCaslin l i n e died with him. I t i s important to remember, too, that with a l l her shortcomings of ambition and s e l f i s h -ness, his wife nevertheless recognizes an important fact about marriage that Ike f a i l e d to recognize--that i t i s meaningful only in terms of acceptance of the conditions which exist at the moment, which in this case i s the accept-ance of the plantation as Ike's l e g a l inheritance. The other branches of the McCaslin family, the Negro and the female, both prospered p r o l i f i c a l l y , and while i t i s admittedly d i f f i c u l t to think of either Buck or Ike in terms of lusty progenitors—there was something of the ascetic i n both of t h e m — i t i s nevertheless reasonable to assume that some of old Carothers' reproductive capacity was lodged i n t h i s l i n e , too. (One feels a certain ad-miration f o r old Carothers here, who in effect started three families on the way, but whose two sons and one grandson on the white side f a i l e d to keep even one going.) 71 That there was love and passion in Ike's relationship with his wife i s indicated in the closing l i n e s of the fourth section of "The Bear": " i t was l i k e nothing he had ever dreamed, l e t alone heard in mere man-talking u n t i l a f t e r a no-time he returned and lay spent on the in s a t i a t e immemorial beach.,..." (GDM, p. 315) This moment i s re-c a l l e d , too, along with a comment on the general character of t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p , in a revealing passage in "The F i r e and the Hearth": ... because in that one long-ago instant at least out of the long and shabby stretch of t h e i r human l i v e s , even though they knew at the time i t wouldn't and couldn't l a s t , they had touched and become as God.... (GDM, p. 107) So one can assume, i t seems to me, that with the normal odds p r e v a i l i n g , t h i s marriage provided a f a i r chance for offsp r i n g ; c e r t a i n l y Ike's wife would want to perpetuate the plantation in the family name, and had Ike accepted his legacy, she no doubt would have withdrawn her conditional "That's a l l from me." (GDM, p. 315) Ike, too, wanted a son, and must have indicated as much to his wife, f o r she taunts him about "that son you t a l k about." (GDM, p. 315) It seems, then, that Ike's r e f u s a l to accept his inheritance, destroys his chances f o r a son, and one suspects that Ike l a t e r regrets paying so high a price f o r what he f e l t was a noble p r i n c i p l e . On Lucas's twenty-first birthday, appropriately enough, Ike wrestles with the knowledge that 72 Lucas i s aware of his decision: That I reneged, c r i e d calf-rope, sold my b i r t h -r i g h t , betrayed my blood, for what he too c a l l s  noV peace but o b l i t e r a t i o n , and a l i t t l e food, (GDM,p, 109) The evidence in "Delta Autumn" and "The Fire and the Hearth" indicates c l e a r l y that his relationship with his wife was a denial of everything a marriage must be b u i l t upon — compromise, s e l f - s a c r i f i c e , and compassion. As an old man, he knows that "he l o s t her because she loved him;" (GDM, p , v 3 5 2 ) ; this i n i t i a l love must have i n t e n s i f i e d the general bitterness which characterized t h e i r r e l a t i o n -ship almost from the s t a r t : She was a young woman then; they had been married only a few years but he had already come to know the expression which her face wore, looking at i t always as he did now: peacefully and with p i t y for her and regret too, f o r her, f o r both of them, knowing the tense bitter.indomitable voice as well as he did the expression.... (GDM, p. 107) In contrast, then, to the marriages of Lucas, T u r l , and even Buck, Ike's must be judged as a tragic f a i l u r e , f o r , aside from one or two b r i e f moments of passion, i t produced nothing but emptiness and despair. In l i g h t of this out-come, one has no choice but to judge Ike's decision rather harshly, and to conclude that Faulkner shares t h i s opinion, a view that w i l l be supported when we examine the ef f e c t of Ike's renunciation on his other relationships with the plantation world. Ike's b e l i e f that his renunciation gave him genuine 73 freedom i n e f f e c t served only to remove him from the necessity of taking any r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the melioration of the human condition within the plantation world. His cousin Cass recognized the f a l l a c y inherent in Ike's protest-ation that he was f r e e : and t h i s time McCaslin did not even gesture, no inference of fading pages, no postulation of the stereoptic whole, but the f r a i l and iron thread strong as truth and impervious as e v i l and longer than l i f e i t s e l f and reaching beyond record and patrimony both to join him with the l u s t s and passions, the hopes, and dreams and : g r i e f s , of bones whose names xiihile s t i l l fleshed and capable even old Carothers' grandfather had never heard.... (GDM, p. 299) In other words, Ike cannot escape the obligations contingent upon being a part of a continuous l i f e process, for he has acquired r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s which in e f f e c t had arisen long before Carothers came on the scene. These r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s Ike abdicated by his renunciation, a fact most powerfully dramatized in the "Delta Autumn" section of t h i s work. Here he comes face to face with a very r e a l embodiment of "the hopes and dreams and g r i e f s " and, for the moment at any rate, there i s "no inference of fading pages," but only the stark r e a l i t y of a young Negro g i r l and her son fathered by the plantation owner, Roth Edmonds, a man whom she strongly loves. Many years e a r l i e r , Ike had t r i e d to elevate the a f f a i r between his grandfather and Eunice by saying to him-s e l f as he wrestled with the ledger entries, "But there  must have been love." (GDM, p. '270) He recognized then, that i t i s love which brings warmtk and humanity to a 71* r e l a t i o n s h i p , and he wanted desperately to believe that his grandfather had f e l t some of these sentiments. But now, in Ike's r e a l world, there is_ lov6, and he i s as h o r r i f i e d as he was at i t s possible absence on that remote day in the commissary. In other words, what he would sanction in retrospect to cleanse a bygone world, he i s incapable of advocating to bring, about a measure of dignity in a sordid but very r e a l world of the here and now. I t i s the g i r l who remarks with pier c i n g irony on this l i m i t a t i o n : "Old man," she said, "have you l i v e d so long and forgotten so much that you dont remember anything you ever knew or f e l t or even heard about lov6?" (GDM, p. 363) We know that this observation i s not e n t i r e l y accurate, f o r in this same section Ike gives ample proof that he has not forgotten about the in t e n s i t y of love: I think that every man and woman, at the instant when i t dont even matter whether they marry or not, I think that whether they marry then or a f t e r -ward or dont never, at that instant the two of them together were God. (GDM, p. 3^8) But paradoxically, what he observes to be true he i s incapable of applying to a human situ a t i o n which matches his observation; i t seems that he cannot come to terms with the tangible r e a l i t y of the plantation world. As f a r as his advice to the Negro g i r l i s concerned, part of the answer may be that Ike has l i v e d a long time in a world where the facts of segregation were very r e a l and p a i n f u l , and that he wanted to spare t h i s g i r l some of the problems 75 of t h i s -world. But the e s s e n t i a l answer, I think, i s that Ike's purity or innocence has been untested by experience: his r e f u s a l to part i c i p a t e d i r e c t l y in the a f f a i r s of the plantation world he was to i n h e r i t caused'him to shrink from the genuine problems which arose in that world, and he was reduced to o f f e r i n g as solutions mere gestures and p l a t i t u d e s . As f a r as innocence or purity was concerned, Ike had not yet learned what another Faulkner character, Gavin Stevens, was to recognize as a prerequisite to any kind of meaning-f u l l i f e : ... that innocence i s innocent not because i t rejects but because i t accepts; i s innocent not because i t i s impervious and invulnerable to everything, but because i t i s capable of accept-ing anything and s t i l l remaining innocent; inno-cent because i t foreknows a l l and therefore doesn't have to fear and be afraid... ..8 It i s this kind of innocence, and not the innocence of i s o l a t i o n , which Is at the heart of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n , and this i s one of the main reasons why i t i s necessary to reject Ike as the central figure i n t h i s v i s i o n . E s s e n t i a l l y he acquired his innocence in a sort of unreal world, a world which in i t s own way represented perfection, but also an a r t i f i c i a l s i t u a t i o n f o r everybody except Sam Fathers. •It was a world outside of man, which man entered only b r i e f l y from time to time to pursue what became i n effect an empty r i t u a l . But because of the thoroughness of his apprenticeship, and because of his attachment to Fathers 76 and Boon Hogganbeck (both of whom \teve outside of human socie t y ) , Ike came to regard t h i s world as the r e a l one, and as a r e s u l t , was incapable of facing the momentous issues of his r e a l l i f e . There i s a certain irony in Ike's attachment to the purity of the wilderness and in his re-pugnance to the t a i n t of his own inheritance. Sam Fathers, Old Ben, and Lion are, as Faulkner points out, " t a i n t l e s s and i n c o r r u p t i b l e , " but of these three, Sam and Lion are both "mongrels" and therefore tainted i n a blood sense, in much the same way as many of the inhabitants of Ike's plantation world are. So i t does not follow that the q u a l i t i e s of taintlessness and i n c o r r u p t i b i l i t y , or the virtues of patience, humility and courage, which Ike values so highly, are inevitable concomitants of an isolated purity; they are, rather, as Gavin Stevens discovered, products of the knowledge that one i s , i n any kind of world, "capable of accepting anything and s t i l l remaining innocent." The f i n a l e f f e c t , and the most i r o n i c ; of Ike's relinquishment of the plantation was that i t set the stage f o r the cycle of miscegenation and i n c e s t — t h e very things which caused him to r e l i n q u i s h in the f i r s t p l a c e — t o begin a l l over again. The p a r a l l e l between the Carothers-Tomey a f f a i r and the Roth-negro g i r l a f f a i r i s obvious, the only 77 e s s e n t i a l difference being i n the degree of incest, as the young g i r l is only d i s t a n t l y related to Roth. Never-theless, human exploitation i s involved, and in actual fact the very i n j u s t i c e s of the system which Ike thought to remove by his renunciation are as manifest as ever. I r o n i c a l l y , i t i s Ike, in the aftermath of both these instances of incest, who becomes the intermediary between the exploiter and the exploited. Many years e a r l i e r he had trekked over the country-side in a vain e f f o r t to find Tennie's Jim in order to give him his portion of Carothers' "conscience money;" and now, at the end of' the cycle, he i s at hand to transfer a s i m i l a r payment to Jim's grand-daughter. The r e a l i z a t i o n of his own record of ineffectiveness must have been a strong part of the intense state of bewilderment and despair he experienced on t h i s occasion: "No wonder' the ruined woods I used to know dont cry f o r r e t r i b u t i o n i . . . The people who have destroyed i t w i l l accomplish i t s revenge." (GDM, p. 36I4) What can we surmise about the elimination of these i n j u s t i c e s i f Ike had not relinquished the plantation? I t seems to me that there i s convincing, though not con-clusive evidence throughout Go Down, M0S6S that the plantation world would have fared better under Ike than i t did under the three Edmondses who superseded him, though obviously I am resorting to a good deal of conjecture here. 78 But that Cass was not as enlightened an overseer as Uncle Buck had been i s strongly suggested 6arly in the fourth section of "The Bear," where the commissary is described as "the square, g a l l e r i e d , wooden building squatting l i k e a portent above the f i e l d s whose laborers i t s t i l l held in t h r a l l '65 or no...." (GDM, p. 255). The condition of the plantation world under the Edmondses i s given further amplification i n a l a t e r passage i n the same section: --that whole e d i f i c e i n t r i c a t e and complex, and founded upon i n j u s t i c e and erected by ruthless rapacity and ca r r i e d on even yet with at times downright savagery not only to the human beings but the valuable animals too, yet-solvent and e f f i c i e n t and, more than that;not only s t i l l i ntact but enlarged, increased; brought s t i l l i ntact by McCaslin, himself l i t t l e more than a c h i l d then, through and out of the debacle and chaos of twenty years ago where hardly one in ten survived, and enlarged and increased and would continue so, solvent and e f f i c i e n t and intact and s t i l l increasing so long as McCaslin and his McCaslin successors lasted, even though t h e i r surnames might not even be Edmonds then.... (GDM. p. 298) The inference here i s p l a i n l y that McCaslin's e f f i c i e n t running of the plantation was to a considerable extent accompanied by an attitude of despotism towards i t s i n -habitants. As one c r i t i c puts i t , " [Cass] i s l a r g e l y responsible for the fact that long before Ike McCaslin becomes twenty-one in 1888 the Negroes of the plantation 9 are once more in bondage, th i s time as sharecroppers." 79 We know, too, that both Zack and Roth Edmonds, in t h e i r turn, resorted to a form of human exploitation upon at l e a s t one occasion, and there i s ample evidence in the "Delta Autumn" section ..that Roth at any r a t e i s in an advanced stage of moral degeneracy. The g i r l i s aware of Roth's character, and places the blame d i r e c t l y upon Ike. "I would have made a man of him," she says to Ike. "He's not a man yet. You spoiled him. You, and, Uncle Lucas and Aunt M o l l i e . But mostly you...... When you. gave to his grandfather that land which didn't belong to him, not even ha l f of i t by w i l l or even law." (GDM, p. 360) In other words, by not accepting his inheritance, Ike shifted a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y upon others who had neither the character nor the v i s i o n required to transform the plantation world into an order based upon tolerance and humanity. Prom the fact that Ike's father manifested these q u a l i t i e s in his treatment of the slaves, and from the presence 'of these virtues within Ike himself, i t i s reasonable to deduce that his acceptance of the plantation world would have been a f a r more decisive way to remove i t s attendant i n j u s t i c e s than his relinquishment turned out to be. I r o n i c a l l y , i t is Roth, the most degenerate and b i t t e r of the McCaslin i n h e r i t o r s , who pinpoints with a savage and sarcastic accuracy the r e a l meaning of Ike's long evasion 80 of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Ike had just uttered another of his sound observations on the human condition to the extent that a good man can always r i s e above his circumstances (he seems in c r e d i b l y adept at pronouncing the very pre-scri p t i o n s which could have transformed his own l i f e into a very meaningful one), when Rothclashes out at him: "So you've l i v e d almost eighty years.... And that's what you f i n a l l y learned about the other animals you l i v e d among. I suppose th.6 question to ask you i s , where have you been a l l the time you were dead?" (GDM, p. 3l|$) Admittedly, t h i s i s a cr u e l taunt, and i t e f f e c t i v e l y i l l u s t r a t e s Roth's crudity and i n s e n s i t i v i t y towards his fellow man. Nevertheless, there i s more than a l i t t l e j u s t i f i c a t i o n in his equating of Ike's relinquishment with a form of death, f o r Ike in ef f e c t refused to remain a l i v e to the problems which morally and l e g a l l y were his to dispose of. It i s as though Roth, recognizing his own alienation from humanity and his own l i m i t a t i o n s , gives expression to his bitterness because the one person equipped by nature and by t r a i n i n g to bring about a moral enlightenment f a i l e d to take up t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Our l a s t view of Ike, then i s that of a d i s p i r i t e d old man, shocked and outraged at the moral depravity s t i l l e x i s t i n g , and further depressed at the destruction of the wilderness values, a f i n a l i r o n i c manifestation of which 81 i s Roth's k i l l i n g of a doe. His fellow hunters tolerate him but no longer look up to him, as even veteran hunters l i k e General Corapson and Walter Ewell did in the old days. In short, the picture i s one of a tragic f a i l u r e , f o r Ike has f a i l e d in his marriage, f a i l e d i n his r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s towards the plantation world, and now at the end he f a i l s when confronted by what amounts to his f i n a l chance to accept an embodiment of love and humanity as evidence of the r e a l i t y of a world he has so long evaded. The t o l e r -ance, charity, and p r a c t i c a l i t y of the young g i r l in this f i n a l scene contrast sharply with Ike's gropings and r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s . She accepts the money—her legacy from th.6 McCaslin's—not because i t i s a substitute for love, but because she knows i t cannot taint her, for,' as she says to Ike, "I knew what I was doing. I knew that to begin with...." (GDM, p. 358) In other words, she bears the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y herself f o r her own predicament, and i s presumably going to shape her l i f e on the basis of that r e a l i t y . In much the same way as Ike, she too has inherited a t a i n t from the McCaslin heritage, but this knowledge does not render her inactive, as i t did Ike. Perhaps in a f i n a l revelation Ike does have a glimpse of the hope she represents, for he gives her small son a hunting horn that he himself had inherited from General Compson; i f this horn can be said to symbolize the virtues he had acquired in the wilderness order, then there i s at least some communion established 82 here between the two worlds. But i t i s at best a gesture, and Ike f a i l s to take the f i n a l step of demonstrating in some tangible form an unequivocal acceptance of the g i r l and her son. And i t i s this f a i l u r e that represents the ultimate l i m i t a t i o n s of Ike, and his ess e n t i a l i n a b i l i t y to understand the nature of the world or of man. It seems cle a r , then, that as fa r as Faulkner's moral vi s i o n i s concerned, Ike has been c a r e f u l l y examined and found wanting. Perhaps he represents a necessary stage in the process of moral evolution, in that he i s an i d e a l i s t who deliberately chooses to make no compromise with e v i l and i n j u s t i c e . And c e r t a i n l y , as a young man, his many virtues stood him in good stead in the wilderness world of Sam Fathers, where patience, humility and courage were indeed required i f one were to survive, l e t alone prosper, i n that world. But in the world of man, one must add to these virtues those of tolerance, forgiveness, and a willingness to take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the human condition, and i t i s in these respects that Ike f a l l s f a r short of being a moral i d e a l . Robert Penn Warren once said that in Faulkner's works, "There are no v i l l a i n s , except those who deny the human bond," 1 0 and while i t would be an ex-aggeration to speak of Ike as a v i l l a i n , i t i s undoubtedly true that his abdication of a large measure of human res-p o n s i b i l i t y made him a passive, i f not an active, agent of wrong-doing. 83 It has been ray main contention in t h i s chapter that Faulkner has used Ike and his renunciation in an inverse fashion, to demonstrate t h e , f u t i l i t y of an idealism founded upon a mistaken concept of past values. For Ike, these dual v a l u e s — t h e positive one from the wilderness world, and the negative one from the plantation world—combined to in t e n s i f y the r i g i d i t y of the position from which he viewed the world. I have t r i e d to indicate, too, that the other major character of Go Down, Moses, Lucas Beauchamp, and such r e l a t i v e l y minor characters as Buck," Cass, Turl, and the g i r l in "Delta Autumn," represent the real.nature of Faulkner's moral vis i o n in a more v i v i d and meaningful way than does Ike. Such a position, I am aware, demands a resolving of two s i g n i f i c a n t questions: how t h i s v i s i o n f i t s in with Faulkner's f i c t i o n subsequent to Go Down, Moses and with his public pronouncements; and why Faulkner presented • Ike generally in such a powerful and sympathetic l i g h t , e s p e c i a l l y in "The Old People" and the hunting sections of "The Bear." The former question w i l l be explored f u l l y in the next chapter of thi s thesis, and while the l a t t e r w i l l form part of my concluding chapter, i t is perhaps necessary to discuss It b r i e f l y here, in the perspective of the other things we have said about Ike. E s s e n t i a l l y , I think, this dichotomy resulted from an uncertainty within Faulkner him-s e l f as to the r e a l values inherent in a wilderness order. 81* Or at any rate, as he developed his ideas in the various episodes of Go Down. Moses, he probably recognized that the virtues he had endowed Ike with in the story "Lion" in 1935, were not s u f f i c i e n t f o r the t o t a l perspective i n which he wanted to develop him i n this l a t e r work. His uncertainty, i t seems to me, serves his a r t i s t i c purposes well, for i t draws attention to a confusion i n man generally, concerning the values of a wilderness world, or of any by-gone world. In a state of u n c r i t i c a l r e f l e c t i o n , we tend to exaggerate the virtues of such an order and to think that the problems of humanity w i l l disappear i f we can recapture the s p i r i t of an older or a primitive world. It i s only afte r careful observation and r e f l e c t i o n , such as.we are forced into in the d i f f i c u l t fourth section of "The Bear," that we recognize the f a l l a c i e s of these views. At any rate, there i s nothing in the works of Faulkner to suggest that man can find his f u l f i l l m e n t anywhere except i n the world of man, and I think that t h i s i s what Faulkner wants to stress in his presentation of Ike. 85 Footnotes to Chapter IV 1 Faulkner in the University, pp. 21+5-1+6. 2 A l f r e d Kazin, "Faulkner in His Fury," Modern American F i c t i o n ; Essays in C r i t i c i s m , ed. A. Walton L i t z . (New York, 1963), p. 176. 3 Frederick Law Olmsted, The Slave States. (New York, 1959), p. I|9 «• i| Lewis, p. 3hk» 5 William Faulkner, The Wild Palms. (New York, 1959), p. ll|8. 6 Brooks, p. 37U• 7 William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust. (New York, 191+9), p. 16. (Hereafter cited i n t e r n a l l y as Intruder.) 8 William Faulkner, The Town. (New York, 1957), p. 203. 9 Walter F. Taylor, "Let My People Go: The White Man's Heritage i n Go Down, Mos63," Bear, Man, and God, p. 292. 10 Quoted by J.R.M.. [John R. Marvin] in a review of "William Faulkner and His South," an unpublished manuscript by Robert Penn Warren, Faulkner Studies, I (Spring, 1952), 16. V FAULKNER'S MORAL VISION: THE LATER WORKS We have seen in the previous chapter that the basis of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n as expressed in Go Down, Moses is above a l l the willingness and a b i l i t y to l i v e with the human condition and to act d e c i s i v e l y in the l i g h t of a l l that this means. We have seen, too, that Ike f e l l short of f u l f i l l i n g this r o l e , and that the most posit i v e manifestations of Faulkner's moral position were re f l e c t e d in the actions of Lucas Beauchamp and of some of the r e l a t i v e l y minor figures throughout th i s work. It i s true, of course, that Ike had the p o t e n t i a l , and i n a sense he f e l l just short of greatness, but e s s e n t i a l l y he f a i l e d to recognize that the capacity f o r doing good involved the capacity f o r accept-ing e v i l . The true moral heroes in Faulkner have always been those who have demonstrated a capacity f o r adjustment to whatever conditions existed in t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r world, and who were neither frightened by e v i l nor seduced by good. Olga Vickery defines the consequences of such extremes: Is o l a t i n g either of these two aspects of human nature leads i n e v i t a b l y to d i s t o r t i o n . To see only the good i s to render oneself incapable of coping with the world of men. But to see only e v i l i s to perpetuate that e v i l by excluding a l l p o s s i b i l i t y of change.1 87 It i s the purpose of this chapter to show that t h i s moral v i s i o n i m p l i c i t in Go Down, Moses i s constantly emphasized, both i m p l i c i t l y and e x p l i c i t l y , in Faulkner's l a t e r f i c t i o n , and that such a position i s consistent with the statements he has uttered on many public occasions. Within the con-text of t h i s thesis, i t i s neither possible nor meaningful to discuss a l l seven books Faulkner has written since Go Down, Moses, and the emphasis i n this chapter w i l l there-fore be on Intruder in the Dust, A Fable, and The Reivers« Of the others, I exclude Knight's Gambit not only because i t i s merely a c o l l e c t i o n of s i x l a r g e l y unrelated detective stories whose only unifying l i n k i s the presence of Gavin Stevens, but also because four of the s i x stories were 2 written p r i o r to Go Down, Moses, and therefore.no d i s -cussion of them in terras of t h i s work would be meaningful,, Requiem fo r a Nun, too, must be excluded here, because i t s complex narrative-documentary-dramatic form in v i t e s d i s -cussion l a r g e l y in terms of technique, a consideration which l i e s beyond the scope of this t h e s i s . And f i n a l l y , the two remaining-novels, The Town and The Mansion, are parts of the Snopes Trilogy, and as such must be seen in r e l a t i o n to The Hamlet, which preceded Go Down, Moses by some two years. I do not intend to suggest that, because of these other factors, these novels do not r e f l e c t Faulkner's true moral , p o s i t i o n ; , i n my estimation, a l l of them, with the possible 88 exception of Knight's Garnit, i l l u s t r a t e some very clear manifestations of the v i s i o n he developed in Go Down, Moses. But any meaningful discussion of this aspect of these novels would of necessity introduce a number of other c r u c i a l problems which l i e far beyond the scope of my t h e s i s . The remaining three novels, on the other hand, c l e a r l y i n v i t e discussion in terms of Go Down, Moses. In truder i n The Dust and The Reivers are f a i r l y direct sequels of the e a r l i e r work, for i n a very r e a l sense they are s t i l l part of the McCaslin saga, not only from the point of view of the characters involved, but also from the fact that the same kinds of tensions which characterized the e a r l i e r work also underlie the structure of these novels. Both, f o r example, depict the moral growth of a young boy as he moves from a state of innocence to one of knowledge, thoggh Intruder in the Dust, of course, provides a f a r grimmer backdrop f o r t h i s purpose than does The Reivers. Further-more, these two novels represent s i g n i f i c a n t positions chronologically among the works published subsequent to Go Down. Moses, the former being the f i r s t to appear a f t e r that book, while the l a t t e r , being Faulkner's l a s t book, can be viewed as his f i n a l statement on this whole question. A Fable merits discussion in this perspective f o r two main reasons. In the f i r s t place, i t was the f i r s t novel Faulkner actually began writing a f t e r Go Down, Moses, though i t was 89 to take him another nine years to f i n i s h i t , a s i t u a t i o n which suggests that he wrestled f o r some time with the moral questions he had raised in the previous book. And secondly, i t i s the only novel i n which Faulkner appears to be de-l i b e r a t e l y t r y i n g to achieve some kind of u n i v e r s a l i t y , and i t i s e s s e n t i a l , I f e e l , to examine the moral v i s i o n r e f l e c t e d in a work of thi s scope and stature. Within the framework of Faulkner's statement about the three stages of human involvement,^ both the corporal and Chick Mallison c l e a r l y represent the thi r d stage, i n that they see an i n j u s t i c e in t h e i r world and proceed to do something about i t . With Lucius P r i e s t , on the other hand, no such motivation exists, and indeed, none i s nec-essary. Like Boon Hogganbeck, he was so intrigued by the prospect of t h e i r surreptitious undertaking that no higher motive was required. I t i s true, of course, that through-out his escapade he was frequently confronted by situations which offended his e x i s t i n g moral attitude, but he did not set out upon his expedition with a preconceived notion of correcting a wrong, as did Chick and, in his own much more complicated way, the corporal. But a l l three protagonists achieve moral stature by means of an act motivated by t h e i r own convictions, which in eff e c t meant acting in defiance of t h e i r community or family t r a d i t i o n s . In a l l three books, 90 the voices of t r a d i t i o n a l authority are quite strong, and for Chick and Lucius at any rate, these voices are at times a t t r a c t i v e enough to cause them some doubts about t h e i r undertaking. But in the end i t i s the i n d i v i d u a l conviction which p r e v a i l s , and t h i s of course i s in keeping with Faulkner's frequent public assertions that i t i s the i n d i -vidual voice and the i n d i v i d u a l act which provide the evidence of man's immortality. His remarks at Nagano, for example, c l e a r l y indicate the position he adopts in these novels: The proof of [man's] immortality i s the fact that ... in spite of a l l the anguishes and,the g r i e f s which he himself has invented.... he s t i l l l a s t s , and s t i l l there•is always some voice... saying, "This i s wrong, you must do better than t h i s . " And there i s always somewhere someone that says: "Yes, that's r i g h t , I w i l l do better than t h i s , " even though he himself knows that he might f a i l . . . . It's that single voice that's the important thing.5 It i s Intruder i n the Dust which most s t r i k i n g l y dramatizes the triumph of the i n d i v i d u a l over the forces of the community, whether black Or- white, and which shows how important a small, single voice can be in the bettering of the human condition. It i s not only that the i n d i v i d u a l s — both Lucas and C h i c k — p r e v a i l over the community as a physical and s o c i a l entity, but that they free themselves of a deeply entrenched prejudice they had inherited from t h e i r respective communities. For Chick, this f e e l i n g "was part_of his 91 heritage of his inescapable past, i t was a r i c h part of his heritage as a Southerner," (Intruder, p. 1 1 ) , and in his unfortunate attempts to be magnanimous to Lucas, he simply i n t e n s i f i e d t h i s d i v i s i o n ; for Lucas, t h i s f e e l i n g was manifested i n a pride which caused him to take offense at Chick's well-meant gestures. A major underlying s t r a i n in t h i s novel i s the resolution of t h i s tension which exists between these two f r i e n d s . Lucas, as might be expected, has the l a s t word: "You'll be welcome without waiting for a freeze," (Intruder, p. 1 8 3 ) , but these words also s p e l l out his unequivocal acceptance of Chick. Lucas's position throughout Intruder i n the Dust i s a rather strange one in that his rol6 is. almost completely a passive one in terras of his own actions, yet his very presence i s an incitement to strong action on the part of others. VJe have learned what to expect of him from "The Fire and the Hearth," as f a r as his q u a l i t i e s of pride and independence are concerned, and in that respect t h i s novel does not disappoint us, yet his importance here l i e s not so much i n what he does as in what he represents—on the one hand, a victim of i n j u s t i c e , and on the other, a Negro "who does not know his place." In many ways his position i s analagous to that of Rider in "Pantaloon i n Black," in that the white community i s as much incensed by his r e f u s a l 92 "to admit he's a nigger" as i t i s by the circumstantial evidence of his g u i l t of murder. So, while he represents the moral and narrative center of the novel, i t i s Chick Mallison who becomes the positive moral agent, and who thereby perpetuates the e t h i c a l attitudes which Lucas and others had already manifested e a r l i e r in Go Down, Moses. At f i r s t , Chick i s not r e a l l y outside the community, for l i k e his uncle Gavin, h6 does not doubt that Lucas i s g u i l t y , and i t i s not u n t i l Miss Habersham asserts his innocence that he senses the j u s t i f i c a t i o n of his mission. But the importance of his action does not depend e n t i r e l y on the question of Lucas's g u i l t or innocence; i t l i e s mainly i n the fact that i t represents a direct communion between man and man, and a willingness to assert one's humanity even i n the face of almost certain defeat. To a l l intents and purposes, Lucas is already doomed, and Chick knows t h i s , yet he makes the gesture, and the gesture eventually assumes enough substance and motion to save him. As Faulkner stated during his conferences at Nagano,."Anyone can save anyone from i n j u s t i c e i f he just w i l l , i f he just t r i e s , just raises his voice."^ In r a i s i n g his voice, Chick reveals a moral and e t h i c a l conscience which contrasts sharply with that of the community, including the black one. It i s true that the fear of r e p r i s a l s and lynching kept the Negroes s i l e n t on t h i s occasion; but Aleck Sander 93 expressed t h e i r general b e l i e f in Lucas's g u i l t when he said to Chick, "So they ain't come for Lucas yet,.... I t ' s the ones l i k e [him] makes trouble for everybody." (Intruder, p. 66) Gavin Stevens, though not of that segment of the community represented by Mr. L i l l e y and the barber-shop crowd, nevertheless i s c y n i c a l l y positive of Lucas's g u i l t , and he even shares the exasperation that the others f e e l because of his independence. "Lucas," he said, "has i t ever occurred to you that i f you just said mister to white people and said i t l i k e you meant i t , you might not be s i t t i n g here now?" (Intruder, p. i|9) The weak moral position of the community is made abundantly cle a r in th i s b i t of f a u l t y l o g i c uttered by Gavin. Lucas i s in j a i l because he i s a murder suspect, not because he has bad manners. And Gavin has doubtless forgotten that in his "gentleman's South" a large number of "good niggers who know t h e i r place" have also been lynched. Lucas succinctly exposes this moral shabbiness; ''•So I'm to commence-now," he said, "I can st a r t off by saying mister to the folks that drags me out of here and builds a f i r e under me." (Intruder, p. 1*9) Only Miss Habersham had no reservations about Lucas's innocence, and her i m p l i c i t f a i t h in him i s perhaps the strongest testimony we have regarding the moral stature of t h i s man. It i s perhaps s i g n i f i c a n t that i t took an old lady and a young boy to achieve something in this novel; 9k long ago, Tomey's Tu r l had told Casst "anytime you wants to g i t something done, from hoeing out a crop to getting married, just get the womenfolks to working at i t . " . (GDM, p. 13) Certainly, both Miss Habersham's convictions and her p r a c t i c a l talents were invaluable f o r Chick in the f u l f i l l m e n t of his mission. The p a r a l l e l between Chick's experience and Ike McCaslin's i s f a i r l y c l e a r , as i s the essential difference between t h e i r responses. Both learn early that t h e i r world i s tainted, and that they are forced into a position where they have to make a decision about t h e i r role in this world. Both in a sense have received a kind of t r a i n i n g from an older man which i s to weigh quite heavily i n t h e i r decision, and both receive the benefit of advice from a contemporary of t h e i r own society. It i s perhaps true that as a tutor Lucas lacks both the thoroughness and the mysticism possessed by Sam Fathers, and that Gavin Stevens i s some-what less convincing a counsellor than Cass Edmonds, but nevertheless, both youths face t h e i r tasks with much the same preparation. At the moment of c r i s i s , both choose to r e l i n q u i s h a part of t h e i r heritage, though Ike's r e l i n q u i s h -ment i s of a f a r greater scope than Chick's temporary de-f e c t i o n from his community t r a d i t i o n . But Chick i s able to do something that Ike was incapable of, and that i s to r e j o i n the stream of humanity. "In doing so," Olga Vickery 95 observes, "he... establishes once more the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the individual's interest with those of his community even as he affirms the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the i n d i v i d u a l not only for his own conduct but for the conduct of a l l 7 men." In other words, Chick responds to the curse of i n j u s t i c e within the human condition, and comes out of his experience, not untouched, but c e r t a i n l y uncorrupted; and what r e a l l y marks his advance over Ike i s that he recognizes that a continued immersion in the human s i t u a t i o n i s the only meaningful way of remaining i n c o r r u p t i b l e . He therefore manifests the same attitude towards the world as that represented by Lucas i n "The Fire and the Heath," the g i r l i n "Delta Autumn," and Molly in "Go Down, Moses," In that a l l four refused to be crippled by unpleasant moral r e a l i t i e s . In this respect, then, Intruder in the Dust r e f l e c t s the same moral v i s i o n that Faulkner developed i n Go Down, Moses, though.of course this v i s i o n in the l a t e r book i s rendered much more e x p l i c i t . Something must be said about the effect of Gavin's tendentious pronouncements concerning the Kegro-white rel a t i o n s h i p s , though th i s is e s s e n t i a l l y an aesthetic problem which l i e s l a r g e l y beyond the scope of this t h e s i s . I f e e l that Faulkner's true moral position i s dramatized through the actions of Chick and Miss Habersham, and that Gavin's statements are not r e a l l y e s s e n t i a l to our 96 appreciation of this p o s i t i o n . In many ways, they provide an i r o n i c comment on the whole question, for while Gavin i s t a l k i n g about "th.6 p r i v i l e g e of setting Qhe Negro] free ourselves," (Intruder, p. 118), Ghick and Miss Habersham are i n effect getting on with this task in no uncertain way. In other words, moral awareness must be manifested in meaningful action, not in plati t u d e s . E a r l i e r in the story, for example, Gavin had observed "how no man can cause more g r i e f than that one c l i n g i n g b l i n d l y to the vices of his ancestors," (Intruder, p. 39), without being aware, apparently, that-this same blindness was shortly to render himself incapable of helping Lucas. Perhaps a l l that r e a l l y needs to be said about these outbursts i s that they on occasion provide an elaboration of some of the ideas evoked by the action of thi s novel; they do not, I f e e l , detract either from the stature of Chick or from the esse n t i a l moral position that Faulkner upholds here. For long aft e r the substance of Gavin's pronouncements i s forgotten, the image of a young boy and an old lady opening graves at mid-night, and the r e c o l l e c t i o n of what th i s s i g n i f i e s , are s t i l l v i v i d l y impressed on one's mind. In searching f o r a restatement of thi s moral v i s i o n in A Fable, we are faced with certain problems which do not obtain in either Intruder in the Dust or TheReivers. For 97 in t h i s novel, Faulkner develops a theme of great complexity and scope, and his purpose i s therefore served better by abstract statement than by dramatic incident, though I am not suggesting that these generalities are not grounded in some very positive actions. Nevertheless, to an extent that was not true i n Intruder in the Dust, our appreciation of Faulkner's moral position here is dependent upon our grasping the relat i o n s h i p between the abstraction and the experience.." E s s e n t i a l l y , this i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p i s mani-fested through two complementary s t r a i n s — t h e action of the corporal in i n i t i a t i n g the mutiny, and the effects of his action on those around him. Olga Vickery explains the nature of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p : It i s simply as a man that the Corporal succeeds in reminding some few others of t h e i r humanity, leading them to recognize th e i r moral nature and to accept the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r e t h i c a l decisions,, In the process codes and tr a d i t i o n s lose t h e i r sacrosanct q u a l i t y . The f i l i a l obligation to con-form and preserve i s countered with the individual's duty to judge and, where necessary, to alter.8 The main resu l t of the corporal's action then, as f a r as the moral consequences are concerned, i s that i t demonstrates that man does have a choice in the working out of his f a t e ; and an act can be judged i n moral terms only, of course, i f the element of free choice i s involved, k Fable in essence i s a record of the various judgments passed upon the corporal's actions, and of the soul-searchings and r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s 98 with which each of the major figures measures, his own stature against t h i s action. In this process, a l l the t r a d i t i o n a l Faulknerian responses occur: some commit suicide, others take refuge in a s t r i c t code or r i t u a l , while yet others embrace the r e a l i t y and the cause revealed to them by the corporal. Those who choose the l a t t e r course suffer the same fate as the corporal, but Faulkner stresses that this act i s a manifestation of one's i n d i v i d u a l i t y , "because each carried into that mutual' doom a name' and an i n d i v i d u a l i t y , and that most complete privacy' of a l l r t h 6 capacity for that solitude in which' every man has to die.... Again the emphasis i s on the ind i v i d u a l acting with a com-plete acceptance of the consequences of his decision, and with a r e a l i z a t i o n that i t i s only this kind of" act which can bring him freedom. It was in part this search for freedom which motivated one of the strongest moral agents in A Fable to r e l i n q u i s h his status as o f f i c e r to become a runner with the rank of private. Unlike Isaac McCaslin, he repudiated his i n h e r i -tance to re j o i n th6 ranks of mankind, not to escape i t : " A l l r i g h t , " he told his company commander, "So I must get back into the muck with [man). Then maybe I ' l l be free." (A Fabl6, p. 62) S i g n i f i c a n t l y , while he had been an o f f i c e i he had heard nothing of the thirteen rebel s o l d i e r s , but 99 a f t e r r e j o i n i n g the ranks, he learns about them almost at once. In t e l l i n g him about these s o l d i e r s , an old porter stresses the f a c t that i t takes only one man to instigate a moral revolution: "Wasn't i t just one before? Wasn't one enough then to t e l l us the same thing a l l them two thousand years ago: that a l l we ever needed to do was just to say, Enough of t h i s — u s , not even the sergeants and corporals, but just us, a l l of us, Germans and Colonials and' Frenchmen and a l l th.6 other foreign-ers in the mud h6re, saying together: Enough. Let them that's already d6ad and maimed and missing be enough of t h i s — a thing so easy and simple that every human man, as f u l l of e v i l and sin and f o l l y as he i s , can understand and believe i t this time. Go and look at him." (A Fable, pp. 67-8) The p a r a l l e l between the porter's prescription drawn from the example of Christ, and the corporal's action i s of course very clear, but the important thing f o r our purposes here i s his recognition of the importance of the i n d i v i d u a l r a i s i n g his voice i n protest. It i s this step which marks the advance over Ike McCaslin of both the corporal and Chick Mallison, or rather i t i s the protest plus the appropriate action, for Ike, too, protested about the conditions he discovered. We are not told s p e c i f i c a l l y about th6 exact nature..of the corporal's actions, except that he had somehow i n f i l t r a t e d throughout the enemy l i n e s as well as the A l l i e d ones his message of r e b e l l i o n , and that at the appointed time the mass protest effected a temporary armistice. But, l i k e Lucas Beauchamp i n 100 Intruder i n the Dust, he remains somewhat in the background throughout the novel, and serves as the moral center against which to measure the responses of the others. The importance of his short-lived r e b e l l i o n l i e s mainly i n the fa c t that i t demonstrated that man i s not bound inescapably by the forces of t r a d i t i o n or of any i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d form of authority or tyranny. Within the framework of this r e a l i -zation, the morally s i g n i f i c a n t act i s the one which, even i f i t f a i l s , makes some attempt to r i d the world of i n j u s t i c e or e v i l . Aside, from the corporal and the runner, another char-acter who gives strong expression to Faulkner's moral pos i t i o n i s the Reverend Tobe S u t t e r f i e l d who, along with the sentry, forms the connection between the horse-thief episode and the main novel. His acceptance of the t o t a l i t y of l i f e shows c l e a r l y how f a r Faulkner progressed beyond Ike in the attempt to formulate a sound moral basis. " E v i l Is a part of man," he t e l l s the runner as he recounts the episode of the three-legged horse, " e v i l and sin and cowardice, the same as repentance and being brave. You got to believe in a l l of them, or believe in none of them. Believe that man i s capable of a l l of them, or he aint capable of none." (A Fable, p. 203) And e a r l i e r i n the story he made i t quite c l e a r that man had only himself to blame i f he i s 101 destroyed: "Some day something might beat him, but i t wont be Satan." (A Fable, p. 180) This position, as we s h a l l see, finds further expression In The Reivers, and i s e s s e n t i a l l y that which Faulkner developed through the r e l a t i v e l y minor characters of Go Down, Moses. What ultimately beat Ike, of course, was not Satan or old Carothers, but his own l i m i t a t i o n s , and this i s true of such characters i n A. Fable as the P r i e s t , the corps commander, and the young f l y e r . Where Ike had been rendered helpless by a family t a i n t , these others were incapacitated by various i n s t i t u t i o n a l l o y a l t i e s , and a l l e s s e n t i a l l y f a i l e d to see the d i s t i n c t i o n between being b l i n d l y devoted to a cause and being f u l l y aware of t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the human condition. " I t i s man who i s our enemy," the corps commander said on one occasion, "the vast seething moiling s p i r i t l e s s mass of him. n (A Fable, p. 30) And to a certain extent, i t was t h i s condition which troubled Ike, too, i n his despair over his heritage. In the horse-thief episode of A Fable, an illuminating contrast Is i m p l i c i t l y drawn between the accomplishments of the three-legged horse and the moral shortcomings of persons who abdicate t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s without s t r i v i n g towards some goal. The groom has just shot the horse to prevent i t s capture, and an ex-deputy„ a strong moral agent in his own ri g h t , comments on why i t was necessary to keep 102 the horse out of c a p t i v i t y a l l through i t s l i f e : The reason was so that i t could run, keep on running, keep on los i n g races at lea s t , f i n i s h races at least even i f i t did have to run them on three legs, did run them on three legs because i t was a giant and didn't need even three legs to run them on but only one with a hoof at the end to qu a l i f y as a horse. (A Fable, p. 163) Like Isaac, and indeed, l i k e a l l men, thi s horse was maimed, but i n Its obsession for freedom, i t acted as though i t did not know t h i s . The fact that i t had s u f f i c i e n t character-i s t i c s "to qu a l i f y as a horse" was adequate reason f o r i t s s t r i v i n g towards some i d e a l - - i n this case, freedom. The p a r a l l e l with man i s obvious: as long as man q u a l i f i e s f or the human race, he has an obligation to s t r i v e towards a human i d e a l , which in Faulkner's terms i s a moral and e t h i c a l perfection, even i f he knows that such a goal i s ultimately unattainable. Within this perspective, Ike's l i m i t a t i o n s are obvious, and the accomplishments of such people as T u r l , Lucas, or the runner take on an added s i g n i f i c a n c e . A very strong rel a t i o n s h i p between th i s novel and Go Down. Moses l i e s i n the nature of the responses made by the corporal and by Ike to the whole question of re-linquishment. The corporal i s s k i l f u l l y tempted by his father, th6 old general, to r e l i n q u i s h his cause in ex-change fo r the world, and the arguments the old man offers are, on the surface, quite convincing. "Take l i f e , " he 103 t e l l s the corporal. "You are young.... you Q j I I ^ r e a l i z e that nothing... not power nor glory nor wealth nor pleasure nor even freedom from pain, i s as valuable as simple breath-ing, simply being a l i v e . . . . " (A. Fable, p. 3^0) But these things that he juxtaposes against l i f e are i n themselves mere abstractions or i l l u s i o n s , and the corporal recognizes t h i s ; he counters a l l the general's temptations with his simple and consistent assertion of the r e a l i t y he s t i l l possesses: "There are s t i l l ten." (A Fable, pp. 3I46, 3I47, 3i*8, 3^2) In other words, the corporal i s not prepared to repudiate his world of r e a l i t y , nor his place i n that world, i n exchange for what in effect would be an i l l u s o r y escape from r e a l i t y . Ike, on the other hand, weighed escape against r e a l i t y and chose the former, thus, betraying his own world as surely as the corporal would have betrayed his ten followers had he succumbed to his father's temptations. The moral strength of the corporal does not l i e in his decision to choose cert a i n death over l i f e , nor does Ike's moral weakness reside in his decision to l i v e in terms of the wilderness values. Afte r a l l , Sam Fathers chose the wilderness world, and he was no moral coward; and neither did Quentin Gompson's choice of death make him a moral giant. What does e s t a b l i s h these opposing categories i s the grasp of r e a l i t y , and the a b i l i t y to apply the facts of this r e a l i t y in the making of one's decision. The moral 10k s u p e r i o r i t y of the corporal over Ike stems l a r g e l y from the fact that he possessed t h i s capacity, and Ike did not. It i s increasingly evident, i t seems to me, that the moral position that Faulkner established in Go Down, Moses receives a consistently firmer c l a r i f i c a t i o n in these subsequent novels; as we w i l l see, his l a s t novel of a l l confirms t h i s trend. It i s perhaps tempting, because The Reivers i s a l a s t novel, to conclude that i t w i l l reveal how Faulkner resolves a number of problems he has raised in his e a r l i e r f i c t i o n , or that i t provides the true statement of Faulkner's ultimate moral v i s i o n . Even i f Faulkner had known that t h i s was to be his l a s t novel, such suppositions would, I f e e l , be dangerous, for declared f i n a l statements about almost anything often turn out to be amazingly tentative. There i s no evidence available to indicate that Faulkner did know that i t was his l a s t novel, so i t w i l l of course be necessary to treat this work as a simple continuation of Faulknerian themes, which happens to be, as f a r as this thesis Is concerned, the l a s t manifestation of his moral v i s i o n . But s i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t is one of the clearest expressions of this v i s i o n , and the fact that i t represents much the same position that Faulkner has held f o r some twenty years indicates that he considered this novel to be s i g n i f i c a n t . 105 Very few c r i t i c a l studies of The Reivers have so f a r been published, and of those available, perhaps the soundest comments are those expressed by Gleanth Brooks in his recent study of Faulkner. He describes i t as " e s s e n t i a l l y the story of a boy's i n v i t a t i o n into manhood,"^ and points out how thi s s t r a i n provides a strong thematic l i n k With both "The Bear" and Intruder in the Dust. And he speaks highly of Faulkner's competent handling of the moral question, stating that "some of his basic convictions about human nature receive t h e i r happiest and most s k i l l f u l l y dramatic 11 treatment here." Brooks offers some p a r t i c u l a r y i l l u m -i n a t i n g comments on the moral stature of the Negro characters in t h i s novel: With regard to the world at large, Faulkner's Negro charactets face problems unknown to the White characters. What p a r t i c u l a r y distinguishes men l i k e Ned and Uncle Parsham—and, we might add, men l i k e Lucas Beauchamp—is t h e i r a b i l i t y to carry the spe c i a l burden imposed on them by a caste society. They succeed in maintaining t h e i r dignity though they are denied the usual resources of pride and the ordinary protections that men use to guard t h e i r s e l f - r e s p e c t . To hold on to good humor and good sense and yet avoid cringing and tr u c k l i n g s e r v i l i t y c a l l s f o r sanity, imagination, and moral courage.12 There i s a strong reminder here of the three-legged horse in A Fable, which was also handicapped by a "s p e c i a l burden," and yet which, l i k e the Negroes, attained stature in spite of i t . This theme of bearing one's burden obviously is central to Faulkner's moral v i s i o n , f o r i t recurs time 106 and time again in both his novels and his public statements. At the Nagano conferences, f o r example, Faulkner said, "I don't hold to the idea of a return.... It's got to go forward and we have got to take along with us a l l the 13 rubbish of our mistakes and our errors." This position i s not e s s e n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t from that expounded by the g i r l i n "Delta Autumn," who, i t seems to me, takes on an increasingly important role within the framework of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n , nor i s It d i s t i n c t from that advanced in The  Reivers by Grandfather Priest as he gives Lucius his de-f i n i t i o n of a gentleman: "A gentleman can l i v e through anything. He faces anything. A gentleman accepts the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of his actions and bears the burden of t h e i r con-sequences, even when he did not himself i n s t i g a t e them but only acquiesced to them, didn't say No though he knew he should."11+ The acceptance of t h i s code marks Lucius's attainment of manhood, but i t was not an easy process for him, for a l l through his escapade he seemed to be struggling against what .he knew to be the inevitable facts of growing up. It was not that he thought he could ever go back from experience, f o r , as he said when they crossed the l a s t obstacle on the way to Memphis, "the die was indeed cast now; we looked not back to remorse or regret or might-have-been;" (The Reivers, p. 93).? i t was when he was frightened that he had a f e e l i n g that he was l o s i n g something valuable by growing up too suddenly: 107 Because you should be prepared f o r experience, knowledge, knowing: not bludgeoned unaware in the dark as by a highwayman or footpad,... There are things, circumstances, conditions in the world which.should not be there but are, and you can't escape them and indeed, you would not escape them even i f you had the choice, since th6y too are a part of Motion, of p a r t i c i p a t i n g in l i f e , being a l i v e . But th.6y should arrive with grace, decency. I was having to learn too much too f a s t , unassisted; I had nowhere to put it.".".' to" accept' i t without pain and l a c e r a t i o n s . (The Reivers, p. 155) But, as we see, he shortly accepts the r e a l i t y of his experiences and of th e i r permanent eff e c t on him. After learning about some of the more sordid facts of the world from Otis, he feels "wrenched and wrung and agonised," "and wishes he could obliterate the whole experience. But, as he says to himself: "It was too l a t e . Maybe yesterday, while I was s t i l l a c h i l d , but not now. I knew too much, had seen too much. I was a c h i l d no longer how; innocence and childhood were forever l o s t , forever gone from me." (The Reivers, p. 175) Thus, in a very r e a l sense, Lucius had maturity thrust upon him, and on the whole, he responded nobly to this challenge. It i s true that he was morally outraged at times by some of the more unpleasant facts of this maturity, but naivete in an eleven-year old boy should not, even to-day, b6 a cause for surprise. .What we get in t h i s account of Lucius's experiences i s , of course, a double perspective of their effects on him. In the f i r s t place, 108 we receive a sense of t h e i r immediate effects on him, and of his righteous struggles to avoid them; and secondly, we view them as they are judged through the accumulation of a half-century of wisdom—in other words, the r e a l and l a s t i n g effects of experience. Here, indeed, "the ch i l d i s father of the.man," for the pronouncements of the old Lucius as he t e l l s this story to his own grandson indicate how thoroughly he had incorporated into his own being the essence of these experiences as dramatized in his responses many years e a r l i e r . For example, the entire escapade to Memphis represented a progressive exposure of e v i l and sordidness to the young Lucius, but thi s i s how he describes his version of that experience to his grandson: .., people t a l k about e v i l times or an e v i l generation. There are no such things. No epoch of history nor generation of human beings either ever was or i s or w i l l be big enough to hold th.6 un-virtue of any given moment, any more than they could contain a l l the a i r of any given moment; a l l they can do i s hope to be as l i t t l e soiled as . possible during t h e i r passage through i t i . . . (The Reivers, p. 52) Among other things, this passage reveals c l e a r l y how f a r beyond Ike Faulkner progressed in the development of his moral v i s i o n . The tolerant view of the human si t u a t i o n that Lucius upholds here stands out in sharp contrast to the despair expressed by Ike as an old man In "Delta Autumn," just as Lucius's immediate responses to experience as a young boy represent a f a r more meaningful understanding of r e a l i t y 109 than did Ike's withdrawal from the facts of his experience. Like Chick, Lucius learns early in l i f e that good and e v i l are inextricably mixed up, and that one must take account of this fact in the formulation of a cod6 with which to l i v e by. Lucius's r e a l moral strength l i e s in his a b i l i t y to amend the code he had inherited from his father and grandfather; and they, too, recognize i t s inadequacy in l i g h t of the new experiences to which Lucius has been exposed. "It £a whipping] was wrong," Lucius reasons with himself, "and Father and I both knew i t . I mean, i f aft e r a l l the l y i n g and deceiving and disobeying and conniving I had done, a l l he could do about i t was to whip me, then Father was not good enough for me. And i f a l l that I had done was balanced by no more than that shaving strop, then both of us were debased." (The Reivers, p. 301) There are, of course, other moral agents in The  Reivers besides Lucius, though i t i s es s e n t i a l l y his story, and i t i s his example which educes from these others t h e i r latent moral q u a l i t i e s . And in keeping with the pattern established in Go Down, Moses, Faulkner has invested some of the minor characters with a strong moral r o l e , chief among whom are Mr. Poleymus and Uncle Parsham. It i s not my intention to discuss these characters at great length, but i t should be noted that t h e i r actions and responses 110 represent some of the f i n e s t and most sensitive displays of human f e e l i n g present anywhere in Faulkner, reminiscent of the relationships depicted in "Th6 Fire and the Hearth" and "Pantaloon in Black." Lucius i s p a r t i c u l a r l y impressed by Mr. Poleymus: "And Mr. Poleyraus may be l i t t l e , and he may be old, but h6's a man.... They told me how l a s t year his wife had one of them strokes and cant even move her hand now, and a l l the c h i l l e n are married and gon6, so he has to wash her and feed her and l i f t her in and outen the bed day and night both, besides cooking and keeping house too...." (The Reivers, p. 257) It i s scenes l i k e this which suggest to me that Faulkner places a great deal of significance on many of his peripheral characters; in t h e i r own quiet way, they often pose an ideal of existence which not only manifests a strong moral and e t h i c a l con-science, but which i s grounded firmly in the day-to-day r e a l i t i e s of th e i r world. From time to time in this chapter, I have emphasized the strong relationship which exists between Faulkner's public statements and the moral v i s i o n he has i m p l i c i t l y advanced in these novels. As indicated in Chapter I I , some c r i t i c s profess to f i n d a discrepancy between the two Faulkners, or at any rate to see in the public Faulkner a rather pale reproduction of the a r t i s t . It i s my con-tention that in terms of his moral v i s i o n there has always I l l existed a consistent r e l a t i o n s h i p between what Faulkner says in public and what he says i n his novels. I have already indicated the relevance of some of his Nagano remarks to his position in the three novels discussed i n this chapter; there i s no point i n simply multiplying these examples, but perhaps i t w i l l s u f f i c e to compare a passage from "The Bear" with his public remarks on the same t o p i c . In the early part of this story, Ike has these thoughts about the old order: ... that doomed wilderness whose edges were being constantly and p u n i l y gnawed at by men with plows and axes who feared i t because i t was wilderness, men myriad and nameless even to one another in the land where, th.6 old bear had earned a name, and through which ran not even a mortal beast but an anachronism indomitable and i n v i n c i b l e out of an old dead time, a phantom, epitome and apotheosis of the old wild l i f e . . . . (GDM, p. 193) And many years l a t e r at Nagano Faulkner made these remarks: The wilderness to me was the past, which could be the old e v i l s , the old forces, which were by th e i r own standards right and correct, ruthless, but they l i v e d and died by t h e i r own code.... The bear was a symbol of the old forces.... a natural force which represented not a deliberate e v i l , not a satanic e v i l , but the qu a l i t y of e v i l in sample size and force which exists, which man has got to face and not be a f r a i d of.... the bear representing not e v i l , but an old obsolescence that was strong....15 Th6 d i s t i n c t i o n here i s surely one of technique or emphasis, and not of content; in both passages man i s taken to task for f a i l i n g to recognize the nature of e v i l and hence come to terms with i t . E s s e n t i a l l y , of course, t h i s i s the 112 theme.which runs through the four works discussed in this thesis, and Faulkner's public expression of i t i s simply-more e x p l i c i t than his a r t i s t i c one. We have seen, too, that his comments at the University of V i r g i n i a about the three stages of man's moral growth are adequately supported by the evidence in novels as widely separated as Sartoris and The Reivers, so i t seems clear that this question has been of constant concern to him, whether he was speaking p u b l i c l y or a r t i s t i c a l l y . P u b l i c l y , Faulkner is of course best known through his Nobel Prize speech, delivered in 1950, to which c r i t i c s have frequently alluded in t h e i r attempts to resolve what they consider to be the two d i s t i n c t Faulkners. Much ha3 been said about Faulkner's use of such words as "endure," " p r e v a i l , " "immortality," and so on; some c r i t i c s f e e l that his use of these.words i s mere rhetoric and has nothing to do with his r e a l convictions. . Howe, f o r example, comments upon the effect of such expressions: There are a good many remarks of this kind i n A Fable, most of them spoken by positive char-acters and, therefore, one presumes, meant to be taken seriously. In t h e i r sum they seem l i t t l e more than an example of that assuaging r e l i g i o s i t y which has been so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of our era and i s f i n a l l y no more than a symptom of the w i l l to f a i t h . . . . That Faulkner cares to endorse " b e l i e f " regardless of i t s nature and object or whether i t even has a nature and object; that he puts himself on record affirming his confidence i n man's capacity to endure and even p r e v a i l — s u c h declarations may and obviously do move some of his readers. Others, l i k e myself, 113 remain unmoved and unimpressed as long as Faulkner f a i l s to t e l l us what, how and why man should "believe," and as long as he f a i l s to t e l l us anything about the terms of man's .."prevailing"— i t a l l seems much too much of a vagueness.16 What Howe e s s e n t i a l l y f a i l s to recognize. In th i s analysis i s that the character : i n A Fable who uses the word " p r e v a i l " i s the old general who, compared to the corporal, the runner, and Tobe S u t t e r f i e l d , i s not a positive person. Furthermore, in t h i s novel the general does not say that man w i l l p r e v a i l , but rather that "man and his f o l l y . . . . w i l l p r e v a i l . " (A Fable, p. 3%k) 1° the Nobel Prize speech, on the other hand, Faulkner states that man w i l l p r e v a i l : "I believe that man 17 w i l l not merely endure: he w i l l p r e v a i l . " It i s th i s p o s i t i o n , I contend, which has been consistently i m p l i c i t in his novels since Go Down, Moses, and manifested in the actions and words of the various moral heroes as described in this t h e s i s . Frederick Hoffman explains the significance of the Nobel Prize speech as follows: While the effect of the Stockholm remarks may have seemed sudden, the intent was assuredly not to stri k e an e n t i r e l y new note, but merely to affirm the presence of an old one by reducing i t to minimum essentials.18 It has beBn the central contention i n th i s thesis that this " o l d " note was f i r s t c l e a r l y sounded in Go Down, Moses, and that it.has been consistently re-affirmed in the novels subsequent to th i s work. 111+ Footnotes to Chapter V 1 Vickery, p. 207. 2 James B. Meriwether, The L i t e r a r y Career of William Faulkner. (Princeton, 1961), p. 77. ~~ 3 I b i d . , p. 38. k See p. 1+9 of this t h e s i s . 5 Robert A,. J e l l i f f e , ed., Faulkner at Nagano. (Tokyo, 1956), pp. 28-29. 6 Ibid., p. 76. 7 Vickery, p. 135. 8 Ibid., p. 196. 9 William Faulkner, A Fable. (New York, 195k)> P. 11+• (Hereafter documented i n t e r n a l l y ) . 10 Brooks, p. .350. 11 Ibid., p. 351. 12 Ibid., p. 356. 13 Faulkner at Nagano, pp. 77-78. 12+ William Faulkner, The Reivers. (New York, 1962), p. 302. (Hereafter documented i n t e r n a l l y ) . 15 Faulkner at Nagano, pp. 50, 58-59, 92. 16 Howe, pp. 279-280. 17 William Faulkner, "The Stockholm Address," Three Decades P. 31+8. 18 Frederick J. Hoffman, "William Faulkner: An Introduction Three Decades, p. 31. VI CONCLUSION In this thesis, I have attempted to analyze Go Down, Moses i n terms of i t s significance in the development of Faulkner's moral v i s i o n . To see this work i n i t s proper perspective, I have emphasized throughout the importance of t r e a t i n g i t as a thematically u n i f i e d whole, f o r only then i s i t possible to understand such major episodes as Ike McCaslin's renunciation and the hunting sections of "The Bear." As we have seen, c r i t i c s have tended to d i s -cuss this work almost exclusively in terras, of "The Bear," and by and large they have taken Ike's decision as the most dramatic manifestation of Faulkner's moral p o s i t i o n . I have t r i e d to show that i f we judge Ike's decision i n terms of the responses of the other characters in Go Down, Moses and of those i n the novels written subsequent to thi s work, we are compelled to view his action i n quite a d i f f e r -ent way. As we have seen, t h i s interpretation gives r i s e to ce r t a i n problems, and i t i s i n part the purpose of thi s concluding chapter to try to resolve some of these issues. F i r s t of a l l , i t i s necessary to examine b r i e f l y 116 how some- of the major c r i t i c a l pronouncements discussed i n Chapter II have to be modified in the l i g h t of ray int e r p r e t a t i o n s . The most obvious e f f e c t , i t seems to me, i s that Ike ceases to possess the semi-saintly char-a c t e r i s t i c s with which he had often been credited, f o r i n the t o t a l picture that t h i s thesis presents, he. assumes a s i g n i f i c a n t l y reduced stature. This minimizing of Ike undercuts both the p r i m i t i v i s t i c and the Christian i n t e r -pretations that such c r i t i c s as Campbell and Foster, Lewis, and Waggoner expound, f o r t h e i r view rests on the assumption that Ike possesses certain mystical q u a l i t i e s . Within the scope of the entire work, there i s no p a r t i c u l a r reason for viewing Ike other than as an ordinary human being faced with somewhat the same exigencies as the other plantation inhabitants, and we therefore must judge him ultimately on the basis of his responses to these issues. In this sense, then, the humanistic interpretation takes on the greatest a t t r a c t i o n ; Faulkner himself lends support to t h i s i n t e r -pretation by a comment he made at Nagano: "I would say, and I hope, the only school I belong to, that I want to belong to, i s the humanist school."^ Treating Ike i n s t r i c t l y human terms s i m p l i f i e s another related problem that was b r i e f l y discussed e a r l i e r : what does Faulkner intend Ike to represent, and why does 117 he develop him at such great length? Part of the answer l i e s perhaps in the manner in which this work was composed, for Ike f i r s t appeared i n the separate hunting story, "Lion," fo r which purpose Faulkner in a l l l i k e l i h o o d drew upon his own intimate hunting experiences for the personal q u a l i t i e s he deemed e s s e n t i a l in that world. For there i s no doubt that in th6 wilderness world Ike, both p h y s i c a l l y and morally, was admirably equipped for great and d i s t i n c t i v e achievements. It i s perhaps f o r this-reason—Faulkner's intimate knowledge of the Delta country—that Ike receives so much attention i n both "The Old People" and "The Bear." But i t i s c l e a r , both from the rest of Go Down, Moses and from his own comments l a t e r on, that Faulkner never intended man to l i v e in i s o l a t i o n from society, but that he must continually adjust to the changing world about him. He spoke to t h i s e f f e c t at the University of V i r g i n i a when questioned about his feelings f o r Old Ben: "It's not to choose sides at a l l - j u s t to [be] compassionate [about] the good splendid things which are a part of man's past too, part of man's heritage too, but they were obsolete and had 2 to go...." Ike's problem was that he did not recognize that some of the values he clung to had been rendered obsolete because of changing conditions, and for t h i s reason he became a f a i l u r e in human terms, the measure of which becomes clear only when we consider the work as a 118 whole. And In l i g h t of thi s f a i l u r e , i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see Ike as a spokesman fo r Faulkner, except perhaps in the hunting s t o r i e s . As indicated e a r l i e r , i t seems evident that Faulkner used Ike to represent the f u t i l i t y of basing noble motives on specious sentiments, f o r such motives are e s s e n t i a l l y hollow and non-generating.in t h e i r e f f e c t s . I t seems clear, however, that Ike did pose a problem for Faulkner, and no doubt the temptation was strong to develop him into some kind of noble savage type. That Faulkner did not do t h i s , but rather showed him in purely human terms, i s evidence not only of his a r t i s t r y , but of the r e a l i s t i c and humanistic basis-of his moral v i s i o n . A t h i r d problem which my interpretation gives r i s e to concerns the r e l a t i v e greatness of the novels written p r i o r to Go Down, Moses in contrast with those written a f t e r . Most c r i t i c s agree that novels such as Th6 Sound  and the Fury, Light in August, or Absalom, Absalomj cannot be matched by any of the l a t e r novels, and these were a l l written before Faulkner developed what I have described as a most s i g n i f i c a n t moral v i s i o n . Does this mean, then, that the attainment of a meaningful moral v i s i o n i s attended by a lessening of one's a r t i s t i c powers? This i s a c r i t i c a l question which cannot be answered f u l l y her6, f o r i t brings in discussions of technique as well as a careful analysis of the e a r l i e r novels. But i t is perhaps s u f f i c i e n t to 119 observe that Faulkner's attainment of a sound moral v i s i o n was accompanied by an attempt on his part to achieve a greater degree of u n i v e r s a l i t y through an increasing use of abstraction and generality. It i s perhaps th i s approach which caused some of the l a t e r novels to be i n f e r i o r in execution, though I do not think the i n f e r i o r i t y in a l l cases Is as great as some c r i t i c s suggest. For example, in describing A Fable as an accumulation of "so s t r i k i n g an ensemble of mistakes," Howe i s as g u i l t y of misreading th i s novel as some of the e a r l i e r c r i t i c s were in misreadin "The Bear." I think that these l a t e r novels, and perhaps es p e c i a l l y A Fable, need to be read with a d i f f e r e n t set of c r i t e r i a , than obtained with the e a r l i e r novels. Cer-t a i n l y It is not possible to read them in a meaningful way without understanding th6 moral position that Faulkner increasingly emphasized in his l a t e r years, both p u b l i c l y and a r t i s t i c a l l y . This point i s made clear by Waggoner: The l a t t e r part of Faulkner's career has been marked by three p a r a l l e l developments: a new stress on the moral function of art, a gradual change of emphasis from despair to affirmation, and a tendency to make his themes e x p l i c i t through the use of spokesman characters,i| This thesis has attempted to show that, beginning with Go Down, Moses, and extending through Intruder in the  Dust, A Fable, and The Reivers, Faulkner's moral v i s i o n has been manifested in an increasingly meaningful pattern, 120 though e s s e n t i a l l y i t s basis remains as i t was formulated in the e a r l i e r work. It i s not suggested that this v i s i o n Is reducible to a formula, but nevertheless, i t i s clear that such q u a l i t i e s as endurance, humility, courage, f l e x i -b i l i t y and s e l f - s a c r i f i c e are at the root of i t . Or perhaps i t i s as simple, as Cleanth Brooks sees i t : . The t r u t h of the matter i s that Faulkner's world has always had room in i t for a wide range of ex-perience and that Faulkner has never offered his world as proof of any sp e c i a l thesis about human nature other than the marvelous capacity human beings have f o r goodness and e v i l . 5 At any rate, Go Down, Moses occupies a c r u c i a l position in the formulation of t h i s v i s i o n , for i n the various worlds that this work reveals, and in the numerous responses to experience and r e a l i t y that i t dramatizes, are found th.6 multiple and complex components of a meaningful l i f e . 121 Footnotes to Chapter VI 1 Faulkner at Nagano, p. 95. 2 Faulkner In the University, p. 277. . 3 Howe, p. 268. 1* Waggoner, p. 213. •" 5 Brooks, p. 366. BIBLIOGRAPHY I Works' of William Faulkner. (This l i s t includes only those works cited in the text.) A Fable. New York: Random House, 1950, 195k* Go Down, Moses. New York: The Modern Library, 19l*2. Intruder in the Dust. New York: The New American Library, The Reivers. New *ork: Random House, 1 9 6 2 . -"The Stockholm Address," William Faulkner: Three Decades  of C r i t i c i s m , Frederick J. Hoffman and Olga W. Vickery, ads. N6W York: Harbinger Books, 1963, pp. 3U7-3U8. The Town. New York: Vintage Books, 1961. The Wild Palms. New York: The New American Library, 1959. II Books. Brooks, Cleanth. William Faulkner: The Yoknapatawpha Country. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963. Campbell, Harry Modean and Ruel E. Foster. William Faulkner: A C r i t i c a l Approach. Norman: University of Oklahoma. Press, 1951. Cash, W.J. The Mind of the South. Garden C i t y : Doubleday Anchor Books, -191*1. Cowley, Malcolm, ed. The Portable Faulkner. New York: The Viking Press, 191*6, Gwynn, Frederick L. and Joseph L. Blotner, eds. Faulkner  in the University. C h a r l o t t e s v i l l e : University of Virgina Press, 1959. Hoffman, Frederick J . William Faulkner. New Haven: College and University Press, I96I. 123 Hoffman, Frederick J. and Olga W. Vickery, eds. William  Faulkner; Three Decades of C r i t i c i s m . New York: Harbinger Books, 1963. ' , Howe, Irv i n g . William Faulkner: A C r i t i c a l Study. New York: Vintage Books, 1962. J 6 l l i f f e , Robert A., ed. Faulkner at Nagano. Tokyo: Kenkyusha Ltd., 1956. 3rd edition, 1962. Longley, John Lewis, J r . The Tragic Mask: A Study of Faulkner's Heroes. Chapel H i l l : University of North Carolina Press, 1957. Meriwether, James B. The L i t e r a r y Career of William Faulkner: A B i b l i o g r a p h i c a l Study. Princeton: Princeton University Library, 1961. William Faulkner: A Check L i s t . Princeton: Princeton University Library,- 1957. O'Connor, William Van. The Tangled F i r e of William Faulkner. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1954* Olmsted, Frederick Law. The Slave States, Harvey Wish, ed. New York: Capricorn Books, 1959. S l a t o f f , Walter J. Quest for F a i l u r e : A Study of William  Faulkner. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, i 9 6 0 . Thompson, Lawrance. William Faulkner: An Introduction and Interpretation. New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1963. Utley, Francis L., Lynn Z. Bloom, and Arthur F. Kinney, eds. ' Bear, Man, and God: Seven Approaches to William  Faulkner's r'The Bear." New York: Random House. 196U. Vickery, Olga W. The Novels of William Faulkner. [Baton Rouge] Louisiana State University Press, 1959. Waggoner, Hyatt H. William Faulkner: From Jefferson to the World. [Lexington]: University of Kentucky Press, 1959. 12k I I I A r t i c l e s . Brumm, Ursula. "Wilderness and C i v i l i z a t i o n : A Note on William Faulkner," William Faulkner: Three Decades  of C r i t i c i s m , Frederick J. Hoffman and Olga W. Vickery, eds. New York: Harbinger Books, 19&3, pp. 125-134. Hicks, G r a n v i l l e . "Building Blocks of a Gentleman," Saturday Review (June 2, 1962), 27. Hoffman, Frederick J . "William Faulkner: An Introduction," William Faulkner: Three Decades of C r i t i c i s m , Frederick J. Hoffman and Olga W. Vickery, eds. N6w York: Harbinger Books, I963, pp. 1-50. Kazin, A l f r e d . "F-aulkner in His Fury," Modern American  F i c t i o n , A. "Walton L i t z , ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1963, pp. 166-178. LaBudde, Kenneth. "Cultural Primitivism in William Faulkner' 'Th6 Bear,'" Bear, Man/ and God: Seven Approaches to  William Faulkner's "The Bear," Francis L. Utley, Lynn Z. Bloom, and Arthur F. Kinney, eds. New York: Random House, 1961*, pp. 226-233. Lewis, R.W.B. "The Hero in the New World: Faulkner's 'The Bear.'" "Interpretations of American L i t e r a t u r e , Charles Fiedelson, Jr.. and Paul Brodtkorb, J r . , eds. New York: Oxford University Press, 1959, PP. 332-31*8. L i t z , A. Walton. "William Faulkner's Moral V i s i o n , " Southwest Review, 37 (Summer, 19512), 200-209. Lydenberg, John. "Nature Myth in Faulkner's 'The Bear.'" American Li t e r a t u r e , 21* (March, 1952), 62-72. Marvin, John R. Review of "William Faulkner and His South," an unpublished manuscript by Robert Penn Warren. Faulkner Studies, I (Spring, 1952),' 16. O'Connor, William Van. "The Wilderness Theme i n Faulkner's 'The Bear,'" William Faulknea°: Three Decades of  C r i t i c i s m , Frederick J. Hoffman and Olga W. Vickery, eds. New York: Harbinger Books, 1963, pp. 322-330. Stavrou, C.N. "Ambiguity in Faulkner's Affirmation,'' The Personalist, I4O (Spring, 1959), 169-177. 125 Taylor, Walter P. "Let My People Go: The White Man's Heritage in Go Down, Moses," Bear, Man, and God; Seven Approaches to William Faulkner's "The Bear," Francis L. Utley, Lynn Z. Bloom, and Arthur F. Kinney, eds. New York: Random House, ±9bi\, pp. 290-301. Warren, Robert Penn. "William Faulkner," Selected Essays. New York: Random House, 1958, pp. 59-79. Wh6eler, Otis B. "Faulkner's Wilderness," American  L i t e r a t u r e , 31 (May, 1959), 127-136. Woodruff, Neal, J r . "'The Bear' and Faulkner's Moral V i s i o n , " Studies in Faulkner. (Carnegie Series in English, No. 6), Pittsburgh, 1961, pp. i+3-67. 

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