Response to "That Evening Sun" by William Faulkner
The story "That Evening Sun" by William Faulkner struck a chord deep inside me. I identify with Nancy, having once been addicted to cocaine myself, and I know how it makes a person feel. I understand Caddy and Jason's curiosity and selfishness, and the way Faulkner uses the children's questions and arguments to help the plot develop. I am partial to tales of the eerie and bizarre, and enjoy the undercurrent of horror that is present in much of Faulkner's work. Additionally, Faulkner's several blasphemies and references to atheism in his story, intentional or not, amused me.
The fact that the name of Nancy's violent beau is Jesus (pronounced "HAY-soos when spoken, but which can be taken as the name of God's son when written) may be coincidence, but I thought it to be Faulkner's way of poking fun at organized religion.
Throughout the text, Jesus is depicted as an aggressive man with noticeable mental problems: " 'Jesus is... dodging them city po-lice for a while, I reckon.' " (pg. 493). Jesus makes a reference to abortion as well (" 'I can cut down the vine it did come off of,' Jesus said." pg. 492), something sure to offend any religious person who detected it. Faulkner also pushes the envelope on page 495, where he writes " 'Jesus is a nigger,' Jason said." The narrator of the story, Quincy, mentions twice that his father told the children to stay away from Jesus: "...father told us not to have anything to do with Jesus...", pg. 491. Also, near the end of the tale, Faulkner writes " 'Jesus is... not there... he went away a long time ago.'", which I took as a...