Critical Analysis of the first 41 lines in Chapter Three of William Faulkner's "Light in August." Focus mainly upon themes of Landscape and the Identity of the character,Gail Hightower.

Essay by Petra1986College, UndergraduateB+, April 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.6 1 reviews

Downloaded 68 times

The excerpt chosen describes the landscape, which surrounds Gail Hightower, and the way in which he responds to it. Also, the passage shows the reasons for the way he is and the life he leads. The themes of landscape and identity are clearly shown and they intertwine to create an environment that is somewhat forlorn, lonely and entirely one of isolation.

Firstly, I shall have to say a bit about the man being analyzed, Gail Hightower. He was a Presbyterian priest who had moved to Jefferson to become the parish priest. The relationship that he shared with his wife was essentially one of bitterness and a lack of love. She used to go to Memphis and have affairs there, until someone threw her out of a window. However, there were rumours that Hightower had either killed her or that she had committed suicide. Soon after and even before his wife's death, the community ostracized Hightower.

He was obsessed with cavalrymen (mainly his grandfather), horses and the Civil War. The only things he preached upon the pulpit were these topics. His divine rapture and his apparent love of this violence, made him lose his priesthood, pride and even his entire congregation.

Hightower's identity is reflected within the environment in which he lives. It is mentioned in lines 7 and 8, that the house in which he lives, is hidden almost entirely from the street lamp. "So hidden it is that the light from the corner street lamp scarcely touches it." The way I interpret this is that, Gail Hightower is a man who hides from the light and from the truth. Like his house, he prefers to be in the background and not a part of the outside world as such. The only part of the bungalow that is exposed is...