William Faulkner's novel "The Unvanquished".

Essay by ibyomom917High School, 10th gradeA, April 2003

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In William Faulkner's book The Unvanquished, the revenge theme unifies the story. Each main character tries to get revenge on someone or something. Bayard and Ringo avenging the death of Granny show the first form of revenge: traditional Southern revenge. Second, when Drusilla goes off to war to avenge the death of her fiancé, she kills plenty of men but she never receives closure on his death. The third and final form of revenge, when Bayard avenges the death of his father, Colonel Sartoris, he shows the most sophisticated form of revenge. People usually think of revenge as making someone else pay for what they did to someone, but in reality, it releases pressure and grief from the family. In the heart, revenge does not focus on the villain, but rather on the grieving family and friends.

When Granny dies, she leaves behind many mourning people, including Ringo and Bayard.

They have no way to get rid of their dolor, except to vindicate her death. However, this journey relieves Ringo and Bayard, rather than Granny, or her assassin. This explains Ringo's eagerness to join Bayard on their journey. Uncle Buck shouts,

"'Need me or not,' he hollered, 'by Godfrey, I'm going. You cant stop me. You mean to tell me you don't want me to go with you?'" (Faulkner, 159)

Ringo, as well as Bayard, needs closure on Granny's death, and the only way for him to get that closure is for him to help avenge Granny's death. This proves that avenging a death is the Southern form of closure for the family.

Bayard's Cousin Drusilla goes to war to fight and avenge her fiancé's death. In this time period it violates the Southern Code for a lady to fight and spend the night with men, especially at war.