Andre Bleikasten's The Awakening

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In “The Setting,” André Bleikasten concentrates on the battle between man and the surrounding environment. He states that there is a certain temporal inactivity to the earth that Faulkner creates in “As I Lay Dying.” This in turn is interspersed with the progression of man, therefore suggesting that Faulkner’s world has the power to help and hinder the development of life. Bleikasten further states that he believes man is entwined with these powers of nature. He states that this is evident in Faulkner’s writing through removing psychological symbols that readers often focus on. As a result, all that remains is the story of man battling their critical disputant Nature. Bleikasten therefore highlights that this merging of man and nature leaves…show more content…
It would seem that as characters in “As I Lay Dying” move and take a journey, nature also proceeds parallel to them. Bleikasten accentuates that Faulkner keeps nature and his characters moving as it is read. In turn, they cease when the reader stops. He expresses that life itself is embedded into the writing. Then Bleikasten brings to light the passages of great movement that the characters experience which are then often followed by a halt of some description. Through this, he explores the degree to which the motionless passages are actually immobile. It is evident that moments of inactivity are often littered with some form of dynamic energy. He calls these scenes “frozen moments” (278). He suggests that not only are these moments intended to be distanced from time’s transitions, but also reality itself, as even though stillness may be apparent, it is usually indeed false. Bleikasten infers that as Faulkner continues to write these moments of immobility that convey motion, they are also parallel to time and timelessness. In turn, these descriptions ultimately take on the form of memories, that is, a stagnant yet stirring…show more content…
The continuous exchange of assets between these elements creates a network that speaks of multiple interpretations. For example, the odd shapes in nature that are recognized through similes often appear human. Therefore, Bleikasten once again highlights the unity of man and nature. Through linking ideas of stasis, motion and metamorphosis, Bleikasten suggests that the world in which the Bundrens reside is returning to a state of chaos. This is due to the disorder presented. Darl’s early description of the setting highlights the transition from visual order to upset. As a result of these moments, temporary effects on our senses, such as sounds described, are maintained for longer than the initial stimulus, creating a constant distortion. Following on with the apocalyptic feeling, Bleikasten suggests that space and perspective is flattened, therefore accentuating the vulnerability of characters. The setting is also reduced to a two dimensional form highlighting the distortion between fiction and reality. All types of cosmic forces of nature battle against the Bundrens and foreshadow the apocalypse from the beginning. Characters such as Tull and Darl may describe a similar event from their perspective, emphasizing this savage decent. Bleikasten ties this to images of elemental dissolution that ultimately refer to the concept of rootlessness. This rootlessness, metamorphosis and apocalypse

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