14 - This scene embraces then both the comic in a gothic...

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Unformatted text preview: This scene embraces then both the comic in a gothic and grotesque way, and the tragic in a pathetic way. Vardaman cannot express his grief and is so neglected as a child that in trying to help his mother and in trying to alleviate his own sense of grief, he unintentionally mutilates the dead body of his own mother. Perhaps part of the greatness of the novel is that the reader does not know how to respond to such a scene, whether the response should be one of horrified tragedy over the ultimate and final result, or whether one should respond with a grotesque comic view of the entire episode. The fact that Faulkner allows Vernon Tull to narrate this bizarre section adds to the confusion of our response. The reason that Tull narrates this section is that he is such a dull person, therefore emphasizing the contrast between Tull as a dull and objective narrator and the bizarre aspect of the...
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