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A Light in August

A Light in August - The Grimm Truths About Society and Joe...

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The Grimm Truths About Society and Joe Christmas The Grimm Truths About Society and Joe Christmas In the novel, A Light in August, William Faulkner introduces us to a wide range of characters of various backgrounds and personalities. Common to all of them is the fact that each is type cast into a certain role in the novel and in society. Lena is the poor, white trash southern girl who serves to weave the story together. Hightower is the fanatic preacher who is the dark, shameful secret of Jefferson. Joanna Burden is the middle-aged maiden from the north who is often accused of being a nigger-lover . And Joe Christmas is the epitome of an outsider. None of them are conventional, everyday people. They are all in some way disjointed from society; they do not fit in with the crowd. That is what makes them intriguing and that is why Faulkner documents their story. Percy Grimm is another such character and he plays a vital role in the novel. He is the one to finally terminate Joe Christmas, who has been suffering his entire life. Grimm is the enforcer, the one man who will uphold American pride at all costs. He also stands for everything in the world that has held Christmas back. He is the prototype of the ruthless enemy who is the source of all of Christmas struggles. And Christmas can never escape him. He can run, as he has been doing all his life and as he does in his desperate attempt to escape. But he can never hide, as he tries to do at Hightower s and as he has been hiding his true self from the world he hates so much. Percy Grimm represents the unmerciful society that has restrained and persecuted Joe Christmas; it is only fitting that he should be the one to finally bring him down in the end. Percy Grimm was born into the American south and grew up to be a symbol and backbone of the environment he was raised in. His only regret in life is being born too late. He feels that his sole purpose in life would be to fight in World War I and defend the country to which he is completely and utterly devoted. But the war happened to occur in the time period
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