The plot of Light in August takes place in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, created by William Faulkner as a stage for most of his books. The word "Yoknapatawpha" comes from the Chickasaw language and is composed of two separate units: "yocona" (split) and "petopha" (land), which denotes "split land". However, Faulkner gave "Yoknapatawpha” his own meaning: "water flowing slow through the flatland,"1 in my opinion, the first connotation more accurately renders the social situation in the American South for which the Yoknapatawpha County is an allegory.
In my thesis, I would like to present the situation of a maladjusted individual, in the context of social relations, illustrated with an example of the main character. I will seek to prove that the novel is a metaphor for the conflict between the individual, who fights for his place in the society, and the system, in which the struggle is doomed to be lost. Because the notion of race in Light in August is a metaphor for differences between people, the book has the universal dimension that goes far beyond the political and social relations of the American South.
The work is divided into three chapters. The first one describes the history of racial segregation and explains the concept of race and racism. The second chapter is devoted to the social situation in the South of the United States in the context of the protagonists' life. The last chapter is an analysis of the protagonist as an individual living in a specific socio-cultural context and as the symbol of the uniqueness of each person.
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