Cite this Literature Note Summary and Analysis: "Dry September" Introduction As a Southern writer, Faulkner draws upon the mores and prejudices of his own regional culture to create unforgettable characters and settings for his novels and short stories. Although the story revolves around the killing of Will Mayes, the actual act of killing is omitted in order to keep our attention focused on the causes of the violence, and on the mental and physical atmospheres that breed such senseless and random acts of cruelty. This powerful study of a cultural mentality that promotes rash, swift killings of black men is based on the Southern White Goddess concept. In its simplest form, the White Goddess concept refers to any "lily-white" Southern woman, who is raised in a society that protects her from any unpleasantries.
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He was Nobel Prize winner in for literature and one of the great southern writers who narrated the traditions and chauvinism of his own regional culture to describe his novels and short stories. The characters in his work are memorable forever. Stop Using Plagiarized Content.
The story is about the events connected the murder of Will Mayes but the actual events of murder is not well mentioned to divert the attention of a reader towards the causes of violence psychologically as well as physical torture. In this story Minnie Cooper was neglected by the society and her feelings about her womanhood affected her psychologically, rather than the murder of Will Mayes.
This failure to understanding by other human beings was one of the major events connected to the death of Will Mayes. Miss Minnie Cooper was psychologically tortured by the society and finds it difficult to accept herself that what the society thinks about her. She wants to change their impression of her and she wants to be liked by them. As like Will Mayes was murdered in spite of his innocence, Minnie is disgraced from the society even though she did not made any mistake.
An unmarried woman was supposed as pure. This story is a devasting critique of the southern stories that dealt with the lives of women. Narrating the southern society this story is a mixture of past and present events to portray the motivation of characters.
Hence it remained as a critique of southern society. References: Ferguson, James. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, Linda Welshimer Wagner.
Michigan State University Press, Volpe, Edmond. New York: Octagon,
Faulkner's Short Stories
A rumor is going around that a black man has done something to Miss Minnie Cooper. None of the men in the barber shop know what went down. One of the barbers, a man named Henry Hawkshaw Hawk for short , says that he knows the black man, Will Mayes, and Minnie, a white woman around forty years old. Angrily, a man in the barber shop, Butch, asks how the barber can take the word of a black man over that of a white woman. Hawkshaw implies that because Minnie is unmarried and "old" she imagines that men are coming on to her. The man being shaved by the barber asks if the barber is calling Minnie a liar. He repeats his insinuation about Minnie.
Taken from his Selected Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the third person by an unnamed narrator and very early on in the story the reader realises that Faulkner is exploring what is commonly referred to as the White Goddess concept. This is a concept in whereby the Southern male believes that a woman, particularly a white Southern woman cannot tell a lie. In essence they are to be held up on a pedestal and everything they say is to be believed, without any need for proof. It is through this concept that the story develops, Faulkner highlighting to the reader the willingness of the men of Jefferson, particularly John McLendon, to believe Minnie Cooper and form a lynch mob to kill Will Mayes. It is also at the beginning of the story that Faulkner explores the theme of gossip and rumour. With the exception of Henry Hawkshaw the barber each man in the barber shop believes the rumour that Will Mayes has raped Minnie Cooper.