Sanctuary

sanctuarySanctuary
by William Faulkner
1931/ 315 pages
rating:  8 / classic

This is one of Faulkner’s lesser known works and probably with good reason, imo.  The plot takes over more than in his other works.    He said himself it was a “pot-boiler” and written only for the money.   That may have been partially true,  but it’s still Faulkner and some scholars have some interesting ideas as to themes and symbolism.  Sanctuary is almost a stereotype of Southern Gothic what with the old mansion and creepy characters portending huge violence added to the socio-economic (class) differences and dialect of the 1920s American South.

The story revolves around the rape of a rich college girl from a powerful family.  She is left by her drunken boyfriend at the home of a bootlegger and is then held captive until she is transferred to a brothel in Memphis.  There are a couple murders and a trial involved as well as

The dialogue is mostly low-class Southern and repetitious in places similar to  “As I Lay Dying,  an excellent book.   The plot line skips in places so the reader is not quite sure what is going on until later when someone explains.  I think there are some very sexist elements to the way Faulkner has Temple behave (perhaps not).  The symbolism of the old decaying mansion,  the blind man on the porch,  the baby,  and society’s corruption from top to bottom seems a bit heavy handed to me.

Anyway,  another Faulkner novel read  – that’s 7 out of 19 per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Faulkner_bibliography .

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