Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Malmgren, Carl

Second Advisor

Lackey, Kris

Third Advisor

Hazlett, John


William Faulkner is famous for stating he agrees with Henri Bergson's optimistic philosophy of time, a philosophy that emphasizes human freedom and action precisely as they relate to time. However, many of Faulkner's characters are defined by their stagnant and lethargic personalities which cannot change; these characters are held immobile by an over – identification with the rich history of their mythic, southern past. This paper, through in depth explorations of Faulkner's masterpieces, Absalom, Absalom! and The Sound and The Fury seeks to consider human mythmaking as the key to understanding Faulkner's difficult works. This critical approach allows us to better understand these works as conflicts between diachronic (linear or "normal") time and synchronic time (mythological or circular) time or more simply conflicts between the brute, inexorable world of fact and the human, meaning making world that is often a specious undermining of reality and change.


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