Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When You Give a Girl a Library...

Public Domain CCO / Pixabay
All I had to do was browse the Faulkner section of the library, and it was like themes of family, childhood, and parenthood started to launch themselves at me. Needless to say, I found several new sources for both Faulkner and Carroll's portrayals of authority and themes of family in their works. I couldn't help but check just a few out to take home with me...I feel a bit like a literary hoarder.

At any rate, here is a new and improved list of sources:

THESIS: Just as Alice is ridiculously scorned, mislead, and reprimanded by the authority figures in her journey through Wonderland, the offspring of Addie Bundren represent the precarious condition of children that do not have reliable authority figures in their lives in the novel As I Lay Dying. Lewis Carroll and William Faulkner's works identify the damage caused to children by dysfunctional family environments and autocratic adults.

  • Bassett, John E. “Family Conflict in The Sound and the Fury.” In Critical Essays on William Faulkner: The Compson Family. Ed. Arthur Kinney. Boston: G. K. Hall and Co., 1982, pp. 408-24. 
Dewy Dell’s “fall into promiscuous sexuality seems related to the lack of an adequate mother” (p. 411). Addie, the mother, “will not substitute false words for true experience” (p. 415). I think that this source would be a great way for me to look into how Faulkner portrays the upbringing of children and the importance of a parent/mother. I can compare this to the different authority figures in the Alice books, and the lack of a permanent parent.
  • Carroll, Lewis. Useful and Instructive Poetry. London: Butler & Tanner Ltd. Frome, 1954. Print.
This is a book of poetry by Lewis Carroll. Because many of these poems parody instructive poems for young children, it would be a useful way to look at Carroll’s ideas on authority.
  • d'Evegnee, Eric. "The Unspoken Heritage: The Influence of Family in Steinbeck and Faulkner." In (pp.77-84) George, Stephen K.; Heavilin, Barbara A.(eds).John Steinbeck and his contemporaries.Lanham, MD; London: Scarecrow Press, 2007. pp.xxii, 318.2008:175192008:17519]. (2007) Print.
This source discusses the influence of family in Faulkner’s writing. It would be interesting to discover Faulkner’s ideals concerning family and how it is portrayed in his works. This could be contrasted with Alice’s lack of family in the Alice books.
  • Kirk, Robert W. and Marvin Klotz. Faulkner’s People: A Complete Guide and Index to Characters in the Fiction of William Faulkner. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1963. Print.
This book names all of Faulkner’s fictional characters, gives their description, and provides page numbers for when they are referenced in their respective novel. This will help me to analyze each character, their background, their flaws, and the ways in which they interact with other characters.
  • Roberts, Diane. Faulkner and Southern Womanhood. Athens and London: The University of Georgia Press, 1994. Print.
This book analyzes Faulkner’s portrayal of women in his novels. There is a chapter entitled, “Mothers and Motherhood,” which will be perfect for me to see examples of Faulkner’s patterns of portraying mothers and their relationships with their children.
  • Ross, Stephen M. Fiction’s Inexhaustible Voice: Speech and Writing in Faulkner. Athens and London: The University of Georgia Press, 1989. Print.
This source analyzes speech and writing in Faulkner. In the index, I am able to look up analysis on each member in the Bundren family. This will help me to analyze the way Faulkner portrays his characters through writing and how that shows their character flaws or the ways in which they affect other characters.
  • Sielke, Sabine. Reading Rape: The Rhetoric of Sexual Violence in American Literature and Culture, 1790-1990. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press. 2002. eBook., Database: eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)
This source discusses rape and sexual violence in literature. It specifically discusses Faulkner and As I Lay Dying, with Dewey Dell’s rapes in the novel. On page 173, it talks about the absence of family but “relatives all over the place.” This reminds me of Alice’s absence of family, but the kings, queens, and other mentors that she meets on her adventures. This eBook would discuss the negative effect that this has on raising children and their safety.
  • Sundmark, Björn. Alice in the Oral-Literary Continuum. Ed. Marianne Thormählen and Beatrice Warren. Lund, Sweden: Lund University Press, 1999. Print.
This book analyzes the text and linguistics of the Alice books. There are two chapters in this book that look very useful: “Verbal Dueling” and “Conversations.” Here, I can analyze Alice’s interactions with other characters through dialogue.
  • Sykes, John, 1952. The Romance of Innocence and the Myth of History: Faulkner's Religious Critique of Southern Culture. Ed. by John Sykes. no. 7 Vol. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1989. Print.
This source “[provides] a unified interpretation of the religious dimension of Faulkner’s greatest fiction.” It might be interesting to compare childhood innocence with the innocence of mankind compared to an all-knowing God. It would also be interesting to remark on the presence of religion in Alice’s world and in Vardaman’s world.
  • Urgo, Joseph R. Faulkner’s Apocrypha: A Fable, Snopes, and the Spirit of Human Rebellion. Jackson and London: University Press of Mississippi, 1989. Print.
This work attempts to explain Faulkner’s vision in his writing. The first sentence of this book says, “William Faulkner’s fictional production is a sustained assault on common sense ideas about reality and on what passes by ordinary for truth, authority, and perception” (3). I think this will help me to understand his reason for portraying a dysfunctional family in As I Lay Dying and the way in which he questions authority.
  • Vanderwerken, David L. Faulkner's Literary Children: Patterns of Development. Ed. David L. Vanderwerken. vol. 8. Vol. New York: P. Lang, 1997. Print.
Although this source does not discuss Vardaman from As I Lay Dying, it does discuss other characters that Faulkner has used to show his portrayal of children and their development. It will help me see how this author of realism views childhood. I can contrast it with the way Carroll portrays Alice’s innocence and development in the Alice books.
Phew! What a list! Now, I'm going to sink my teeth into some of these sources a little more with Alice in Wonderland and As I Lay Dying close at hand, complete my outline, and write, write, write!


  1. So I love your thesis! I am really looking forward to seeing your paper continue to develop, I think your idea interestingly engages Alice and As I Lay Dying.

  2. I was looking for books that discusses dysfunctianl families in literature and, instead, found this commentary on the evolution of the portrayal of the family from the Victorian era to the modern era. I thought it might be interesting since Carroll wrote in the Victorian era. Here is a summary of the book as well:

    "Few changes in literary history are as dramatic as the replacement of the sentimental image of the home in Victorian fiction by the emphasis in modernist fiction on dysfunctional families and domestic alienation. In The End of Domesticity Charles Hatten offers a provocative theory for this seminal shift that even now shapes literary depictions of the family. Discussing works by Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Henry James, Hatten shows how these major writers anticipate modernist preoccupations with domestic alienation while responding to their own historical context of changes in, and controversies about, gender roles and the family. Most originally, Hatten argues that these writers' representations of gender and domesticity are strongly influenced by anxieties about capitalism and the marketplace as well as the changing nature of gender roles in late Victorian England. Charles Hatten is Associate Professor of English at Bellarmine University in Louisville."

    Hatten, Charles. The end of domesticity: alienation from the family in Dickens, Eliot, and James. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2010. Print.

  3. It's on the fifth floor of the library, FYI.