- 立正大学文学部研究紀要 (ISSN:09114378)
- no.2, pp.33_a-13_a, 1986-03-20
I deal with the parallelism of the titles and the symbols between The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner in this paper. These works are constructed by the mental pictures of them. In this paper, first, I will examine their titles' meaning as the mental pictures, and then, will examine the fact of both writers having used "shadow, " "light, " "flower" and "weed" as symbols of "death, " "life, " "innocence" and "evil" in two works. As the problem of the symbols, first, I will point out the shadow as a symbol of death. It is associated with Dimmesdale, and can be find even in Hester who is struggling against her fate. This kind of shadow is closely associated with Quentin and even Benjy, too. In the beginning of Chapter two, Quentin is possessed of time as soon as he wakes in the morning, and absorbed in relation with the time and shadows that appear on the curtains, and then, he begins to make preparations for suicide. The shadow and his death present us important association. Second, I will consider about the light that makes a contrast with the shadow is found in the behaviors of Pearl and Benjy. In the forest, when Hester comes nigh on the sunlight, it withdraws itself from her, but it is caught by Pearl. Even in the forest where Hester and Dimmesdale commit a moral sin, Pearl seems to be shining "like a bright-apparelled vision, in a sunbeam." The light is very significant for Benjy as well as Pearl. Benjy stops crying when "Dilsey opens the fire-door and draw a chair up in front of it, " and touching Caddy's "Cold bright face, " "she smelled like trees" for him. Third, we can find one more similarity between Pearl and Benjy. It is an innocence. Each innocence is used as a contrast with sin being caused by sexual corruption. They take the rebellious manners for sinners or people who are about to commit sin with their puritan innocence. Benjy is closely associated with flowers like innocent Pearl is connected with rose as well as anemone and columbine. Fourth, I will examine the association with the evil and the weeds through the manners of Chillingworth and Jason. Chillingworth, an avatar of evil, finds "a dark, flabby leaf" that is "growing on a grave, " and tries to use it for the mental disease of Dimmesdale, and egoistic Jason gets "beggar lice and twigs and stuff all over" him, and has his hand on a bunch of poison oak, while he follows Miss Quentin who has run away with the men wearing a red tie. I have tried to examine the parallelism of symbols between The Scarlet Letter and The Sound and the Fury. This is not to be a study of Hawthorne's influence on Faulkner, but of symbols that are reflected in the works of these nineteenth-century New Englander and twentieth-century Southerner. I am sure that the parallelism of these symbols suggests that careful thought of each writing might throw light on that of the other.