Faulkner's "The Unvanquished"

Though Faulkner's The Unvanquished is set during the Civil War, another
war is being fought simultaneously. This second war is not one of guns and
thievery, but one of beliefs. It is a conflict between two philosophies:
idealism and pragmatism. This war rages on throughout the novel, but is decided
by one event: Bayard's decision not to avenge his father's death.
An idealist is one who is guided by ideals, especially one that places
ideals before practical considerations. Life in Yoknapatawpha was idealistic, as
was life everywhere in the South at the time. The Southern Code was entirely
idealistic. Throughout the book, idealism seems dominant over pragmatism. For
example, all of the ...

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belief. Bayard Sartoris was a pragmatist. He 'let his conscience be his guide'.
Telling his father about Drusilla's attempt to seduce him and refusing to avenge
his father's death are two good examples of this. In the beginning of the novel,
Bayard is shown to be simple minded, but as time passes on and Bayard grows into
a young man, his mind develops and he ultimately ends the battle between
idealism and pragmatism in one carefully thought out decision.
The battle between the two philosophies is very subtle in the beginning.
But it grows and strengthens, and since there can only be one winner, the
pragmatist is victorious. When Bayard's father is killed, and Bayard denies
Drusilla the satisfaction of vengeance, Drusilla's idealistic beliefs are
shattered, and she is forced to leave, thus ending the war. The Southern Code
becomes nothing, because one person refuses to obey it.
When Faulkner wrote The Unvanquished, the Civil War appeared to be the
main event, but hidden ...

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Faulkner's "The Unvanquished". (2006, August 6). Retrieved March 20, 2018, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Faulkners-The-Unvanquished/50292
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Added: 8/6/2006 05:06:25 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 436
Pages: 2

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