The Impact of William Faulkner

William Faulkner is one of, if not the greatest, writers of all time. Faulkner was born September 25, 1897 and was raised in the lovely state of Mississippi. He died at the age of 64 on July 6, 1962. His works are recognized for their in-depth characters and hidden meanings. William Faulkner’s writings received many prestigious awards during his lifetime including a Nobel Peace Prize. Faulkner is revered as one of the greatest writers in American and Southern literature. William Faulkner is still one of the most influential writers of our culture. His works are studied by everyone from college freshman to professors in literature. Faulkner can be read and understood by anyone.

During his early life, William Faulkner moved from Albany, Mississippi to what would become his final resting place of Oxford, Mississippi. He was the oldest child and certainly the most creative. Faulkner began writing and drawing at a very young age because he became bored with his education. Life in Oxford for Faulkner, in my opinion, is the reason he became the writer he was. Some of his greatest achievements in life happened in this town in North Mississippi.

 William_Faulkner_1949William Faulkner’s life was not all positive–to begin with, he did not graduate from high school. He was also turned away from the military for not meeting the height requirement. Faulkner went on to become a student at the University of Mississippi. Even though he did attend the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi he only stayed for three semesters before dropping out. William Faulkner’s biggest flaw was his crippling addiction to alcohol. His substance abuse might have been the inspiration for some of his works, but at what cost. Faulkner’s alcoholism took its toll on his body and mind slowly killing him.

For me, personally, William Faulkner’s best work is “A Rose for Emily.” “That Faulkner brings life to the reader with the pages of this story is ironic. The deep-seated emotional problems that the reader can see in the character Emily have been the topic of many literary debates. With a quick read through “A Rose for Emily”, the reader will become concerned with her behavior. Once you pick up “A Rose for Emily” you will not put it down, and you will search for someone to discuss your own diagnosis of her character.

William Faulkner is an award-winning writer; he is recognized for his amazing adaptations of American and Southern literature. In 1949 William Faulkner was awarded with the Nobel Prize for literature but did not receive the award until 1950. During his acceptance speech Faulkner took the time to address the younger generation of writers, “by using this moment as a pinnacle from which I might be listened to by the young men and women already dedicated to the same anguish and travail, among whom is already that one who will some day stand here where I am standing.” If Faulkner did anything that was to inspire, it was surely the quotation above. Instead of patting himself on the back, he took his time of recognition to inspire the younger generation.

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” William Faulkner might not have been the greatest of all time but he was one of the most influential writers we have known. His lack of education and his substance abuse did not hinder him from achieving immortality with his literature.

Photo credit to read Gary Bridgman,