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Faulkner’S Wheel Of Three

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A wheel has three main parts, the hub or center of the wheel, the rim of the wheel which acts like a frame and the spokes of the wheel which connect the hub and the rim. William Faulkner’s Light in August was written in a unique structure that is best seen as a wheel or that of a circle.

Joe Christmas’s story is the center of the novel or like the hub of the wheel. The reader get is imagery of the cage more than once in Joe’s part of the novel which can be perceived as Joe being stuck in the middle of the wheel unable to free himself because of the spokes and rim of the wheel. This cage is that of isolation from society. Joe’s life is also presented in that of a circle in which he is constantly traveling and searching for a way to find peace.

Gail Hightower can be seen as the spokes of the wheel because he connects Joe Christmas to Lena Grove. Gail Hightower is the one who delivers Lena’s child in Joe Christmas’s house. Hightower also lives his life isolated from society, never being able to break free from the “wheel” he is trapped in. Towards the end of the novel Hightower is recollecting his life and the reader once again gets strong wheel imagery, “It slows like a wheel beginning to run in sand, ... The wheel of thinking slows; the axle knows it now but the vehicle itself is still unaware”. (Faulkner, p.448)

The last part of the wheel is that of Lena Grove. Lena Grove is the first story the reader gets and is also the last. Lena acts as the rim or frame of the wheel. In the beginning of the novel Lena is described as, “like something moving forever and without progress”. (Faulkner, p.7) This is also the image of a wheel or circle because a wheel or a circle goes on forever and has no real end.

In the end of Light in August the reader can see the profound wheel or circle imagery that Faulkner

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