Department or Program



William Faulkner’s depictions of the past are as ornate as they are inescapable. His characters cannot escape the perpetual imposition of the past upon the present; entire lineages fall victim to the flaws of their fathers, history is as cyclical as the movements of a wagon along a dusty Mississippi road. This thesis explains the Bergsonian mechanics of duration present in The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Light in August and reevaluates the fatalistic implications Faulkner’s macabre characters face recursively in and through time. Much of the critical exploration of time in Faulkner’s fiction is outmoded and does not correspond with current modes of analysis, particularly race and gender studies. However, a critical reevaluation of Faulkner’s fatalistic depictions of time offers new studies a different undertaking. This thesis explores the implications of reuniting Bergsonism and three of Faulkner’s novels, concentrating on the significant implications wagons and wagon wheels bear on a paradoxically static but perpetually moving time. Through this reading, this thesis offers a nuanced account of what temporal modalities in Faulkner might amount to in this century.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Freedman, Sanford

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2015

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file

Open Access

Available to all.