Figure 42: Essay Excerpt on Light in August Characters, William Faulkner

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Question Mark?

You may access the comment by clicking on the “Q” and “Grammar” categories or by typing the title into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

What follows is a sample excerpt. Examine how the student within the excerpt fails to define the concept of “pastness.”

Sample Excerpt

In addition to Quentin Compson, in exploring the perspectives of Miss Rosa Codfield, Mr. Compson, and Shreve McCannon, Faulkner illustrates the process and study of genealogy and within each perspective resonates some speck of truth, regardless of validity or credibility.  But before distinguishing among the narratives, it is vitally important to acknowledge and understand that although each character adds or subtracts from versions of the story, Thomas Sutpen knows the events of his drama better than anyone else.  But it is arguable if we say that he understands his drama, the pastness of his past.

Figure 42: Essay Excerpt on Light in August Characters, William Faulkner


The student doesn’t define how she uses a particular word within the analysis.


In response to this, the teacher uses a question mark to indicate confusion about how the student uses the word.


1) What is “pastness?”

2) What is Thomas Sutpen’s past?

3) What is the pastness of the past?

4) How does Thomas Sutpen’s past relate to the whole story?

5) What connection does it have?

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: