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Are there similarities in the writing and themes of William Faulkner and John Dos Pasos?

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glakhdar | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 21, 2010 at 3:01 AM via web

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Are there similarities in the writing and themes of William Faulkner and John Dos Pasos?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 21, 2010 at 3:16 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that the similarities between Dos Passos and Faulkner are subtle.  It will be difficult to forge an immediate connection between both writers, but there are some similar elements and themes that both explore in their writing.  Both writers explored in experimental techniques at the time of their composition in order to bring out their own views about their subjects.  For both, the exploration of their subject matters, the South for Faulkner and the American experience of dissent for Dos Passos, required a different technical expression and both writers engaged in this.  Another aspect of similarity between both is that each writer sought to look beyond the surface of what it means to be connected to a particular region or nation as part of one's identity.  Faulkner's South served as the backdrop to his writing and Dos Passos' "USA Trilogy" were critical for both writers to explore issues of identity.  Finally, I think that both writers saw much lacking in their subjects.  Dos Passos became a voice of social revolution and change in America while Faulkner understood the need for his own native Mississippi to come to peace with its demons of racial segregation.

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