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How would you compare and contrast the writing styles of William Faulkner and Ernest...

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allie-claire905 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 4, 2012 at 9:35 PM via web

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How would you compare and contrast the writing styles of William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway?

(diction, sentence structure, tone, and organization)

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted October 4, 2012 at 9:54 PM (Answer #1)

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They are both American novelists of the 20th century, but their approaches to story-telling vary in two important ways: the use of narrator and the complexity of sentence structure.  Faulkner perfected what is called “the multiple narrator” approach, a device, however obvious, that allowed the reader to witness a scene from more that one perspective, and thereby get a “three-dimensional” view of what happened.  We all know the “unreliable narrator” technique—Faulkner gave us the same Angst by varying details of the narrator as it changed personae.  Hemingway was more interested in a normative omniscient narrator, but with a minimum of internalization, of “hearing” the thoughts of the character.  Instead, he used techniques that sharpened or brought into focus the physical mise-en-scene, the physical space where the action unfolds. In terms of language use, Hemingway used short, uncluttered sentence structures and strong lexical verbs with a minimum of modifiers or auxiliary verbs.  Faulkner, on the other hand, tended to write complex sentences, with subordinate clauses and prepositional phrases.  One other stylistic note:  their writing reflected the geographical regions that they: for Faulkner, the American South; for Hemingway, expatriot Europe, especially Spain.

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