The Mansion Questions and Answers
by William Faulkner

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What is the main idea of Faulkner's "The Mansion"? 

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This novel, the third in a series, focuses completely on that popular theme - man's inhumanity to man.  Mink, the main character of the story, is a murderer who puts his own values ahead of society's values.  However, as ruthless as this protagonist is, he is a victim of those in society who were more priviledged than him and abused him.  Flem fails to help him when Mink is brought up on charges:

"he knew that Flem would not be there when he would need him"

Flem then sets Mink up, having Montgomery give him an escape plan that is intended to fail, so that Mink receives extra punishment. 

A secondary theme is that of perseverance.  As much as Mink's ruthlessness can be considered a result of other's behavior towards him, there is a sense not of failure but of success.  Mink is able to overcome his past and his enemies.  He does get out jail, he does succeed in revenge upon Flem, he does end the novel pardoned and peaceful. 

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