Themes and Meanings

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 146

Faulkner extends the meaning of “Dry September” beyond an account of racial violence in the South by including Hawkshaw, who wants to “get the sheriff and do this thing right.” Hawkshaw, “a thin, sand-colored man with a mild face,” is contrasted with the heavy and powerful McLendon, who “had commanded troops at the front in France and had been decorated for valor.” To emphasize the contrast between Hawkshaw and McLendon, the narrator states: “They looked like men of different races.”

Illustration of PDF document

Download Dry September Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Faulkner ironically suggests that though Hawkshaw and McLendon both have white skin, they do not belong to the same race. Hawkshaw considers Will Mayes a human being who deserves justice. To McLendon, he is a Negro, an object on which he can safely unleash his brutality. Society approved McLendon’s violence during the war, and in Jefferson, his violence against a black man is still sanctioned.

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-hour free trial
Previous

Summary

Next

Analysis

Explore Study Guides