Themes

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 225

One of the themes highlighted in The Hamlet by William Faulkner is lust. Many men in Frenchman’s Bend adore Eula Varner. However, they do not like her for her personality. According to the narrator, they admire Eula’s physique; Eula’s teacher also lusts over her.

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Another theme present in the novel is the effect of capitalism. The Varners own almost all of the businesses in Frenchman’s Bend. Many of the inhabitants in this region work for the Varners in one way or another. Therefore, the locals are poor. For instance, Faulkner describes Mink Snopes as a person who suffers from poverty yet must pay a lot of rent. The narrator notes that the rent, which Mink pays annually, is almost the same as the initial cost of the house. Nonetheless, the house is in a terrible state; it lacks paint, has walls that are rotting, and a roof that is leaking.

Gender inequality is a theme that is addressed by the novel. For instance, men only love Eula for her physical appearance. They do not acknowledge her personality or intelligence. Also, many women in the book, such as Ab’s wife, are referred to as ‘missus.’ Not referring to female characters in the novel by their first name shows the high level of inequality that was present when the book was written.

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