Summary

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

William Faulkner’s Soldier’s Pay is set right after World War I. After returning to the U.S., the soldier, named Mahon, needs assistance making his way back to his home in Georgia. When writing a summary or other paper on the novel, it would help to mention some of the major events that happen along the way to his getting home, as well as the hurdles he has to surpass in order to do so.

For example, Mahon was an aviator in the war, and he suffered terrible injuries. The head injuries, in particular, made it so that he doesn’t speak too often. He is also blind and has terrible scars. A veteran and a widow help him find his way home to a family that thinks he’s dead. The widow becomes interested in him, although Mahon is engaged already.

Silence and hidden emotion are important threads that move through the story, and it may help your cause to connect them to the events of the novel, or especially the events implied from before the novel. Mahon has been badly injured by the war in multiple ways—he is surely very different from who he used to be. A big part of the story is everyone coming to terms with that and trying to find hope despite all the death and decay.

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