Style and Race

Melanctha (1909), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), In Our Time (1925), As I Lay Dying (1930),

Even with the extensive amount of time between Melanctha, Mrs. Dalloway, and As I Lay Dying is separated by at most by 21 years the style of writing in a stream of the characters consciousness can be seen throughout. In Melanctha and Mrs. Dalloway nothing really breaks up the conversations and actions from one character to another, everything flows right into another, unlike in As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner and In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway. In their books each chapter is broken up into separate pieces. For Faulkner each chapter we saw in the perspective of that one single character which helped form an individual idea about each character, whereas the stream of consciousness in Melanctha and Mrs. Dalloway was a continuous stream. In Our Time by Hemingway was also broken up into individual pieces like Faulkner’s. If you read the chapters that coincide with one another a different picture and story is seen. One of the biggest differences I saw within these books is between Melanctha and As I Lay Dying is when it came to race. These two books are published 21 years from one another. The differences in style can be seen from the way it was written, Faulkner’s style of different characters point of views as a chapter and Steins way of a continuous stream of contentiousness, to the style of speech and the identification of character differentiation. In Melanctha we could clearly see which characters were considered black and who weren’t. There was an out word expression and even in the actual style of dialog was different, but in As I Lay Dying it’s not as clear of a picture. In Faulkner’s book the black character is harder to pick out and seems to not even be present despite taking place in the Deep South.