Dr. Maureen Ryan, Dr. Alexandra Valint, Dr. Luis A. Iglesias
8 October 2014
“I have read, understand, and am in compliance with the Academic Honesty policy. In particular, I have not committed any kind of plagiarism. There are no un-attributed direct or indirect quotations or paraphrases from printed materials, websites, other students’ papers, or any other sources in my essay.”
An Inadequate Existence of Empathy
Growing up, most individuals are taught to be sympathetic towards others during their times of despair. Sending “Feel Better!” cards to someone in the hospital or flowers to someone who’s loved one has passed are examples of how society attempts to ...view middle of the document...
Throughout the short story, Faulkner uses the words “cold” and “harsh” when describing Abner’s voice anytime he speaks. “Cold,” often used to describe the temperature of something, is used to describe the way Abner’s voice comes across to those he is speaking to and more specifically the way his words make people feel. This shows the reader the normality of Abner’s negativity and because of this even if his words are not meant to be negative, the way he says them prevents any other meaning from being made. “Harsh,” is also a word used continuously by Faulkner to describe Abner when he speaks, puts a negative emphasis on the tone of his words when they are spoken. On page 341 specifically for example, after Sarty gets beat up outside of the courthouse Abner “[jerks] him back…” and in a “harsh, cold voice” tells him to “go get in the wagon.” This instance shows a deliberate refusal of empathy in Abner because although he certainly can understand this physical pain Sarty is in, he neither defends his son nor comforts him. (Faulkner 340) When Sarty’s mother tries to comfort him and he tells her to “lemme be,” this reaction is a direct consequence of Abner’s lack of empathy toward his son. (Faulkner 340) Sarty does not want to seem week in the eyes of his father, so he denies his mother’s comfort because he fears his father’s punishment for accepting the comfort more. The reader can also see another consequence of the way Abner treats Sarty is an interpersonal battle by Sarty to stay loyal to his father, because children always feel some sort of emotional attachment and obligation to the parents that birthed them, or to rebel against him and his wrongdoings because of the inadequacy of Abner as a caretaker emotionally. By creating this battle in Sarty, Faulkner shows how...