Themes Of The Novel Light Essay examples

1080 Words Apr 14th, 2016 5 Pages
The novel Light in August contains many themes, including the characters’ obsessions with the past, the importance of race, the racism people faced after WWI, and religion. The theme of religion is adamant throughout the entire novel and is represented by many characters. One of the most intricate stories involving the theme of religion is that of the main character, Joe Christmas, and his many parallels to Jesus Christ. Joe, like Jesus, had his own “Holy Week” that mirrored the week described in the Bible, many aspects of Joe resembled Jesus, and the way Christmas was treated parallels the story of Jesus Christ.
From the very beginning of the novel until the last page, Christmas is described in ways that resemble Jesus Christ. As he is introduced to the story, it is evident that his initials are J.C., just like Jesus Christ, and that he was left at the orphanage doorstep on Christmas, mirroring Jesus Christ’s birth on Christmas. Jesus was a carpenter and Joe Christmas worked in a sawmill, and therefore both had very humble and hard-working jobs.
In addition to this introduction, early on in the novel, Faulkner described Joe using religious words and phrases associated with Christianity. For example, in Chapter 7, Mr. McEachearn is beating Joe, and he is described as "a Catholic choir boy" (), "a monk in a picture" (),"rapt" (), a hermit (), and in "exaltation" (). It is also evident throughout the novel that Joe Christmas is a scapegoat for the sins in the town of…

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