As I Lay Dying

A Land Called Doom: Fatalism in Faulkner College

“Noah’s children had inherited the flood although they had not been there to see the deluge” (Go Down, Moses 276). This sense of doom follows through five of the major novels written by William Faulkner set in his mythic Yoknapatawpha County. Doom settles upon the land through the fatalistic attitude of the people living there, fatalistic because there is a realization that the things going to happen are unavoidable. In his article “Fate”, Richard Taylor, a renowned fatalist, says “No power in heaven or earth can render false a statement that is true” (107). Furthermore, no matter what the offspring of the doomed South could do, there was no altering their fates, no matter how hard they struggled against it. Through the fallen and decadent society of the old South with their fall in the Civil War, a doom that generations of descendants would suffer eventually settled over the land.

In looking at the doom in the post-War South, it should be noted that God’s laws cannot be altered without consequences, according to fatalists. Anyone that attempted to alter the predestined outcome of their lives became cursed, whereas those who accepted it, though doomed, found the freedom to live their lives to the fullest extent and with the...

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