At Fault Literary Elements

At Fault Literary Elements


Classic, Romance

Setting and Context

Late 1800s, Place Du Bois, Lousiana

Narrator and Point of View

Third person omniscient who shows the readers the thoughts and perspectives of different characters.

Tone and Mood

Complex, Ambivalent

Protagonist and Antagonist

Protagonist: Therese Lafirme, Antagonist: David Hosmer

Major Conflict

Therese Lafirme and David Hosmer fall in love with each other, but Therese has to choose between him and her religion and beliefs.


When David Hosmer marries Fanny again for the sake of Therese


When David Hosmer goes to Therese's plantation and offers a deal to use her woods to take timber from and she will get part of the money he gains.


Gregoire evading the charge of his murder 'by jest' is an understatement of the seriousness of the murder of an unarmed man.




"The short length of this Louisiana plantation stretched along Cane River, meeting the water when that stream was at its highest, with a thick growth of cotton-wood trees; save where a narrow convenient opening had been cut into their midst, and where further down the pine hills started in abrupt prominence from the water and the dead level of land on either side of them. These hills extended in a long line of gradual descent far back to the wooded borders of Lac du Bois, and within the circuit which they formed on the one side, and the irregular half circle of a sluggish bayou on the other, lay the cultivated open ground of the plantation -rich in its exhaustless powers of reproduction." Pg. 2


Therese is known as a strong woman who is very religious and sticks to her beliefs, but her love for David made her give them up easily.



Metonymy and Synecdoche



"...a grim cypress lifted its head above the water and spread wide its moss-covered arms inviting refuge to the great black-winged buzzards that circled over and about it in mid-air" Pg. 13

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