The Unvanquished

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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In the novel The Unvanquished written by William Faulkner, Faulkner expresses his simple philosophies in a very powerful way. As I read it I noticed them and the advice he was giving to people when they read his book. He expressed his same philosophies in his exception speech for the Nobel Prize. It was one of the shortest speeches given in history but was a very powerful one. I felt a huge impact from it I can only imagine what people felt when they were there watching him say it. The characters in the novel would indefinably need Faulkner's advice. They were all going through a rough time in history when brother fought against brother for simple beliefs and over the color of peoples skin.

Everyone in life has played "war games", like cops and robbers and cowboys and Indians but no one realizes what they are playing are the games of real life.

When people play these games there are usually at a very young age and are to innocent to understand the reality of the games. Everyday and everywhere theses games are being played by children and adults. The children are playing an innocent game of cops and robbers with no real weapons just simple imitations from there hands. The adults are playing the reality version of the game, with real guns, real people and real feelings. With the Childs version no one is hurt or dead at the end, but in the reality version some one is. Two characters in the book experience this same thing Bayard Sartoris and his friend Ringo are playing a "war game" just down the road from Bayard's house. They were playing at a famous battle ground but when they were playing they had no idea it would become war grounds just after they play war there themselves. The battlefield they were playing on was called Vicksburg. The boys were playing an innocent game of "war" when they took it to the extreme and actually shot a "Yankee", they both were in shock because they did not think if they pulled the trigger it would actually shoot. The boys were lucky because they only had hit a horse and not a man. At that moment their innocence was lost from pulling a simple trigger. They did not realize what they had done and did not see what was wrong with what they had done. The boys lives would quickly changed after that.

Faulkner said, "He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid: and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed-love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice."(William Faulkner: Nobel Prize Speech). Faulkner's' words in this quote caught me and made me read more into the speech then just reading it. I think he intended to so this. He says you must have fear but you also must forget about the fear and go on life living it to the most. I think he also says throughout his speech is to be careful what games you play in life because even though you might think it is just a game at first but it can become reality very quickly. I think he also was trying to explain that people must be aware of the world around them and watch what games they play in life and to make sure we choose the right games to play.

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