William Faulkner in Trethewey Poems

In multiple Natasha Trethewey poems she references William Faulkner and his work. For example in Miscegenation she refers to Joe Christmas, the main protagonist from Faulkner’s, “Light in August.” Joe Christmas is an example of a tragic mulatto and his character references Jesus Christ in multiple ways such as he was found on Christmas eve at an orphanage, he has the same initials as Jesus Christ (J.C.) and he died at age 33, which is when Jesus died. It is important to understand that Trethewey comes from a mixed-race family just like Joe Christmas and since she is from the south where racism is prominent she has difficulty dealing with her race. Also, William Faulkner is a southern writer so Trethewey relates herself to him because they both write about southern issues.

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