Ho Thi Van Anh

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The American South is the cultural root and archetype for the fictional world of William Faulkner, a prominent author in modern world literature. The theme Faulkner and the South has been studied exhaustively and elaborately, especially from historical and cultural perspectives. However, the issue of Faulknerian Southern identity remains a gap in the current literature, so this study sets out to address that gap. This paper is an anthropological approach to Faulkner, with two research questions: how did Faulkner interpret American Southern identity? how should a set of keywords that encapsulates Southern identity in Faulkner’s writing be established? Applying anthropological theory of identity and the method of generalization and identification of cultural patterns, this study focuses on the four outstanding novels in Faulkner’s legacy. These novels provide a picture of the Southern identity, wrapped up in a set of keywords whose two main pillars are burden of the past and agrarianism. The other traits - pride, nostagia, melancholy, complex, conservativeness, indomitability - intertwine and promote each other, creating the very Faulknerian South.