Saturday, August 3, 2019

The Significance of Inappropriate Laughter in Dry September and That Evening Sun :: Faulkner’s Dry September Essays

The Significance of Inappropriate Laughter in Dry September and That Evening Sun When one laughs, a public expression of feelings is being made. One’s guard is let down, and the act of laughing and the emotion that catalyzed it often appears to leave the immediate control of the laugher. Ironically, the more inappropriate the situation, the more full bodied and unstoppable one’s laughter can become. Both Minnie of â€Å"Dry September† and Nancy of â€Å"That Evening Sun† laugh at seemingly ill-timed occasions. Minnie, who has cried rape against Will Mayes, goes to the picture show with some friends. On the way there, she is the focus of the public eye and has to walk among whispers such as â€Å"That’s the one: see?† The one in pink in the middle.†(180) and â€Å"Is that her? What did they do with the nigger?†(181) Her temptation to laugh began as soon as she entered the theater: â€Å"Her lips began to tingle. In the dark, when the picture began, it would be all right; she could hold back the laughing so it would not waste away so fast and so soon.†(181) Soon, when the picture started, Minnie â€Å"... began to laugh. In trying to suppress it, it made more noise than ever; heads began to turn. Still laughing, her friends raised her and led her out, and she stood at the curb, laughing on a high, sustained note, until the taxi came up and they helped her in.† (181) Analyzing the motivation behind Minnie’s laughing episode is dependent on wheth er or not the reader believes that Will Mayes raped Minnie. If Minnie is telling the truth, then perhaps her laughing is a form of crying. Both actions are similar in their instability and often can be interchanged. For example, people have been to known to laugh at funerals and cry when they are happy. On the other hand, if Minnie is lying about the rape, her laughing can symbolize her pride in getting away with it. In addition, Minnie’s laughing could be a response to the irony linked to her having to claim rape in order to be re-sexualized and become the talk of the town. In â€Å"That Evening Sun†, Nancy was found lying in the street laughing after â€Å"Mr. Stovall kicked her in the mouth with his heel and the marshal caught Mr. Stovall back.† (291) Similar to Minnie, Nancy’s laughing may be just a substitution for the act of crying.

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