Parallelism In William Faulkner's Nobel Prize Speech

1193 Words 5 Pages
William Faulkner is regarded as one of the greatest writers of all time. When he received his Nobel Prize for literature in 1950, the world was yet reeling from the horrors of the two world wars, both of which suffered many casualties. He had stated "I believe man will not only endure, he will prevail," (Banquet Speech, 2015) and by this statement, he meant that he truly believed humanity could overcome the horrors and fears of war. And in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, he speaks of writing to rekindle emotions that were lost during war and he insists that man 's spirit and soul will result in the endurance of humankind, and that he believes writers and poets have a huge role in influencing all of humanity to see that there is still …show more content…
This is commonly done with parallelism, or more specifically, with a chiasmus. Parallelism is the use of similar patterns of words to express similar or related ideas or ideas of equal importance. Using parallel structures creates rhythm and balance and enables the writer to present ideas clearly, concisely, and smoothly. Perhaps even more importantly, parallelism can help the writer highlight or emphasize information or make a powerful point. For example, Faulkner used it when he said, "He must learn them again. He must teach himself..." (Faulkner, 2015.) With this statement, he 's essentially saying the same thing, but he repeated the idea because of its importance. Here he was speaking of how a writer at the time had forgotten what is truly worth writing about because he or she had been worrying about the war; their minds constantly being on what if they were to be blown up too. But Faulkner wanted to remind his audience that a good writer must never forget what good writing is; what is truly worth the agony and the sweat, even during a difficult time in life. This parallelism helped the reader understand and hear the significance in that …show more content…
Repetition puts emphasis on the idea that the author is trying to get across. For example, Faulkner repeats the phrase "agony and sweat." With that phrase, he was emphasizing the idea that the exertion and pain of what it means to be human is something that not only is present in all of his works, but an idea that Faulkner sees as a universal and human truth that writing should and does explore. An idea such as this one is emphasized through its repetition further in the speech, when Faulkner argues that such a basic truth of the "agony and sweat" in what it means to be human, will enable human beings to endure. This is where I can see how Faulkner uses the repetition of the endurance and sacrifice of human beings, and how that enables individuals to find some level of strength that will enable them to eventually triumph. Faulkner is able to use repetition in this speech in order to emphasize his understanding of what he sees as universal truths that the modern writer and thinker must evoke in their

Related Documents