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Argument On Pragmatism

He is a writer who muses throughout the story about the stories he will never write, and, finally, he dies like a man. The woman remains in denial to the end---denial about the man's death and about her own shallowness. We learn nothing from the story because Hemingway's macho philosophy has overshadowed character development.

William Faulkner, in his short novel Old Man, uses a style which reflects the sense of flight (from the law, from prison, from death, from self, to and from women) which dominates the characters in the story. The style also gives the sense of a force of nature, or, specifically, a river flowing. The latter reference is to the Mississippi River which plays an important part in the story.

The characters are miserable, frightened and trapped, and they are constantly either on the run or thinking of flight. Faulkner's run-on style, in which sentences extend for half a page or more, gives the reader the sense of a man running, or a river flowing.

It is not practical to quote one of Faulkner's run-on sentences here, but a look at almost any page in the story reveals such examples. The first sentence in the story is only a line-and-a-half long, but the second sentence---describing one of the convicts---goes on for almost a full page. Immediately the reader is swept along into a story told in a style which refuses to be denied. The reader who decides to continue on through the story will have to, at some point, surrender to the narrative form just as a person who falls into the raging Mississippi---also known as "Old Man"---must ultimately surrender at some point.

The individuals and the river in the story are driven, restless, never still, never at peace, always on the move, and that constant motion is exhiliratingly reflected in the run-on narrative style of Faulkner.

Henry Miller, in his essay "Into the Night Life," explores not the night life of the city but the night life of the unconscious, the reality ...

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Argument On Pragmatism. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:43, December 01, 2015, from
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