William Faulkner and John Steinbeck are great authors recognized for their works in Ban Burning and The Chrysanthemums respectively
William Faulkner and John Steinbeck are great authors recognized for their works in Ban Burning and The Chrysanthemums respectively. William Faulkner is an American writer who was born in New Albany, Mississippi, in the year 1897. He started his writing career as a poet which he advanced later to become a famous novelist. Some of his works for he is recognized for include ‘The Sound and the Fury,’ ‘Absalom’ and As I Lay Dying. Similarly, John Steinbeck is also an American novelist who was born in 1902. He is known for the works in The Grapes of Wrath, Mice of Men and East of Eden. However, Steinbeck dropped out of college a move which saw him work as a manual laborer before succeeding as a writer. Their two works in Ban Burning and The Chrysanthemums share a common theme of internal conflict. For example, in Barn Burning, internal conflict as the theme is depicted through a young boy who is in a dilemma on deciding between being dishonest in court under his father`s pressure and telling the truth to court, an act against his father. The same theme is evident in The Chrysanthemums through Elisa, a woman who faces limitation by being isolated on a small farm in the Salinas Valley in the periods after a major depression in her life. This theme of internal conflict is shared by the two novels in many ways.
The story Barn Burning by William Faulkner focuses on Sartoris Snopes as the main character. Snopes is in a dilemma of deciding between saving his father from arrest which will mean he lies to the court and telling the truth to the court. His father, Abner faces some charges in court. The pressure from the father can be confirmed when he tells Snope “You got to learn to stick to your blood or you ain’t going to have any blood to stick to you” (p.496). This quote shows how his father was using every power to force him in deciding on his way. These two options create internal conflict within him, and he is left in suspense not knowing what to do. Snope still cares for his family and to greater extents feels love towards his father. However, he acknowledges that his father is wrong through his actions and deeds. The actions of his father make him contemplate detaching himself from the family.
Similarly, in The Chrysanthemums by John Steinbeck, the theme of internal conflict is seen through Elisa, the main character in the novel. For example, Elisa has perception differences with her husband Henry based on the value of beauty. Henry does not value beauty and views beauty functionally. Also, the attempts by Elisa to dress well and make herself pretty are not appreciated by him. This makes her feel disappointed and excluded as she feels she has no one to share the same values with in life. Moreover, her efforts to appreciate her beloved chrysanthemums; the expression of her aesthetic sense are not supported by her husband. She, therefore, feels lonely due to the perception differences between her and Henry and consequently this result to internal conflict within her. The conflict is deepened by the frequent actions of Henry of disregarding nearly all sense of value acknowledged by Elisa.
Furthermore, in response, she struggles to hide her real feelings of pain and anger caused by her husband. This shows a strong emotional charge experienced by her and the conflict within herself. Henry views the efforts of Elisa of appreciating aesthetic values of chrysanthemums as jokes. This quote confirms the stand of Henry on aesthetic value ‘You’re playing some kind of game,’ he said helplessly. ‘It’s a kind of play.'” (p.347). Also, this quote shows how his entire compliment is nothing more than an ordinary statement.