Both Ends Against the Middle

Gretchen Lynn Greene

William Faulkner’s short story "An Odor of Verbena" is the tale of a young, Southern man, Baynard Sartoris, who must come to terms with his father’s sudden (but not entirely unexpected) murder. Because this murder takes place in the decade following the Civil War, young Baynard is faced with the South’s ancient honorary code. This code dictates that, as the only son of his father, he must avenge this death. Should Baynard fail to retaliate on his father’s behalf by confronting the murderer, Redmond, who once was his father’s business partner, both Baynard and his family would lose face within their community.

Faulkner uses the two primary women of the story to represent the two options open to young Baynard—each is trying to pull him in an opposite direction. Drusilla, Baynard’s stepmother, and his Aunt Jenny represent the two conflicting views and solutions that Baynard must struggle with. Does he challenge Redmond to a duel? or merely walk away from the situation. Both women try to work on Baynard’s emotions and intellect in their attempt to sway him to their conflicting points of view. Either choice could have a lasting or fatal consequence for Baynard and his family.

In this story Faulkner appears to be using Drusilla as the primary voice representing the old Southern honor system, an honor system that is distinctly masculine. As the grieving widow, it is Drusilla who seems to be pushing the hardest for retribution in the form of a duel—an option that would put Baynard’s life at risk. Baynard is barely home after his long ride back from college when Drusilla directs, not asks, him to take the dueling pistols (Faulkner 459). Drusilla expects Baynard to challenge her husband’s killer with "the long true [dueling] barrels true as justice" (Faulkner 459). She is inflamed and passionate about Baynard’s chance to kill and speaks glowingly of what so many Southern men in the same position must have thought: "to be permitted to kill, to be permitted vengeance, to take into your bare hands the fire of heaven that cast down Lucifer" (Faulkner 460). Drusilla expects that Baynard one day will be grateful for her support. She tells him that "you will remember me who put into your hands what they say is an attribute only of God’s, who took what belongs to heaven and gave it to you" (Faulkner 459). All the men of this story, Professor Wilkins, the townsmen, Ringo, and even Redmond the murderer, all expect or encourage Baynard to duel (Frazer 162). Drusilla is the only woman in the story who supports this traditionally male attitude. Perhaps because of this hers is the voice that Baynard hears the loudest.

Drusilla is by no means a traditional Southern woman. Faulkner gave her some distinctly male characteristics. For instance, we know that she dressed as a man and wore her hair short so that she could ride with her future husband’s cavalry unit during the Civil War (Faulkner 451). A decade after the war’s end Drusilla still wore her hair short, but dressed as a woman due to pressure from her husband (Faulkner 452, 453). Drusilla is described as having a "boy hard body . . . the body not slender as women are but as boys are slender" (Faulkner 453). When the mood struck her, Drusilla would lift her skirts nearly to her knees and run like a boy (Faulkner 453). This was not the traditional image of an adult Southern woman, wife, and step-mother.

Faulkner also gave Drusilla a strong, distinct scent of her own, verbena, which acted very much like a calling card or reminder of the wearer. Unlike the traditionally masculine smells of tobacco, sweat, gunpowder, or animals (horses or livestock), verbena was an acceptable scent for a woman, and Faulkner seems to be associating verbena with Drusilla for two primary reasons. First, verbena is one of the most versatile plants in herbalogy, curing more conditions and ills then any other plant (Hutchens 60). Faulkner seems to have set up Drusilla as the versatile cure-all for the family’s ills. She not only tries to bolster Baynard’s will with impassioned words, it is she who has the pistols ready to go when they are needed. Drusilla has reasoned and thought everything through, she knows the cure; all Baynard has to do is carry out the action.

Faulkner also uses verbena as a physical and sensory symbol of Drusilla (Faulkner 451- 467). She has a long and established history with this plant claiming that "verbena was the only scent you could smell above the smell of horses and courage and so it was the only one that was worth wearing" (Faulkner 451). Drusilla knows she can not physically go with Baynard when he faces Redmond in the duel, so she places a sprig of verbena in his lapel (Faulkner 455). In the past Baynard has had qualms about his father murdering those who stood in his way, and he and Drusilla have had conflicting views on the subject (Faulkner 453, Ingram 171). The strong odor of verbena acts to remind him of Drusilla and of his duty to his family—it is a way for her to continually goad him into killing Redmond (Frazer 168).

While Drusilla can not conceive that Baynard could even entertain the idea of not dueling with Redmond, Aunt Jenny has other ideas. Were Drusilla is bold and demanding with her expectation that Baynard do the "honorable thing," Aunt Jenny is more concerned that the senseless killings be stopped so that she does not have to lose another family member (Faulkner 460). She campaigns hard to try and convince Baynard not to fall into the same old honor bound trap of an-eye-for-an-eye (Faulkner 461). Aunt Jenny tries to reach Baynard on an intellectual level; she tries to work against those who want to see him kill saying, "Don’t let it be Drusilla . . . and don’t let it be him [John Sartoris], Baynard, because he’s dead now . . . and don’t let it be George Wyatt and those others who will be waiting for you tomorrow . . . I know you are not afraid" (Faulkner 461). When Baynard hedges at her suggestion that he not duel, she begs him to see her the next morning before he goes (Faulkner 461). She wants one more try at persuading him not to face Redmond (Faulkner 461).

What Aunt Jenny does in her last ditch attempt at convincing Baynard to use his better judgment and not go after Redmond, is tell him a metaphorical story about a blockade runner in Charleston. In her story, this rum drinking blockade runner would look "across the champagne, to whatever ruffled bosom or low gown" that happened to be standing there, and say "No bloody moon" as a kind of left handed toast (Faulkner 463). If Drusilla exhibited some abnormal masculine traits, Aunt Jenny was herself an unusual Southern woman in that she had a strong intellect usually reserved for men (Frazer 172). What she was telling Baynard in a metaphorical way, was not to succumb to female pressures; just-say-no to Drusilla (Faulkner 463, Frazer 168).

When Baynard walks to Redmond’s office, it is with a strong physical sense of Drusilla because of the verbena in his lapel: "I walked steadily on enclosed in the now fierce odor of the verbena sprig" (Faulkner 464). For a moment, the reader senses that Drusilla has won the tug-of-war through the sheer overpowering presence of her signature verbena plant. In the end, however, it was Aunt Jenny’s subtle but sensible intellect that allowed Baynard to do the right thing. By acquiescing to Aunt Jenny’s sound advice, given through the metaphorical story, Baynard was able to save his own life, end his family’s killing binge, keep face within the community, and even earn the admiration of his father’s old army friends (Faulkner 465-466). In the end, Baynard is able "to act with his kind of courage because Aunt Jenny reaches his subconscious with the warning that Drusilla . . . is a symbol of destruction" (Frazer 169).

Works Cited

Faulkner, William. "An Odor of Verbena." A Norton Anthology: The Literature of the American South. Ed. William L. Andrews. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1998. 447-467.

Frazer, Winifred L. "Faulkner and Womankind—‘No Bloody Moon.’" Faulkner and Women. Eds. Doreen Fowler and Ann J. Abadie. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1985. 162-179.

Hutchens, Alma R. Indian Herbalogy of North America. Boston: Shambhala, 1991. 59-60.

Ingram, Forrest L. "William Faulkner: ‘The Unvanquished.’" Representative Short Story Cycles of the Twentieth Century: Studies in Literary Genre. Mouton, 1971. 106-142. Rpt. Short Story Criticism, Vol. 1. Eds. Laurie Leanne Harris and Sheila Fitzgerald. Kansas City: Gale Research Company, 1988. 170-172.

Works Consulted

Chabrier, Gwendolyn. "Women and Marital Relationships." Faulkner’s Families: A Southern Saga. New York: The Gordian Press, 1993. 58-97.

_____ "Incest and the Family." Faulkner’s Families: A Southern Saga. New York: The Gordian Press, 1993. 128-164.

Fowler, Doreen and Ann J. Abadie, eds. Faulkner and the Southern Renaissance: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha, 1981. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1982.

_____ Faulkner and the Craft of Fiction: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha, 1987. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1988.

Skei, Hans H. "William Faulkner." Dictionary of Literary Biography. Ed. C. E. Frazer Clark, Jr. Detroit: Gale Research, Inc., 1991. 75-101.

Williamson, Joel. William Faulkner and Southern History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

_The Other Victim in "Dry September"

Brenna Rapp

            William Faulkner’s short story "Dry September" deals with a lynching of a black man, Will Mayes, wrongly accused of attacking a white woman, Minnie Cooper. But Mayes is not the only victim in this short story. Minnie Cooper is also a victim in "Dry September." Minnie is as much a victim of the social standards and practices of southern society as Willie Mayes is. While "Dry September" may seem to be just a story about how a black man is wrongly condemned to death, it is also about the moral and social demise of a woman who is no longer valued in society. Minnie Cooper lives in a society that has no more place for old maids than it has for black men, and that makes her just as much a victim as Willie Mayes. In Faulkner in Cultural Context, Anne Goodwyn says that Minnie had no choice but to create a lie because, "Minnie’s world, offering no alternatives, encouraged Minnie to consent to, even create, her own victimization in the interests of consolidating white control" (45).

The structure of the story itself points to the importance of Minnie Cooper. She is dealt with more in the text of "Dry September" than Willie Mayes is. "Dry September" is divided up into five sections. The first section takes place in the barbershop, where the men decide to get Willie back for "raping" Minnie. The second section deals directly with Minnie, her life, what she does, and how she is being ignored by society. The third section deals with the lynching of Willie. However, in this section Willie’s thoughts and feelings are not made known to us. Instead the readers get an account of what happens up to the point where Hawshaw jumps out of the car. The fourth section again deals with Minnie, how she is acting, what she is wearing, and how people act toward her. The fifth section deals with McLendon beating his wife, which not only mimics the violent death of Willie, but also suggests the helplessness and vulnerability of women in this white, male-dominated society.

Minnie Cooper clearly is an important character due to the amount of material written about her. Two fifths of the story deal directly with her. Only one fifth of the story deals directly with Willie, and in that section his character is not developed at all. Minnie is a victim in this story because there are two sections of the story explaining what her character is like and why she is suffering so much. Minnie is a victim of her gender, while Willie is a victim of his race. Noel Polk in Faulkner and Gender, states that, "Dry September" is "more centrally concerned with gender than with race" (27). It is obvious that Willie is a victim, for he is the one who is murdered. But Minnie is also a victim; although she does not die physically, she has for a long period been dead to society.

Minnie Cooper is a victim, not a villain, for many reasons. The first reason is because she has failed to realize that she is not getting anywhere in life, that she has lost social standing. Faulkner writes, "She was the last to realize that she was losing ground. .. One evening at a party she heard a boy and two girls, all schoolmates, talking. She never accepted another invitation" (442). James Ferguson, in Faulkner’s Short Fiction, states that these lines are a "description of Minnie’s loss of social status" (93). Society realizes early on that Minnie is losing her social status and carries on, while Minnie is left in the dust wondering what happened to her life. In "Dry September," we are told that there was a short time in her life when she was part of society—part of the crowd: "When she was young she had a slender, nervous body and a sort of hard vivacity which had enabled her for a time to ride upon the crest of the town’s social life as exemplified by the high school party and church social period of her contemporaries while still children enough to be unclassconscious" (442).

Since Minnie is not being able to realize what type of situation she was in from the beginning, it sets the stage for what Minnie does later on (making up a false story). Since Minnie can not grasp that she is no longer part of society, she can not be responsible for what stories she told about Willie. Ferguson believes that in Faulkner’s writings there is a pattern "of the wronged woman striking back, seeking vengeance, trying to redress the balance. This is that occurs in ‘Dry September’" (74). Minnie is the wronged woman striking back at society by accusing Willie of rape.

Minnie is also a victim because she is unmarried and her classmates are all married and have children. An additional insult is that her classmates’ children call her "auntie." In Southern culture in the thirties, if a woman was not married and had no family, she was of no worth to society. When a woman does not have a husband her social standard as a person is lowered. After the children of her classmates start to call her "auntie," it just reinforced the fact that she was not or never would be married or have children Diane Roberts in Faulkner and Southern Womanhood writes, "Her lack of community validation in marriage (the assured married daughters of her old friends now call her "auntie" as if she were an old black woman, reducing her status) leads her to accuse an innocent black man of assault" (171).

Since being sexually attached or sexually attractive was so important to women, Minnie’s diminished status is clearly revealed when she is no longer able to hold any man’s interest. Faulkner writes, "the sitting and lounging men did not even follow her with their eyes any more" (443). If Minnie were of interest to the men of the town, then they would at least look at her when she passed by. But the men in town have long since stopped looking at Minnie, making her feel like even less of a woman. This feeling compels her even more to falsely accuse Willie. After Minnie accuses Willie of rape, she receives attention from the men in the town again, (which was what she was originally looking for). Faulkner writes, "Where even the young men lounging in the doorway tipped their hats and followed with their eyes the motion of her hips and legs when she passed. They went on, passing the lifted hats of gentlemen, the suddenly ceased voices, deferent, protective" (446). Ferguson argues that Minnie Cooper (falsely) accused Will Mayes of attacking her in order to call attention to herself (74).

Another compelling reason why Minnie is a victim is how the town perceived her in her courtship with a widower cashier. They assumed that she was having an adulterous affair, although there was no evidence for one. Faulkner writes, "It was twelve years now since she had been relegated into adultery by public opinion" (442). When Minnie first started to date the cashier, the town pitied her. By dating this man her social standing was lowered even more. Faulkner writes, "the town began to say, ‘Poor Minnie’" (442). Now not only did the town think she was an old maid, undesirable for society, but she was also now seen as sexually promiscuous. Although Minnie never states that she had an affair with the cashier, the town assumes she has, similar to how the town assumes that Willie raped her. Instead of getting the facts, the town assumes that she had an affair and that she has been raped.

After the lynching of Willie, Minnie decides to go into town with her friends to go to the movies. The movies that Minnie loves to go and watch are nothing like her life; when watching the movies she is in a dream world. During the movie, she starts to laugh hysterically and is led out of the theater by her friends. Faulkner writes, "The lights flicked away; the screen glowed silver, and soon life began to unfold, beautiful and passionate and sad ...while beyond them the silver dream accumulated, inevitably on and on. She began to laugh" (446). John T. Matthews of Faulkner and The Short Story writes, "Minnie’s ‘accustomed place’ as a moviegoer stems from her marginalization by a society that has eroticized the commodity as it has commodified eros" (24). Matthews believes that Minnie’s hysterical laughing is more than just a breakdown. Matthews states, "It expresses the violence done to blacks and women in American society as they become agent and object of screened dramas of white male desires, desires played out vicariously in the products of the culture industry" (26).

While the most obvious, and certainly the most tragic, victim in "Dry September" is Willie Mayes, Minnie Cooper is also a victim. Southern society no longer values Minnie: it does not care about her, it does not want to be concerned about her, it looks down upon her. Because society has tossed Minnie out, she has to do something to make society accept and respect her again. The only way Minnie thinks that she can do that is to cry "rape." Minnie knew that a black man would be killed if he were accused of raping a white woman She knew that although she was an old, unmarried woman, her honor would still be upheld by the men of the town. When Minnie accuses Willie of rape she finally gets attention from society, which is all she wanted in the first place.

Works Cited

Faulkner, William. "Dry September." A Norton Anthology: The Literature of the American South. Ed. William L. Andrews. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1998.

Ferguson, James. Faulkner’s Short Fiction. The University of Tennessee Press; Knoxville. 1991.

Harrington, Evans and Ann J. Abadie, eds. Faulkner and The Short Story. University Press of Mississippi: Jackson and London. 1992.

Kartiganer Donald M. and Ann J. Abadie, eds. Faulkner and Gender. University Press of Mississippi. Jackson. 1996.

Kartiganer, Donald M. and Ann J. Abadie, eds. Faulkner in Cultural Context. University Press of Mississippi: Jackson. 1997.

Roberts, Diane. Faulkner and Southern Womanhood. University of Georgia Press: Athens and London. 1994.

 

Joshua Nixon

Dr. Bellamy           

English 371-1

23 February 2004

 

What Are They Saying About William Faulkner?

Religion and Morality in “Dry September”

 

            William Faulkner was born on September 25, 1897, in North Albany, Mississippi. Weaned on stories of the South and the Civil War, Faulkner absorbed the culture that would one day come to life in his novels and short stories. At his death in 1962, Faulkner had written a score of novels and many stories. He was also winner of the 1950 Nobel Prize for literature. Some believe he was “the greatest writer of the twentieth-century South” (Andrews 439).

Criticism of Faulkner delves into a wide range of disciplines and subjects. Warren Beck claims that “no other contemporary American novelist of comparable stature has been as frequently or as severely criticized for his style as has William Faulkner” (141). Otis B. Wheeler treats him as a folk humorist, contending that Faulkner exhibited an “early concern with incorporating in his art that humor which great many people besides himself have recognized as national and indigenous” (68). Other critics discuss Faulkner’s characterizations or mythology.

            However, many critics have chosen to deal with William Faulkner as not only a literary stylist or a significant contributor to American literature, but also as a  teacher and storyteller of moral fables. The beliefs of almost any writer are reflected in his or her works, but Faulkner’s beliefs are perhaps more apparent in his works than in the works of other authors. William Faulkner carries on the “tradition of darkness,” the problem of guilt and sin, in the footsteps of such American authors as Nathaniel Hawthorne. Despite his ancestral pride, he is aware of the “sins of the fathers” (Andrews 436).

As Cleanth Brooks tells us, “Faulkner is a profoundly religious writer; that his characters come out of a Christian environment… and that they are finally to be understood only by reference to Christian premises” (118). The struggles and moral failures of the characters find their depth in a Christian worldview. Brooks acknowledges the author’s concern for Christian values and ideas in his writing, but feels it incautious to label Faulkner as a Christian writer (118).

George Marion O’Donnell calls Faulkner “a really traditional moralist, in the best sense” (83). Indeed, Faulkner’s stories are filled with symbolic details and subtle nuances that reflect a thoroughly religious and moral thought process. His short story, “Dry September,” is a fitting example, dealing with a white woman’s dubious charge of rape against a black man and the racially prejudiced response of the townsmen.

            Various critics of Faulkner explore the different avenues of morality and theology in his stories. In his essay, “William Faulkner, Vision of Good and Evil,” Brooks cites several of Faulkner’s works and their perspective on religious ideas. In discussing the topic of moral choice, he says that Faulkner’s view is not entirely Christian. While Faulkner seems to hold a belief of original sin and free will, “the concept of grace… is either lacking or at least not clearly evident in Faulkner’s work” (Brooks 119). In “Dry September,” the characters in the story are never given a chance to redeem themselves or plead for mercy, but are left in despair. Mayes, innocent, is lynched; Minnie Cooper loses her mind; and McLendon is left bitter and angry. The whole world, according to Faulkner, “seemed to lie stricken beneath the cold moon and lidless stars” (W. Faulkner 447). A possible exception to this absence of grace and mercy is Hawkshaw, the conscientious barber, and the “one character who manages to free himself from complicity in the crime” (H. Faulkner 44).

            Arthur L. Ford develops this moral premise by discussing the symbolism of the dust Faulkner describes in the story. Ford argues that dust is a picture of guilt. Just as the dust permeates every corner of the town (and therefore the story), so guilt suffuses the townspeople and they are unable to escape entanglement in the injustice (Ford 40-41). In the scene where Hawkshaw jumps from the car, dust plays an important role. Not only does Hawkshaw land in the dust, but it surrounds the men who leave him behind. Faulkner tells us that the men in the car drove on, and “the dust swallowed them.… The dust of them hung for a while, but soon the eternal dust absorbed it again” (445). Ford interprets this as evidence that “the crime of the men and their guilt will be assumed and excused by their society” (41). Given the rest of the story, this is an accurate interpretation; the citizens allow the injustice to go unpunished, and none of the perpetrators are called to account for their crimes.

            Dust is not the only symbolism in the story that critics use as an insight into Faulkner’s moral perspective in “Dry September.” One writer describes the imagery of the moon and the significance of its position in the story. Throughout the narrative, the moon’s light mingles with the dust, intensifying “the confinement in which the people of Jefferson live” (H. Faulkner 43). At one point in the story, the moon separates itself from the dust of the town—the point at which the barber leaves the lynch mob and wipes the dust from his clothes. Here the moon rises “high and clear of the dust at last” (W. Faulkner 445). This is symbolic of Hawkshaw’s separation from the others and their crime; although he is not completely guiltless, his final action allows him to rise above the dust of guilt that covers the rest of the town (H. Faulkner 44). William B. Bache suggests a different interpretation of the moon’s symbolism, preferring it to represent Mayes rather than Hawkshaw. He views the rising of the moon as “the moral ascendancy of Mayes over his betrayer and murders.” Bache takes this a step further, likening Mayes to Christ, who rose to Heaven following his crucifixion (39).

            Another concept in this story is the “quest for justice,” as James Ferguson puts it (76). Ferguson asserts that Faulkner’s greatest stories—“Dry September” among them— “always deal with this fundamental human truth” (78). These stories give the reader a sense that horrible injustice has been committed, and according to Ferguson, the injustice is committed by the characters who fail to understand the “dignity and integrity” of those around them (79). In “Dry September,” the townspeople, particularly Minnie Cooper and McLendon, fail to understand that Will Mayes’ race has nothing to do with the quality of his moral character. This failure to understand other human beings results in the death of Mayes and a living, but hardly better, existence for both Minnie Cooper and McLendon.

            Sexuality is another common moral factor in Faulkner’s works. Ferguson writes that they are “permeated by a very basic uneasiness about sex” (62) and betray a “relatively explicit concern with sex” (20). Perhaps Faulkner’s obsession with this topic is based upon the unhappiness of his own marriage (Andrews 438). Bloom refers to this marriage as “cheerless and strained” (11).

“Dry September” illustrates this problem perfectly, since a sex crime is a primary element in the plot. Minnie Cooper’s accusation of Willie Mayes is based upon her own sexual frustration. Minnie, feeling that her sexual attractiveness is decreasing with her growing age, claims a man raped her in order to reassert her own lost sexuality. She has reached “the end of a consistently unsatisfactory sexual trail” (Wolfe 42). And she isn’t completely unsuccessful. After accusing Mayes, Minnie walks down the street, “where even the young men lounging in the doorway tipped their hats and followed with their eyes the motion of her hips and legs when she passed” (W. Faulkner 446).

            Minnie is not the only character in “Dry September” to experience this frustration. McLendon is obviously having serious difficulties in his relationship with his wife, as evidenced at the end of the story. Butch, the violent youth, appears to be single in the story, and perhaps he is sexually frustrated as well. Critics Ralph H. Wolfe and Edgar F. Daniels claim that the characters’ interest in the supposed rape is “in direct proportion to the degree of the characters’ own sexual maladjustment” (Wolfe 42). In other words, the characters with the most emotional interest in the rape are those who are most uncomfortable with their own sexual situation.

            In addition to discussing the personal moral dilemmas of the characters in his stories, Faulkner deals with the moral dilemmas facing the American South as a whole. John K. Crane identifies three of these dilemmas: success in war, the purity of white womanhood, and acceptance of outsiders. Crane suggests that the South is weathering its own symbolic dryness (Crane 48). In “Dry September,” McLendon represents the dilemma of success in war, and Minnie Cooper the purity of white womanhood; the barbershop scene deals with the issue of outsiders and their acceptance, where one man says to another, “You better go back North where you came from. The South don’t want your kind here” (W. Faulkner 440).

            Considering the bulk of Faulkner criticism available today, Brooks’s reference to Faulkner as “a profoundly religious writer” rings true (118). It is certain that Faulkner leaves the reader with much to think about. Despite the passing of time, the characters of Faulkner’s fiction face the same religious and moral crossroads that the people of the American South—and the world—face today.

 

Word Count: 1543

 

Works Cited

Andrews, William L. et al., ed. The Literature of the American South. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.

Bache, William B. “Rumor in ‘Dry September.’” Ed. Harold Bloom. William Faulkner. Chelsea House Publishers, 1999. 39-40.

Beck, Warren. “William Faulkner’s Style.” Faulkner: 4 Decades of Critcism. Ed. Linda Welshimer Wagner. Michigan State University Press, 1973. 141-154.

Bloom, Harold, ed. William Faulkner. Chelsea House Publishers, 1999.

Brooks, Cleanth. “William Faulkner, Vision of Good and Evil.” Faulkner: 4 Decades of Critcism. Ed. Linda Welshimer Wagner. Michigan State University Press, 1973. 117-133.

Crane, John K. “The Metaphor of ‘Dry September.’” Ed. Harold Bloom. William Faulkner. Chelsea House Publishers, 1999. 47-48.

Faulkner, Howard. “Guilt in ‘Dry September.’” Ed. Harold Bloom. William Faulkner. Chelsea House Publishers, 1999. 43-44.

Faulkner, William. “Dry September.” The Literature of the American South. Ed. William L. Andrews, et al. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998. 439-447.

Ferguson, James. Faulkner’s Short Fiction. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1991.

Ford, Arthur L. “The Dust of ‘Dry September.’” Ed. Harold Bloom. William Faulkner. Chelsea House Publishers, 1999. 40-41.

O’Donnell, George Marion. “Faulkner’s Mythology.” Faulkner: 4 Decades of Critcism. Ed. Linda Welshimer Wagner. Michigan State University Press, 1973. 83-93.

Warren, Robert Penn. “William Faulkner.” Faulkner: 4 Decades of Critcism. Ed. Linda Welshimer Wagner. Michigan State University Press, 1973. 94-109.

Wheeler, Otis B. “Some Uses of Folk Humor by Faulkner.” Faulkner: 4 Decades of Critcism. Ed. Linda Welshimer Wagner. Michigan State University Press, 1973. 68-82.

Wolfe, Ralph Haven and Edgar F. Daniels. “Sexual Frustration in ‘Dry September.’” Ed. Harold Bloom. William Faulkner. Chelsea House Publishers, 1999. 41-42.