Bayard as the unvanquished

Write a 3 pages paper on Bayard as the unvanquished of the novels title.

Bayard, growing up in the vanquished South and under the influence of a father whose ethos revolves around war and dreams, could have easily absorbed an ethos of self-destruction and vanquishment. Colonel Sartoris’ legacy, and indeed the family heritage, is one of war. a legacy which defines heroism and honor in terms of the destruction of others. It is a legacy which irrevocably defines war as glory and the defeat of others as heroism. Within the context of this legacy, one inherently founded upon the precept of vanquishing the other,’

In so doing, he ultimately engages in self-destruction. In addition to the above, Colonel Sartoris emerges as a dreamer – a man whose thoughts are so intently focused on his perceptions of honor and on the maintenance of the previously defined legacy that he fails to connect with the reality around him. In articulating the nature of that dream, Drusilla tells Bayard that his father “is thinking of this whole country which he is trying to raise by its bootstraps, so that all people in it, not just his kind nor his old regiment, but all people, black and white, the women and the children” may enjoy a better life (Faulkner, p. 256). This is an undoubtedly noble and honorable dream but it is, nonetheless, a dream. The very concept of dreams effectively signifies a rupture with, and destruction of, reality.

From this perspective, therefore, Bayard is raised in an atmosphere which should have imposed self-destruction upon him, whether consequent to the ethos embraced within the family legacy or that contained within his father’s dreams.

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