Light in August

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Student’s Name Professor’s Name Course Date Light in August Fate vs. Free Will Christmas is conflicted about fate and free will: the black versus white; the violent versus non-violent person; and the child versus man. He always ends up laying blame on other people instead of accepting the consequences of his decisions (Gale). Christmas does not take responsibility for killing Miss Burden since something beyond his control forced him. The similar conflicts burden reverend Gail Hightower, but at the end, he acknowledges that some of his decisions had repercussion, for example, choosing to ignore his wife resulted in his wife cheating on him and eventually passing away (Gale). The Past Influencing the Present The effect of the past can be seen in the Southern opposition to racial integration. The novel is conceived 60 years after the Civil War, and the primary belief is that the white should not mix with African Americans (Gale). Christmas embodies this dangerous racist ideology since he is infused with the history of racism which means he does not escape the restraints of self-hate. He accepts the lies of racism and, as a result, loathes himself. The question of past determining the present is especially highlighted with Hightower whose past is embedded in his family history. It is said that Hightower’s grandfather murdered several Yankee soldiers during the Civil War (Gale). He is not obsessed with his grandfather’s legend since he missed the antebellum South and did not display his bravery and heroism in battle. The reason for his obsession with his father was because he was born into a house filled with ghosts: his old father, dying mother and a

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