“I be Dawg”: Intellectual Disability and the Animal Other in the Works of William Faulkner

S. A. Larson


There is a considerable dearth of criticism that applies the critical lens of Disability Studies to the works of William Faulkner. This paper hopes to contribute to the discourse on Faulkner and disability by using a Disability Studies prospective to explore the intersection of intellectual disability and the psychological coping mechanism of dehumanization in the novels Sanctuary and The Hamlet. In both novels, characters with intellectual disabilities are depicted as animals. This paper argues that Faulkner's normate characters use dehumanization to marginalize, neglect, and even abuse characters with intellectual disabilities. However, the act of dehumanization has the paradoxical effect of calling attention to the humanity and sentience of characters with intellectual disabilities.


William Faulkner; Intellectual Disability; Psychology; Disability Studies; Dehumanization; Animality

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v34i4.3999

Copyright (c) 2015 S. A. Larson

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