Abstract

Were William Faulkner’s characters determined to their actions, perhaps by cosmic forces or divine providence, causal laws or genetic traits? In brief, no. Still, I argue that Faulkner does employ hard determinism in relation to one character, and this character represents an important exception: Flem Snopes of the Snopes trilogy. Flem Snopes’s brand of evil was not moral evil (i.e., evil characteristic of genuine agents) but instead a distinct variety of metaphysical evil. In order to demonstrate this, I contrast the moral psychology of Flem with that of his murderer, Mink Snopes, by appeal to the Faulknerian virtue of honor.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. A260-A279
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-23
Open Access
No
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