The Unvanquished: The Silences and Gaps

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The Unvanquished is believed to be one of the lesser works of William Faulkner on the grounds of its failure to internalize emotions or offer rhetorical descriptions of war. While there are many ways to study this novel and many reasons can be presented for its inferior status among other Faulkner's writings, I feel that The Unvanquished is a typical Faulkner story presented in a more stoic manner keeping with the character of the protagonist Bayard. The fact that Bayard believes actions are superior to words may not have done well with the readers, but it actually offer a more in depth study of war than in other works by the author.
In the days when The Unvanquished was written, there was a whole section of literature especially fiction devoted to the Civil War. Some of the writings were highly acclaimed for their vivid descriptions, their war rhetoric, its impact on people and the internalization process carried out through language. But all these novels were replete with war cliches-something that you do not find in The Unvanquished, thus making the story more outstanding and more powerful than many would want to believe.
Faulkner was not given the credit for creating a different war story- to treat Civil war in a more stoic manner than he usually did in his writings. This resulted in semi-death of The Unvanquished which is by all literary standards, a work of genius. The whole point of this stoicism is obvious from Bayard's reflection on war at one occasion in the novel. The author wants to convey the message that there is definitely more to war than what meets the eye and it is what you cannot see which is more dangerous and hence more powerful. If we see Bayard not commenting on some situations, it is because the author expects us to detect the tension of war through Bayard' silence. The following passage explains why Faulkner chose actions over words: "So we knew a war existed; we had to believe that …..