Talking about Light in August in your book club, on our message boards or with one of your friends? These thought-provoking questions will get the discussion flowing!
1. How do people react to Lena Grove: a young, unmarried and very pregnant woman on the road to find Lucas Burch? Do they believe that she's looking for her husband? Do they find her state scandalous? Are they sympathetic to her anyway? Do they help her? What about Lena's own attitude: Does she feel guilty?
2. Do any of the characters in Light in August remind you of any characters in As I Lay Dying or The Sound and the Fury? Do you see parallels between Lena Grove and Dewey Dell Bundren? Or between Joe Christmas and Darl Bundren or Quentin Compson?
3. All of the characters in Light in August—Lena Grove, Joe Christmas, Joe Brown, Byron Bunch, Rev. Hightower and Joanna Burden—are loners. What about their nature makes them so? What is Faulkner saying about them? What is Faulkner saying about the community?
4. What does the sad spiraling of Rev. Hightower's life story say about him? Faulkner titled one of his other novels set in Jefferson Sanctuary: Is Hightower seeking sanctuary? If so, sanctuary from what?
5. Why does Byron Bunch visit Rev. Hightower every week? Do these two men have anything in common? Is Byron also seeking sanctuary? How does Lena Grove impact on his longing? How does Faulkner use their conversations as a way of getting his story told?
6. What is the nature of the relationship between Joe Christmas and Joe Brown/Lucas Burch? Why does Brown turn Christmas in to the police? How do attitudes change when Brown announces that Christmas is black?