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American Writers Video Lessons

Directions: Use the themes, questions and video clips below to teach and learn with portions of C-SPAN's American Writers program featuring William Faulkner, and The Sound and the Fury. Link to the complete video clip list to identify clip descriptions and create your own lessons. Each theme contains questions and video clips appropriate for varying grade levels. Lesson Credit:
Curriculum Advisory Team Member, Kevin Sacerdote.

Choose from three themes:
The South as a Source and a Subject
Level One
Watch  Clips 6-8
Level Two
Watch  Clip 27
Level Three
Watch  Clips 33-34

1. Where is Oxford MS? How much time did Faulkner live there? What is it like today?
2. What was Faulkner's subject matter and why?
3. According to Thadious Davis, what was Mississippi like in the 1930's?
4. What was Faulkner's attitude toward the South? What did Faulkner warn against in the new South?
5. What role did William Faulkner's Great-Grandfather Colonel Falkner play in his writings and storytelling?

The Writer's Life and Impact
Level One
Watch  Clip 9
Level Two
Watch  Clip 31
Level Three
Watch  Clip 55

1. What drives an artist to create? What drove Faulkner? How did writing permeate his daily life? Was it a profession? a passion? or both?
2. In what ways is Faulkner's writing style significant to American literature? What was a modernist?
3. How can a teacher successfully teach the writings of William Faulkner? How can anyone successfully read Faulkner?
5. In what ways did he draw on the oral traditions of the South in his writing?
6. What benefits would someone today, as well as in the future, gain by reading the works of Faulkner?

Views on Civil Rights and Women
Level One
Watch  Clip 13
Level Two
Watch  Clip 32
Level Three
Watch  Clip 40

1. What was life like for African-Americans in Mississippi during the 1930's?
2. In the 1940's and 50's, what kind of stance did Faulkner take on the issue of Civil Rights? What was Faulkner's opinion regarding integration of the South?
3. How did Faulkner generally characterize women in his writings? How was this a reflection of the times?
4. How did his attitudes toward blacks and women spring from and carry over into his personal life?
5. Did Faulkner, through the act of writing, advocate for social justice? Did he contribute to injustices?

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