Walker Percy


Caterina Baffa said...

I really enjoyed reading Percy’s novels, which mainly dealt with the purpose of human life and similar philosophical musings. If you want to read Walker Percy, know that he is a great author, but you should be able to juggle his concrete plot points (which may not be super useful for your essay) and his philosophical argument about the meaning of life. It is pretty simple to formulate his argument and find evidence (if you keep track of useful quotes as you read) since his thematic message remains fairly constant throughout his novels*; other people have called him an existentialist, so if that interests you, I would take a look into Percy. Although he does not utilize that much symbolism, he reveals his ideas through the thoughts and development of his characters, so if you do choose him, pay attention to those things. It is also important to note that all his protagonists are basically the same person, since they are all white, Christian or once-Christian-now-kind-of-atheist, Southern men who are lost about what the meaning of their lives are. That may or may not be relatable for you.
*(NOTE: You should not read Lancelot if you are not comfortable with reading a book where the message can be difficult to understand since Percy tries to portray it in a weird backwards way. If you still choose to read it, you will be really, really confused when Lancelot starts condoning some messed up stuff, but you have to try looking at what he’s really trying to say about humanity with a different perspective than looking at it literally.)

Luisa Coakley said...

I really enjoyed reading Walker Percy's book because they are relatable to almost all humans. Percy writes mainly about human nature, love, and the meaning of life which are often repeated multiple times throughout all the books I have read (the books that I read were The Moviegoer, Lancelot, The Last Gentleman, The Second Coming, and The Message in the Bottle). Percy's main characters are usually middle aged white men who have lost meaning to their lives and were either depressed or suicidal. Generally the plot follows these characters as they struggle with their faith in God or their faith in love and how one must have a balance to be truly happy. Percy uses concrete langue to express his opinions throughout the thoughts and actions of the main characters. His style is mainly analytical inner monologs by the main character without much dialog. To be successful at writing an essay on Walker Percy's works you must identify the major themes and keep tracks of quotes pertaining to these themes throughout all of his books. Percy's theme of religion can be very difficult and complex to analyze so to truly be successful, a great deal of analyzing should be to come up with your own conclusions as to what Percy is trying to say. Generally Percy has a morose tone that reflects upon how he views society in the 20th century and how humans are more transparent than ever before.

American Author Thesis

Now that you have written your essay, we ask that you reflect on the reading portion of the experience and write 100-150 words about your author.

Think of what you write as advice for someone next year and beyond, someone who (like you were doing last fall) is thinking about choosing your author - and maybe even the same three books - to read for the assignment.