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Scholars Day: April 11, 2012

An Illusion of Society: The Reflection of the Criminal

This essay examines Popeye from William Faulkner’s Sanctuary and the psychology behind the criminal. Popeye is an outsider of mainstream society and by being such is placed in a position where he serves as a critic of that society. Popeye’s background suggests more clearly the psychology of criminal behavior using a primary source from The Manchester Guardian that discusses the psychology of deviant youths so that Popeye is understood in this essay not with the modern insight of psychology today, but with the comprehension of 1920’s popular psychology. As an adult, the fear that Popeye incites in the other characters reveals the impotency of the society due to Popeye’s ability to infiltrate and strike fear and doubt into the rungs of each class. Popeye’s disregard for the law and the law’s inability to recognize Popeye as a threat displays the corruption of this society, further perpetuating Popeye as both an outsider and a critic.

Please note that presentation times are approximate. If you are interested in attending sessions with multiple presentations, please be in the room at the start of the session.
Presenter: Shannon Pfeifer (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: English
Location: 218 Hartwell
Time: 3 pm Session IV