This brief short story (roughly 14 pages) appears as the last story in the book length collection of short stories by the same name published in 1942 and offers an opportunity for students to engage with Faulkner’s style and some of his recurrent themes.
In addition to its merits as a work for literary analysis, “Go Down, Moses” also presents an opportunity for discussions on American cultural traditions and cultural identities relating to local history, local culture generally and the tradition of Negro spirituals specifically.
Culturally determined patterns of behavior and character as fate are the twin conceptual themes that drive the story and these are essential themes for any study of William Faulkner’s work.
This guide can be used in its entirety as classroom materials or used in part for student activities and in part for teacher’s reference and discussion aid.
Study Guide includes:
- notes on themes in the story
- notes on uses of symbolism
- notes on the tradition of Negro spirituals (and ways to discuss this tradition in light of the story)
- the full text of the song, “Go Down, Moses”
- study questions
- teacher’s guide with answers to study questions