A Writer’s Duty William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

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William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize speech emphasized the many duties of a writer, with the most significant being the duty to connect with the audience and other writers. A writer’s duty is to produce something original that speaks to the soul and engages the heart. To achieve this, a writer must have no limits and break down any barriers that stand between the human heart and the world. By possessing originality, a writer can convey their personality on paper and relate to their audience. Moreover, a writer should follow no rules and be willing to be outrageous or eccentric to connect with their readers. Ultimately, a writer’s greatest achievement is to touch a heart and speak to a soul.

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William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize speech revealed to all who have witnessed or read it, the many duties of a writer. The most significant point that he made, to me, was that a writer’s duty is to connect. That includes both connecting with their audience, and other writers. Writers have the ability to put something out into the world that no one has ever said or heard before, yet something that speaks to the soul and relates to the heart. Engaging the audience is the duty and purpose of a writer. One really significant duty of a writer is originality.

They have to produce something that is completely new to this world, and not conform to other writer’s styles. As William Blake once said, “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s. I will not reason and compare; My business is to create. ” Originality is the trademark of each writer, it’s their image, it’s their personality. Or more so, it’s the allowance of portraying their personality on paper. Willingness to have originality is necessary to be a great writer. A writer is to have no limits.

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By this, I mean that there are not to restrain their thoughts, motives, and insight from the world. There is no “comfort zone”, whatever walls that may exist they tear them down. Whatever barrier that may stand between the human heart and the world, it is there duty to break through that barrier. That’s how strong their voice has to be, loud enough for the heart to hear, and strong enough for the soul to relate. How can they do either of those things by practicing restraint, or keeping themselves below standards so they will not cross the line.

True writers do not see a line to cross, and if they do, they make it their mission to cross it. Writers can be outrageous, they can be eccentric. If they were to set limits for themselves, then they would not be able to relate to their audience. For example, Dave Berry is a writer that has no limits. He is not scared to say what needs to be said, and do it in any manner he pleases. He uses sarcasm and humor to reach his audience. In his piece, “Road Warrior”, he discusses three rages, Road Rage, Parking Lot Rage, and Shopping Cart Rage.

He defies all limits and freely discusses the common frustrations of every day Americans. Like in the following quote, people are definitely frightened to speak like this, but Berry is not, because he knows in order to relate to people you cannot allow yourself to conform to the common standard. “ In addition to Road Rage, I frequently experience Parking Lot Rage, which occurs when i pull into a crowded supermarket parking lot, and i see people get into their car, clearly ready to leave, so I stop my car and wait for them to vacate the spot, and. . nothing happens! They just stay there!  WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY DOING IN THERE??!! COOKING DINNER??? ” (Diyanni, 77) In Conclusion, a writer’s duty is to engage their audience, possess originality, and follow no rules. By doing this, a writer will achieve greatness, maybe not in the “Nobel Prize-winning” sense, but that they will connect with their readers. By touching a heart and speaking to a soul, that is the greatest achievement that any writer could hope for.

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A Writer’s Duty William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech. (2017, Feb 20). Retrieved from


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