'Go Down, Moses' is Published
Although originally published in 1942 as Go Down, Moses and Other Stories (apparently against the desires of the author) Go Down, Moses may be considered a unified, though fragmented, novel.
(Faulkner received editorial help from H.L. Mencken.) It spans more than a century in the history of the McCaslin family, viewing their hardships and triumphs by examining their daily lives. Its plantation and the fictional Yoknapatawpha County are in Mississippi. It deals with such issues as slavery and race, the relationship between man and nature, the vanishing wilderness, stewardship versus ownership of land, and property and inheritance.
Faulkner's response to blacks in Go Down, Moses (1942) is sensitive, to say the least. Perhaps no other twentieth-century white American writer has so closely approximated an understanding of the character and the sensibilities of a people still thought by many to possess none. It is certainly true, as Ralph Ellison has stated, that "Faulkner began with a stereotype of the Negro and ended by creating human beings." It is precisely this process, however, which is of importance; for unfolding in the pages of this convoluted novel is the evolution and transformation of racial views as they affect not only the characters themselves, but also the development of an artistic vision