I am reading Faulkner in the University (edited by Frederick L. Gwynn and Joseph L. Blotner. University of Virginia Press, 1995) and some parts are ambiguous for me. What does he mean when he says “The will of man to prevail“? In general, what does the italic part mean?

Note: I brought the interviewer question (Q) and Mr. Faulkner’s answer (A) for more detail.

Q. In Quentin, for instance, [he] seemed to have the cards stacked against him … it seems to be inherently impossible, and I wondered … .

A. True, and his mother wasn’t much good and he had an idiot brother, and yet in that whole family there was Dilsey that held the whole thing together and would continue to hold the whole thing together for no reward, that the will of man to prevail will even take the nether channel of the black man, black race, before it will relinquish, succumb, be defeated.

Reference: Faulkner in the University, page 5.


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