As I Lay Dying (1930) is an absurd epic that uses the multiple stream-of-consciousness method to tell the ridiculous, humorous story of a family of poor whites intent on fulfilling the mother's deathbed request for burial. The story in Light in August (1932) takes place in a single day. Although complicated by a subplot, Light in August generates enormous power and probably ranks second among Faulkner's books.
As a teenager in Oxford, Faulkner dated Estelle Oldham (1897–1972), the popular daughter of Major Lemuel and Lida Oldham, and believed he would some day marry her.  However, Estelle dated other boys during their romance, and in 1918 one of them, Cornell Franklin , proposed marriage to her before Faulkner did. Estelle's parents insisted she marry Cornell, as he was an Ole Miss law graduate, had recently been commissioned as a major in the Hawaiian Territorial Forces, and came from a respectable family with which they were old friends.  Estelle's marriage to Franklin fell apart ten years later, and they divorced in April 1929. 
For, if it is true to say that in essence the tragic hero is intent upon claiming his whole due as a personality, and if this struggle must be total and without reservation, then it automatically demonstrates the indestructible will of man to achieve his humanity. The possibility of victory must be there in tragedy. Where pathos rules, where pathos is finally derived, a character has fought a battle he could not possibly have won. The pathetic is achieved when the protagonist is, by virtue of his witlessness, his insensitivity or the very air he gives off, incapable of grappling with a much superior force. Pathos truly is the mode for the pessimist. But tragedy requires a nicer balance between what is possible and what is impossible. And it is curious, although edifying, that the plays we revere, century after century, are the tragedies. In them, and in them alone, lies the belief--optimistic, if you will, in the perfectibility of man. It is time, I think, that we who are without kings, took up this bright thread of our history and followed it to the only place it can possible lead in our time--the heart and spirit of the average man.