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Sound And Fury Analysis

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The Sound and the Fury Plot Summary

Here we see most immediately the conflict between the two predominant traits of the Compson family, which Caroline attributes to the difference between her blood and her husband's: on the one hand, Miss Quentin's recklessness and passion, inherited from her grandfather and, ultimately, the Compson side; on the other, Jason's ruthless cynicism, drawn from his mother's side. This section also gives us the clearest image of domestic life in the Compson household, which for Jason and the servants means the care of the hypochondriac Caroline and of Benjy.

April 8, , is Easter Sunday. This section, the only one without a single first-person narrator , focuses on Dilsey, the powerful matriarch of the black family servants. She, in contrast to the declining Compsons, draws a great deal of strength from her faith, standing as a proud figure amid a dying family. On this Easter Sunday, Dilsey takes her family and Benjy to the "colored" church. Through her we sense the consequences of the decadence and depravity in which the Compsons have lived for decades. Dilsey is mistreated and abused, but nevertheless remains loyal.

She, with the help of her grandson Luster, cares for Benjy, as she takes him to church and tries to bring him to salvation. The preacher's sermon inspires her to weep for the Compson family, reminding her that she's seen the family through its destruction, which she is now witnessing. Meanwhile, the tension between Jason and Miss Quentin reaches its inevitable conclusion. The family discovers that Miss Quentin has run away in the middle of the night with a carnival worker, having found the hidden collection of cash in Jason's closet and taken both her money the support from Caddy, which Jason had stolen and her money-obsessed uncle's life savings. Jason calls the police and tells them that his money has been stolen, but since it would mean admitting embezzling Quentin's money he doesn't press the issue.

He therefore sets off once again to find her on his own, but loses her trail in nearby Mottson, and gives her up as gone for good. After church, Dilsey allows her grandson Luster to drive Benjy in the family's decrepit horse and carriage to the graveyard. Luster, disregarding Benjy's set routine, drives the wrong way around a monument. Benjy's hysterical sobbing and violent outburst can only be quieted by Jason, who understands how best to placate his brother. Jason slaps Luster, turns the carriage around, and, in an attempt to quiet Benjy, hits Benjy, breaking his flower stalk, while screaming "Shut up!

Luster turns around to look at Benjy and sees Benjy holding his drooping flower. Benjy's eyes are "empty and blue and serene again. In , Faulkner wrote an appendix to the novel to be published in the then-forthcoming anthology The Portable Faulkner , edited by Malcolm Cowley. Having been written sixteen years after The Sound and the Fury , the appendix presents some textual differences from the novel, but serves to clarify the novel's opaque story. The appendix is presented as a complete history of the Compson family lineage, beginning with the arrival of their ancestor Quentin Maclachlan in America in and continuing through , including events that transpired after the novel which takes place in In particular, the appendix reveals that Caroline Compson died in , upon which Jason had Benjy committed to the state asylum, fired the black servants, sold the last of the Compson land, and moved into an apartment above his farming supply store.

It is also revealed that Jason had himself declared Benjy's legal guardian many years ago, without their mother's knowledge, and used this status to have Benjy castrated. The appendix also reveals the fate of Caddy, last seen in the novel when her daughter Quentin is still a baby. After marrying and divorcing a second time, Caddy moved to Paris, where she lived at the time of the German occupation. In , the librarian of Yoknapatawpha County discovered a magazine photograph of Caddy in the company of a German staff general and attempted separately to recruit both Jason and Dilsey to save her; Jason, at first acknowledging that the photo was of his sister, denied that it was she after realizing the librarian wanted his help, while Dilsey pretended to be unable to see the picture at all.

The librarian later realizes that while Jason remains cold and unsympathetic towards Caddy, Dilsey simply understands that Caddy neither wants nor needs to be saved from the Germans, because nothing else remains for her. The appendix concludes with an accounting for the black family who worked as servants to the Compsons. Unlike the entries for the Compsons themselves, which are lengthy, detailed, and told with an omniscient narrative perspective, the servants' entries are simple and succinct. Dilsey's entry, the final in the appendix, consists of two words: "They endured. The four parts of the novel relate many of the same episodes, each from a different point of view and therefore with emphasis on different themes and events.

This interweaving and nonlinear structure makes any true synopsis of the novel difficult, especially since the narrators are all unreliable in their own way, making their accounts not necessarily trustworthy at all times. Also in this novel, Faulkner uses italics to indicate points in each section where the narrative is moving into a significant moment in the past. The use of these italics can be confusing, however, as time shifts are not always marked by the use of italics, and periods of different time in each section do not necessarily stay in italics for the duration of the flashback.

Thus, these time shifts can often be jarring and confusing, and require particularly close reading. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. Immediately obvious is the notion of a "tale told by an idiot," in this case Benjy, whose view of the Compsons' story opens the novel.

The idea can be extended also to Quentin and Jason, whose narratives display their own varieties of idiocy. More to the point, the novel recounts "the way to dusty death" of a traditional upper-class Southern family. The last line is, perhaps, the most meaningful: Faulkner said in his Nobel Prize in Literature acceptance speech that people must write about things that come from the heart, "universal truths. Upon publication the influential critic Clifton Fadiman dismissed the novel, arguing in The Nation that "the theme and the characters are trivial, unworthy of the enormous and complex craftsmanship expended on them.

It is nearly unanimously considered a masterpiece by literary critics and scholars, but its unconventional narrative style frequently alienates new readers. Although the vocabulary is generally basic, the stream-of-consciousness technique, which attempts to transcribe the thoughts of the narrators directly, with frequent switches in time and setting and with loose sentence structure and grammar, has made it a quintessentially difficult modernist work. The Sound and the Fury is a widely influential work of literature. Faulkner has been praised for his ability to recreate the thought process of the human mind. In addition, it is viewed as an essential development in the stream-of-consciousness literary technique. This edition is the first to use colored ink to represent different time sequences for the first section of the novel.

This limited edition is also sold with a special commentary volume edited by Faulkner scholars Stephen Ross and Noel Polk. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the novel by William Faulkner. For the Shakespeare quote, see Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. For other uses, see The Sound and the Fury disambiguation. Dewey Decimal. See also: Compson Family.

University of Saskatchewan. Modern Library. Retrieved March 24, Penguin Random House. William Faulkner: The Making of a Modernist. Folio Society. Archived from the original on May 20, William Faulkner. These 13 Knight's Gambit Collected Stories The Wishing Tree Anna Akhmatova Richard Aldington W. Robert Desnos T. Authority control. Spain France data. Benjy doesn't understand what is happening around him, and so cannot narrate the events he sees; Faulkner forces the reader to work out what is happening and when from the clues he drops. It is a kind of detective fiction, the kind that drives some readers crazy: but it also is a reductio ad absurdum of the act of reading itself. All reading requires the reader to infer meaning: the first chapter of The Sound and the Fury turns inference into an extreme sport.

It moves through as many as 14 different moments across a year period in Benjy's memory, often without any overt signal to the reader that a shift in time has just occurred. At various points in Benjy's narration, Faulkner decided to use italics "to establish for the reader Benjy's confusion; that unbroken-surfaced confusion of an idiot which is outwardly a dynamic and logical coherence," he explained in a letter, adding: "I wish publishing was advanced enough to use coloured ink for such, as I argued with you and Hal in the speak-easy that day … I'll just have to save the idea until publishing grows up to it.

It seems that time has now come: Stephen M Ross and Noel Polk, two distinguished Faulkner scholars, have created a colour-coded version of The Sound and the Fury that the Folio Society is printing in a limited edition of 1, copies, each numbered by hand, on Abbey Wove paper with a gilded top edge, and quarter-bound in vermilion Nigerian goatskin leather blocked in gold; accompanying Faulkner's novel is a matching "line-by-line commentary and glossary" written by Ross and Polk. If some might balk at the conspicuousness of such consumption, others will appreciate the continuing effort to reinvent bound books as objets d'arts in an age of electronic publishing.

The edition is unquestionably beautiful, a bibliophilic fantasy: the less aesthetic question is whether colour-coding helps or hinders us in interpreting Benjy's section. It is not a question that Ross and Polk presume to answer easily; indeed, they acknowledge, it raises new questions: "in being so precise, they [the colour-codings] impose on the text a 'reading,' a third dimension, that the black-and-white text does not and so deny the reader the free play at work in the two-dimensional black-and-white, roman-and-italic text that is at once so daunting and exhilarating.

Reading the colour-coded version kept reminding me of a line from Iris Murdoch's The Bell : "The conversation was not so much difficult as mad. And yet, as Borges also shows, such madness is the madness of art, like the brilliant, bonkers endeavour of Alfred Appel to annotate all of Nabokov's Lolita. It is fascinating, disruptive, distracting, maddening and enlightening, making a rainbow of Faulkner's stream of time. The Sound and the Fury remained Faulkner's favourite; it was his fourth novel, and the second that he placed in fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi "my apocryphal county," he called it. The Sound and the Fury constituted an artistic breakthrough into the "sheer technical outrageousness" that would characterise such celebrated later works as A Light in August , As I Lay Dying , Go Down, Moses and the book that I, for one, would crown as Faulkner's masterpiece, the dazzling Absalom, Absalom!

He didn't stop there: eight more novels and at least half a dozen short stories were set in Yoknapatawpha, which Faulkner eventually mapped; he drew up genealogies and wrote afterwords and explanations, detailing the fates of the three families at the centre of his mythical world: the aristocratic Compsons and Sartorises, and the parvenu Snopes. Together they tell the story of the decay of the American South. William Faulkner was born William Cuthbert Falkner on 25 September , in New Albany, Mississippi; soon his family had relocated to Oxford, the town where he would live the rest of his life, and reinvent as the fictional Jefferson. When the young Falkner tried to join the air force in , he was rejected for being too short. Deciding to pass himself off as an Englishman and enlist in the Canadian RAF, he changed the spelling of his name to Faulkner and invented a mythical British family for himself, using a forged letter of reference from one Reverend Edward Twimberly-Thorndyke.

For whatever reasons, he never changed the spelling back when he went on to invent the equally mythical clans of Yoknapatawpha. Faulkner never saw active service; in he published his first novel, Soldier's Pay , followed rapidly by Mosquitoes. He was convinced that his next novel, Flags in the Dust , the first Yoknapatawpha story, was his best yet, but to his shock his publishers turned it down; heavily edited, it was eventually published as Sartoris in

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