The Sound and the Fury. American writer of novels, short stories, poetry and occasional screenplays He is considered one of the most important writers of the Southern Literature of the United States.
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American writer of novels, short stories, poetry and occasional screenplays He is considered one of the most important writers of the Southern Literature of the United States. He was relatively unknown until he received Nobel Prize for Literature for his “powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American Novel”. Hemingway once said: “You have to wade through a lot of crap to get to Faulkner’s gold.” William Faulkner
PARENTS: JASON COMPSON III and his wife, CAROLINE MAURY BASCOMB (Caroline’s brother) MAIN CHARACTERS JASON IV QUENTIN CANDACE (CADDY) BENJAMIN MISS QUENTIN (Caddy’s illegimate daughter)
Jason Compson III- The head of the Compson household until his death from alcoholism in 1912 • Caroline — a self-absorbed neurotic who has never shown affection for any of her children except Jason • Quentin— the oldest Compsonchild, commits suicide • Candace "Caddy" — the second Compson child, Benjy's only real caregiver and Quentin's best friend => the true hero of the novel • Jason IV— the bitter, racist third child who is troubled by monetary debt and sexual frustration. • Benjamin(born Maury)— the mentally retarded fourth child, who is a constant source of shame and grief for his family
OTHERS • Miss Quentin – Caddy’s illegimate daughter who is raised by the Compsons after her mother’s divorce • Dilsey– the Compsons’ cook and also serving as a stabilizing force for the family • Roskus– Dilsey’s husband, also servant • Uncle Maury Bascomb– lives off his brother-in-law money • Versh- Dilseyand Roskus's son and Benjy's first caretaker. He is kind and responsible. • T. P. - Dilseyand Roskus's son and Benjy's second caretaker. • Frony- Dilsey and Roskus's daughter. • Luster -Frony'sson. He is Benjy's last caretaker, with a mischievous streak. He is a responsible baby-sitter, but also delights in making Benjy cry.
Understanding the plot • Written in 4 chapters: • I – narrated by Benjamin ( 7April, 1928) • II – narrated by Quentin (2 June, 1910) • III – narrated by Jason IV (6 April, 1928) • IV – third person narrative (8 April, 1928) • *on the surface, the focus of the novel is Caddy and her promiscuity
April Seventh, 1928 At this point in the story, Benjy is 33 years old - in fact, today is his birthday - but the story skips back and forth in time as various events trigger memories. This section of the book is commonly referred to as "Benjy's section" because it is narrated by the retarded youngest son of the Compsonfamily, Benjamin Compson.
June 2nd, 1910 This section of the book details the events of the day of Quentin's suicide, from the moment he wakes in the morning until he leaves his room that night, headed to the river to drown himself.
April 6, 1928 Beginning with the statement "once a bitch always a bitch," this section reads as if Jason is telling the reader the story of his day; it is more chronological and less choppy than Quentin's or Benjy's sections, but still unconventional in tone.
April 8, 1928 April 8, 1928, is Easter Sunday. This section, the only one without a single first person narrator, focuses on Dilsey, the powerful matriarch of the black servant family. 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.
THEMES.MOTIFS • MAJOR THEME: THE CORUPTION OF SOUTHERN ARISTOCRATIC VALUES; • The Failure of Language and Narrative • MOTIFS: TIME, ORDER AND CHAOSHADOWS
What about the title ? “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.” • Faulkner derived the title from words spoken by Macbeth, the murderous title character of Shakespeare's great play. Macbeth's conclusion that life is nothing more than a tale told by an idiot sums up the Faulkner novel. Benjy, of course, is the idiot.
Which character in the novel do you most admire?Which character do you least admire? Explain your answers.