the sound and fury final work
Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The story The Sound and fury developed by William Faulkner is set in Jefferson, Mississippi, and centers on the Compson’s family. It applies a variety of different writing and narrative styles and techniques as evidenced in the writing styles adopted by various authors during the 20th European Century novelists. The method is known as the stream of consciousness. The Compson family are a group of southern aristocrats who have been struggling in dealing with family issues that is facing separation and. They are therefore much concerned about rebuilding the family’s reputation that has been destroyed over the course of 30 years as depicted in the novel. It faces significant challenges that risk its existence through regular losses, financial ruin, and fall of its religious faith and respect in their hometown Jefferson.
Quentin Compson is a young man that has qualified to join Harvard University speaking in June 1910. The family relies on his education thus they sell a piece of their land to cater for his education. He later commits suicide while in his first year at the University. Their father, Mr. Compson is an old man who has drowned into alcoholism. The family fails to secure the only family property and land that the grandparents had protected until the civil war period.
Mr. Jason Compson III
He is the cynical head of the Compson family who subscribes to the belief of fatalism. He believes that nothing can be done to change whatever events that happen in life. He further subscribes to the school of thought that life is meaningless and not worthy. He, therefore, does nothing to alleviate the woes facing his family. Despite the cynical character, Mr. Compson portrays the virtues of gentlemanliness in that he even risks his family’s survival in Quentin’s education at Harvard who would carry further the family name. Mr. Compson later dies through alcoholism later.
He has been described as a speechless idiot who depended on caddy her sister for affection. He is such stupid that he even can’t understand simple concepts in life such time, cause and effect and almost succumbs in auditory cues that exist in the life around him. Despite his inability, Benjy can smell and understand right and wrong. For instance from a distance he can feel when Caddy loses her virginity and engagement in immoral acts. He even realizes when his brother Quentin hangs himself while several miles away from Harvard.
The Corruption of Southern Aristocratic Values
The period saw the rise of many southern families including the Compson’s family. These were noble in nature and espoused the traditional values that involved different expectations on all family members. Men across the society were expected to behave like gentlemen while females were required to preserve the feminine purity and virginity. Chastity would be maintained until maturity during the time of marriage when they were expected to provide children who would inherit and further the particular family’s legacy in the society. The civil war that prevailed during the period destroyed all these great customs and values (Sparknotes.com, n.pag.).
The civil war and reconstruction process that ensued after further caused disintegration of the southern aristocratic families including Compson as people got lost in the haze of self-absorption. This process corrupted the core values that were upheld as they struggled to adapt to the new realities brought together with the civil war in the modern world. Children were left with no values to maintain as all had been ruined. For instance, Caddy, Mr. Compson’s daughter had a pregnancy before marriage. The suitor upon discovering that she was pregnant with somebody else’s’ child, he divorced her. The rest of the family responds through dishonoring Caddy from the family. She leaves the family but her daughter upon maturity, she adopts bad morals (Faulkner 22-45).
Mr. Compson gets himself addicted to alcoholism, and he almost influences Quentin. He believes that he can’t control the fatalities and a bad omen that has befallen his family. Her wife Mrs. Compson is a self-absorbed braggart who distant herself from the emotional connection with her children. The other members of Compson family such as Quentin are paralyzed and stuck in the sins of the family whereas Jason suffocates in her greed as he absorbs the reality of the new age. The rest of the family is ruined through the fall of their aristocratic nature. The corruption further affects the family that is devoid of the love that held it together.
Resurrection and Renewal
Faulkner set the novel’s climax to take place around Easter, 1928. This period is symbolic since it’s at this period that marks the suffering, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ. All this is used in a symbolic manner as evidenced by the suffering and downfall of the Compson family. It’s at this period that Quentin hangs himself following several woes of his family. Previously, caddy had lost her virginity, bore a child and later disowned by her family. Mrs. Quentin, Caddy’s daughter, loses her virginity too at such a tender age whereas Jason succumbs into unorthodox behaviors (Sparknotes.com, n.pag.).
The presence of Benjy in Compson family has also been liked to Christ. He is even at thirty-three years of age, the same age as Christ during the crucifixion. Although Compson family has fallen, there is still hope that stands through Dilsey. She is the suffering servant that enduring for a long time in the Compson family. The same hope appears after the death of Christ during his resurrection. Dilsey has for a long time tolerated the cruelty of Jason and Benjy’s intolerant incapacitation. She, however, appear to revive the hope of the dying Compson family as she remains outstanding and holds the values such as hard work, endurance in love and religious beliefs ( 311-326).
Stylistic devises used
Faulkner employs the use of shadows in the story, The Sound and Fury to predict the timer difference between facing Compson family. Use of shadows is seen primarily through Benjy and Quentin’s parts to contract the present state the family is in and the past life they lived. Quentin understands that the shadows are a subtle memory and flashback of the once ever united family. They in the past lived together in harmony, had their land under control, but they failed to protect it during the cold war. Compson name is destined to be ruined and end since nobody will be there to further it (Faulkner 100-45).
Water has been used symbolically to indicate its cleansing abilities throughout the novel with much application of the stylistic device about Caddy. As a young child, Caddy plays in the stream showing her purity and innocence. However, she muddies herself through mud thus indicating her future indulgence into morally unacceptable deeds such as promiscuity at the later age (Churchwell N.p). When Benjy gets upset when he smells Caddy wearing a perfume, rushes and washes herself to cleanse the smell. Similarly, she also wipes her mouth when Benjy touched her as she engaged Charlie. However, upon losing her virginity, she is totally sure that no amount of cleaning could clean her up.
The watch given as a gift to Quentin from his Father Mr. Compson so to alleviate the bad feeling he gets as he watches time pass hence bringing more woes unto the family. The watch symbolically indicates how the family has been caught up in the fast-moving time and the changes it brings with it. Quentin himself is much obsessed with the way time moves and the bad changes it brings to his family (Study.com N.p.). He finally succumbs to the pressures of seeing his family disintegrate hence taking on his life. His efforts to avoid or escape time through the watch are fruitless as it keeps on tickling
Faulkner, William. The Sound And The Fury. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. Print.
Sparknotes.com, “Sparknotes: The Sound And The Fury.” N.p., 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.
Faulkner, William. Three Novels By William Faulkner. New York: Vintage Books, 2005. Print.
Churchwell, Sarah. “Sarah Churchwell: Rereading The Sound And The Fury By William Faulkner.” The Guardian. N.p., 2012. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.
Study.com, “The Sound And The Fury By Faulkner: Summary & Analysis | Study.Com.” N.p., 2015. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.
Anderson, Deland. “THROUGH DAYS OF EASTER: TIME AND NARRATIVE IN THE SOUND AND THE FURY.” Literature Theology 4.3 (1990): 311-326. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.