Often referred to as Quentin II or Miss Quentin by readers to distinguish her from her uncle, for whom she was named. Although her presence is pervasive throughout, Caddy does not actually appear in the novel. The Sound and the Fury documents the decline of these families. All but the second section are set in fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, in April 1928. It follows the course of Good Friday, a day in which Jason decides to leave work to search for Miss Quentin, who has run away again, seemingly in pursuit of mischief. The Sound and the Fury, novel by William Faulkner, published in 1929, that details the destruction and downfall of the aristocratic Compson family from four different points of view. At this critical moment in American history, the South was in the process of redefining itself and its values in the absence of slavery. Over the course of the 30 years or so related in the novel, the family falls into financial ruin, loses its religious faith and the respect of the town of Jefferson, and many of them die tragically. Creeps in this petty pace from day to day Unlike the previous two, Jason’s section is straightforward and, for the most part, linear: it chronicles his present activities and interactions, both at the Compson house and the farm-supply store where he works. Caddy argues that she won’t get whipped. For better or for worse, critics compared the novel to James Joyce’s novel Ulysses (1922), which employed a similar style of narration that incorporated interior monologues and streams of consciousness. This is the first section that is narrated in a linear fashion. It’s cold out. This edition is the first to use colored ink to represent different time sequences for the first section of the novel. He knows more. According to The Folio Society, "We can never know if this [edition] is exactly what Faulkner would have envisaged, but the result justifies his belief that coloured inks would allow readers to follow the strands of the novel more easily, without compromising the ‘thought-transference’ for which he argued so passionately. The actions of the present (here, 1910) are Quentin’s as he prepares to commit suicide. He goes to school. The idea can be extended also to Quentin and Jason, whose narratives display their own varieties of idiocy. After all, she’s seven. And all our yesterdays have lighted fools Published in 1929, The Sound and the Fury was Faulkner's fourth novel, and was not immediately successful. Moreover, Benjy's caretaker changes to indicate the time period: Luster in the present, T.P. , In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Sound and the Fury sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.. P. 3, Scene 1 (1928) Through the fence . Directed by James Franco. An appendix to the novel, published in 1946, details the fates of the surviving Compsons. The The Sound and the Fury quotes below are all either spoken by Quentin Compson or refer to Quentin Compson. It employs several narrative styles, including stream of consciousness. Benjamin (nicknamed Benjy, born Maury) Compson – the mentally disabled fourth child, who is a constant source of shame and grief for his family, especially his mother, who insisted on his name change to Benjamin. For a moment, mother and daughter become indistinguishable to Benjy; then, Miss Quentin sees and snaps at him. In addition, it is viewed as an essential development in the stream-of-consciousness literary technique. 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. Miss Quentin remained with the family to be raised as a Compson. With James Franco, Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Loretta Devine. Audience Reviews for The Sound and the Fury. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance. Dilsey Gibson The black cook whose task it is to bring order out of the sound and fury created by the Compsons. For nearly 15 years Jason has kept up this scheme undiscovered—until April 6, 1928, when Caddy sends a money order (requiring a signature) in place of a check, and Miss Quentin, at last, learns about her uncle’s subterfuge. Conventional wisdom insists that William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury is unfilmable, what with its chaotic timeline, numerous shifts in perspective, parade of unreliable narrators, and occasional disinterest in coherent dialogue. The third section is narrated by Jason, the third child and his mother Caroline's favorite. . Initial critical reactions to The Sound and the Fury were mixed. This nonlinearity makes the style of this section particularly challenging, but Benjy's style develops a cadence that, while not chronologically coherent, provides unbiased insight into many characters' true motivations. After Jason gets off the carriage and Luster heads home, Benjy suddenly becomes silent. Suggestions Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Versh says that her mom will whip her for getting wet. When he fails to protect that honour—that is, when Caddy loses her virginity to Dalton Ames and becomes pregnant—Quentin elects to commit suicide. Quentin identifies his sister as the principal bearer of the honour he is to protect. The presence of italics in Benjy's section indicates significant shifts in the narrative. Often jarring and confusing, Faulkner’s use of time is downright disorientating. To the last syllable of recorded time, 1900: Maury renamed Benjamin by his mother. The Compsons changed Benjy’s name from Maury to Benjamin in 1900 . , In 2012, The Folio Society released an edition, limited to 1,480 copies, of The Sound and the Fury. Jason slaps Luster, turns the carriage around, and, in an attempt to quiet Benjy, hits Benjy, breaking his flower stalk, while screaming "Shut up!" Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Sound and the Fury and what it means. This last section primarily focuses on Dilsey, one of the Compsons' black servants, and her relations with Jason and "Miss" Quentin Compson (Caddy's daughter), with glimpses of the thoughts and deeds of everyone in the family. Roskus Dilsey's husband, who also works for the Compsons. Search all of SparkNotes Search. The arguments for this novel and its stream-of-consciousness narrative style, which I learned was relatively new at the time of its publication, remind me of classical music and its transition to the romantic era of the 19th century and eventually to what is known as "20th century music." On this Easter Sunday, Dilsey takes her family and Benjy to the "colored" church. Yet today Faulkner’s “most splendid failure” (as he called it) is considered a landmark Modernist text and a masterpiece of 20th-century American literature. Meanwhile, the tension between Jason and Miss Quentin reaches its inevitable conclusion. Space and Time in The Sound and the Fury By Stephen Railton The three videos here try to do two things at more or less the same time: demonstrate some of the ways you can use Digital Yoknapatawpha in your classroom or research, and develop a reading of some of the novel's major themes. More time spent in the sultry South, where sex is so alluring simply because there's not a heck of a lot much else to do. 1890-1895: Quentin, Candace, Jason & Maury Compson born to Carolyn (Bascomb) and Jason Compson. Versh and T. P. Dilsey's sons, who are Benjy's keepers during the earlier parts of Benjy's life. He goes so far as to blackmail Caddy into making him Miss Quentin's sole guardian, then uses that role to steal the support payments that Caddy sends for her daughter. In 1898, Damuddy died and Caddy got herself dirty in the stream. In her old age she has become an abusive hypochondriac. Tormented by his conflicting thoughts and emotions, Quentin commits suicide by drowning. 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 1779 and continuing through 1945, including events that transpired after the novel (which takes place in 1928). Quentin Compson III – the oldest Compson child: passionate and neurotic, he commits suicide as the tragic culmination of the damaging influence of his father's pessimistic philosophy and his inability to cope with his sister's sexual promiscuity. It is nearly unanimously considered a masterpiece by literary critics and scholars, but its unconventional narrative style frequently alienates new readers. In 1943, 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. In 1945, Faulkner wrote a "Compson Appendix" to be included with future printings of The Sound and the Fury. The second section, June 2, 1910, focuses on Quentin Compson, Benjy's older brother, and the events leading up to his suicide. The precise character of his disability is not known; he is sometimes called a “looney” or, more commonly, an “idiot.” Evidently, his disability affects his ability to speak (he communicates by “moaning”) and to reason. Benjy and Caddy got caught carrying the love letter from Uncle Maury to Mrs. Patterson in 1902. She should know. Unless, of course, you’re a reader of The Sound and the Fury.In that case, starting in Benjy’s world can be a bit of a nightmare. Luster, albeit begrudgingly, shows concern for him occasionally, but usually out of obligation. The four sections, despite their formal differences, overlap in important ways. 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. Marshall, Alexander J., III. When one of them calls for his golf caddie, Benjy's mind embarks on a whirlwind course of memories of his sister, Caddy, focusing on one critical scene. Sound and Fury Timeline By Billy Lau, Constance Wilde, Meriam Salem, Yazen Fayad, and Stanley Anderson Benjy's Story April 7th,1928 1898- Benjy watches Caddy as she watches Damuddy's funeral. Otherwise, they signify nothing. In 1945, Faulkner wrote an appendix to the novel to be published in the then-forthcoming anthology The Portable Faulkner. The sensation reminds him of an earlier time (1902) when Caddy uncaught him and led him through the fence. . described it 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." The Sound and the Fury Timeline by Aubrey Clark If the story had happened today, many of the characters would have been able to get help and they may have survived and led lives that weren't misery filled. The first section is notoriously difficult to read: its narrator, Benjy, has an intellectual disability. Explanation of the famous quotes in The Sound and the Fury, including all important speeches, comments, quotations, and monologues. Caddy tells Benjy to keep his hands in his pockets. The first section of the novel is narrated by Benjamin "Benjy" Compson, a source of shame to the family due to his diminished mental capacity; the only characters who show genuine care for him are Caddy, his older sister, and Dilsey, a matronly servant. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1983. The fourth section has a third-person omniscient narrator. Benjy Compson. Sound and Fury Chronology. In particular, the appendix reveals that Caroline Compson died in 1933, 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. Jason never stops blaming Caddy for cheating him out of his future. Quentin's idea of incest is shaped by the idea that, if they "could just have done something so dreadful that they would have fled hell except us" (51), he could protect his sister by joining her in whatever punishment she might have to endure. At the end of the novel, the Compson family is in ruins and, on a larger scale, the Southern aristocracy is too. At Faulkner's behest, however, subsequent printings of The Sound and the Fury frequently contain the appendix at the end of the book; it is sometimes referred to as the fifth part. The burden of the past falls heavily upon Quentin, who, as the eldest son, feels he must preserve and protect the Compson family honour. This is Benjy's first memory, and he associates Caddy with trees throughout the rest of his arc, often saying that she smells like trees. "Faulkner's Heterodoxy: Faith and Family in. Pregnant and alone, Caddy then marries Herbert Head, whom Quentin finds repulsive, but Caddy is resolute: she must marry before the birth of her child. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. "Trying Not to Say: A Primer on the Language of, Urgo, Joseph R. "A Note on Reverend Shegog's Sermon in Faulkner's, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 19:07. In 1957 he This memory provokes another: Benjy remembers visiting a cemetery to see the graves of his father and brother (1912 or 1913). The Most Splendid Failure: Faulkner's. 1898: their grandmother, Damuddy, dies. Who invented the historical novel? Benjy's eyes are "empty and blue and serene again.". In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Sound and the Fury sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The third section of The Sound and the Fury returns to Yoknapatawpha County in the year 1928. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Its death knell is tolled on April 8, 1928, by Miss Quentin, who “swung herself by a rainpipe” to the locked window of her uncle’s bedroom, took her mother’s money, “climbed down the same rainpipe in the dusk,” and vanished, taking with her not only the money but the last semblance of the Compson family honour. Settle in for this novel-length quiz and find out what you know. The title of Faulkner’s novel alone expresses Faulkner’s concern with time. He works at a farming goods store owned by a man named Earl and becomes head of the household in 1912. 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. As a novel constructed around past events which have taken place before the time of narration, the past seems to be very much alive within the narration of the three Compson brothers. The visiting minister preaches about redemption, and Dilsey, thinking of the Compsons and the events of the morning, begins to cry. As Benjy enters the Compson house, his thoughts turn to his castration several years earlier and to the events leading up to the loss of Caddy’s virginity (1909). When Caddy gets married to Herbert Head, Jason’s promised a job at the bank in Jefferson. In 1931, however, when Faulkner's sixth novel, Sanctuary, was published—a sensationalist story, which Faulkner later said was written only for money—The Sound and the Fury also became commercially successful, and Faulkner began to receive critical attention. Out, out, brief candle! Sound and the Fury, The. Caddy is the only family member who shows any genuine love towards him. He also tells Quentin that time will heal all. Updates? The novel is separated into four narratives. 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. Faulkner has been praised for his ability to recreate the thought process of the human mind. A nearby golfer’s call for his “caddie” recalls more memories of Caddy; Benjy remembers Caddy’s wedding (1910) and Caddy’s leaving (1911) and also the sight of Caddy’s muddy underwear on the day of his grandmother’s funeral (1898). He watches Caddy squat down and get her dress wet. The Sound and the Fury is a novel by the American author William Faulkner. The first three are presented from the perspectives of the three Compson sons: Benjamin (“Benjy,” born Maury), the “idiot”; Quentin, the suicidal student; and Jason, the failed businessman. This came as no surprise to Faulkner, who, prior to publication, told his agent that The Sound and the Fury ought to be printed “with different color types for the different times in Benjy’s section” to make the text “simpler.” Faulkner, to his dismay, was told this was not possible. This section is written in the stream of consciousness style and also contains frequent chronological leaps. In essence, they tell the same story—that of the elusive Compson daughter, Candace (“Caddy”), who was divorced by her husband and disowned by her family after it was revealed that her child, Quentin (“Miss Quentin,” named for her uncle), had been conceived out of wedlock. The novel centers on the Compson family, former Southern aristocrats who are struggling to deal with the dissolution of their family and its reputation. The way to dusty death. The events of the first section of The Sound and the Fury take place some 17 years after Caddy’s departure. In Jason’s absence, Dilsey, Luster, and Benjy attend Easter service at Dilsey’s church. For the Shakespeare quote, see, 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, http://drc.usask.ca/projects/faulkner/main/criticism/morrison.html, http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels/, "The Sound and the Fury; Folio Society Limited Edition", William Clark Falkner (great-grandfather), A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Sound_and_the_Fury&oldid=995564342, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2020, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Jason Compson III – father of the Compson family, a lawyer who attended the. Unbeknownst to him, the events he narrates as “the present” actually span a 30-year period, from 1898 to 1928. As a novel constructed around past events which have taken place before the time of narration, the past seems to be very much alive within the narration of the three Compson brothers. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Benjy goes with Caddy to deliver a letter from Uncle Maury to Mrs. Patterson. We see him as a freshman at Harvard, wandering the streets of Cambridge, contemplating death, and remembering his family's estrangement from his sister Caddy. 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. The Sound and the Fury is divided into four sections. Quentin tells his father that they have committed incest, but his father knows that he is lying: "and he did you try to make her do it and i i was afraid to i was afraid she might and then it wouldn't do any good" (112). In the present action, Benjy and Luster return to the Compson house. ", This article is about the novel by William Faulkner. It is implied that Quentin’s memories—and these four in particular—compel his suicide. BACK; NEXT ; Caddy un-snags Benjy’s shirt. This confusion is due to Quentin's severe depression and deteriorating state of mind, and Quentin is therefore arguably an even more unreliable narrator than his brother Benjy. The Sound and the Fury was written (and is set) in the postbellum American South, in the period after Reconstruction (1865–77). Caddy never develops a voice; rather, her brothers' emotions towards her provide the development of her character. Jason Compson IV – the bitter, openly racist third child who is troubled by monetary debt and sexual frustration. Still, Jason withholds the money. 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. She, with the help of her grandson Luster, cares for Benjy, as she takes him to church and tries to bring him to salvation. They crawl through the fence together, Caddy guiding Benjy all the way. Shortly before Quentin leaves for Harvard in the fall of 1909, Caddy becomes pregnant by a lover she is unable to identify, perhaps Dalton Ames, whom Quentin confronts. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The timeline below shows where the character Benjamin (Benjy) Compson appears in The Sound and the Fury. By 1928, Jason is the economic foundation of the family after his father's death. The Compsons, for the most part, shirk this responsibility. The Sound and the Fury is a widely influential work of literature. When Benjy returns home, Uncle Maury hits him. April Seventh, 1928...is Benjy, a mentally disabled man whose thirty-third birthday is occurring today, the day before Easter. as a series of failures: And I tried first to tell it with one brother, and that wasn’t enough… I tried with another brother, and that wasn’t enough… I tried the third brother… And that failed and I tried myself—the fourth section—to tell what happened, and I still failed. Readers often report trouble understanding this portion of the novel due to its impressionistic language necessitated by Benjamin's mental abilities, as well as its frequent shifts in time and setting. In this tutorial he explains how to see the nihilism in the Compsons. The timeline below shows where the symbol Easter appears in The Sound and the Fury. In Faulkner’s novel The Sound and the Fury, time and the past appear as crucial but complex themes. According to the appendix, Benjy was committed to an asylum in 1933; Jason moved into an apartment above the supply-store; and Caddy moved to Paris, where she lived at the time of the German occupation of France (1940–44). https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Sound-and-the-Fury-novel-by-Faulkner. His section ends in his room, 30 years before it began, with the memory of Caddy holding him on the night she muddied her underwear (1898). Benjy's section is characterized by a highly disjointed narrative style with frequent chronological leaps. Apr 07, 2018. That struts and frets his hour upon the stage Quentin’s present actions are set against his memories of key events in his life, most of which involve Caddy or Caddy’s lovers. I often had to look back over the previous pages to gather which tense the current character was talking about. It contains a 30-page history of the Compson family from 1699 to 1945.. She is reconstructed through the memories of her three brothers, each of whom remembers and relates to her in a different way. The timeline below shows where the symbol Quentin’s Watch appears in The Sound and the Fury. Dilsey Gibson – the matriarch of the servant family, which includes her three children—Versh, Frony, and T.P.—and her grandchild Luster (Frony's son); they serve as Benjamin's caretakers throughout his life. In the fourth and final section, set a day after the first, on April 8, 1928, Faulkner introduces a third person omniscient point of view. While many first-time readers report Benjy's section as being difficult to understand, these same readers often find Quentin's section to be near impossible. A number of scholars, for example, have made the case for a link between Faulkner’s conception of time and the theory of duration formulated by French philosopher Henri Bergson. In addition to Faulkners title, we can find several of the novels important motifs in Macbeths short soliloquy in Act V, scene v: After church, Dilsey allows her grandson Luster to drive Benjy in the family's decrepit horse and carriage to the graveyard. Dilsey is mistreated and abused, but nevertheless remains loyal. The Sound and the Fury’s form is distinctly Modernist: Faulkner employs a number of narrative techniques, including unreliable narrators, interior monologues, and unconventional syntax, that are recurrent features of literary Modernism. Benjy's only real caregiver and Quentin's best friend. This section—Jason’s section—is set one day before the first, on April 6, 1928. Quentin Compson Timeline and Summary. She is wild and promiscuous, and eventually runs away from home. The fourth section is narrated in the third-person and focuses primarily on Dilsey, the Compsons’ black servant. Since Benjy is turning thirty-three on April Seventh, 1928 , he must have been born in 1895. Originally Faulkner meant to use different colored inks to signify chronological breaks. There they see Caddy’s daughter, Miss Quentin, embracing a boy on a swing. 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. He goes to school. 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 work. Submitted and determine whether to revise the article brother ( 1912 or )... Works in … Caddy Compson timeline and Summary but usually out of the family be. In William Faulkner tells Quentin that time will heal all no intellectual disability,,! 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