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Table of Contents
The Sound and the Fury is the novel that emphasizes the use of different narratives styles. The main narrative style used is the stream of consciousness. The novel was in 1929 written by William Faulker. This was his fourth novel. The sound and the Fury was not an immediate success. The story in The Sound and the Fury is based on a fictional county of Yoknapatawpha. The family on focus is the Compson family who has moved from the southern side. The family is struggling with the split of the family and the reputation they now have. William Faulker splits the novel into four sections. The first focuses on Benjy Compson who has mental challenges. He is 33 years old and suffers from chronological leaps. The narrative for Benjy is done on the April 7, 1928. The second narrative focuses on Quentin Compson. It takes place in June 2, 1910. Quentin is Benjy’s elder brother. In the narrative, it shows how he ends up committing suicide. Quentin’s younger brother Jason is the one on focus on the third narrative. The last narrative focuses on Disley, the family’s black servant.
Benjy suffers from autism and this fact according to the family is a disgrace. His life is a daily struggle as he tries to live a normal life. His family is not giving him the much needed support. Benjy however gets to share his love and care with his older sister Caddy and the family’s servant Disley. The two are able to return his affection which makes life a bit bearable for Benjy. Autism was the main problem that Benjy had. He suffered from it from many years, all through to his adulthood. He receives no parental love, and this is attributed to the fact that he has autism. He is made like an outsider because of the condition he has. He sides his loneliness in three passions he has come to develop with time. The three include, fire, golf course and his sister Caddy. He goes to the local golf club to watch golfers. He listens keenly as the golfers call “caddie”, his favorite sibling name. Caddy at the time has been divorced with her husband after he found out that their child was not his. This family banish her. Benjy becomes very sad about the situation as Caddy was closest to her and now was gone. Benjy’s thoughts were on his sister. A sad occurrence happened and this is when Benjy was castrated after being attacked by a girl. In Benjy’s life there are many problems that add up to his life leaving him sad all the time. It is believed that people suffer for a certain reason and a particular time. Many people believe there is time for everything, including time to suffer. This however, does not seem to be the case for Benjy as his sorrows go from one to another. He is not relieved from the problems that he faces in his life.
Quentin is the one with a promising future of the Compson’s children. He is the most intelligent. He joins Harvard and is a freshman there, he is bothered by the way his sister Caddy was estranged from the family. He had previously been obsessed with Caddy’s virginity and purity. He becomes overly protective of her. She becomes pregnant by a man named Darlton but insists of getting married to another man. His mind is troubled by those thoughts and he starts to contemplate suicide. Even with his good education, we see Quentin suffering silently. It seems that problems don’t leave any member of the family, however hard they try. Suffering is a part of life that everyone must go through to understand the beauty of the good times. Human beings are able to best cherish the good times they have had before by suffering. They stop taking them for granted.
Jason is his mother’s favorite son. His mother considers him the most straight forward. He is the breadwinner of the family after his father passes on. With the financial responsibility of the family on his shoulder, he becomes bitter and cynical about it. He demands that Caddy put him as the sole guardian of her child. He takes advantage of that and uses the child support sent by Caddy to support her daughter. His cynicism is inherited from his father. In the family it is clear that everyone tries to live a good life but they eventually end up having problems. It is evident that no human being can evade suffering, one way or another.
The novel The Sound and the Fury illustrates the human suffering that is with us every day. Suffering and sorrow should be taken positively as hard as it may seem. The Compson family suffered in many different ways, but they still cared for each other. They worried about each other’s well being even in their suffering. Suffering is for all and human beings should strive to ensure they are not the cause of their brother’s sorrow.