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The theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury

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. The novel is separated into four distinct sections. The first, April 7, 1928, is written from the perspective of Benjamin "Benjy" Compson, an intellectually disabled 33-year-old man.

The characteristics of his impairment are not clear, but it is implied that he has a learning disability. Benjy's section is characterized by a highly disjointed narrative style with frequent chronological leaps. The second section, June 2, 1910, focuses on Quentin CompsonBenjy's older brother, and the events leading up to his suicide.

In the third section, set a day before the first, on April 6, 1928, Faulkner writes from the point of view of Jason, Quentin's cynical younger brother. In the fourth and final section, set a day after the first, the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury April 8, 1928, Faulkner introduces a third person omniscient point of view.

The last section primarily focuses on Dilsey, one of the Compsons' black servants. Jason is also a focus in the section, but Faulkner presents glimpses of the thoughts and deeds of everyone in the family.

It contains a 30-page history of the Compson family from 1699 to 1945. April 7, 1928[ edit ] The first section of the novel is narrated by The theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury "Benjy" Compson, a source of shame to the family due to the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury diminished mental capacity; the only characters who show a genuine care for him are Caddy, his older sister; and Dilsey, a matriarchal servant.

His narrative voice is characterized predominantly by its nonlinearity: The presence of italics in Benjy's section is meant to indicate significant shifts in the narrative. Originally Faulkner meant to use different colored inks to signify chronological breaks. 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. Moreover, Benjy's caretaker changes to indicate the time period: Luster in the present, T.

In this section we see Benjy's three passions: But by 1928 Caddy has been banished from the Compson home after her husband divorced her because her child was not his, and the family has sold his favorite pasture to a local golf club in order to finance Quentin's Harvard education. In the opening scene, Benjy, accompanied by Luster, a servant boy, watches golfers on the nearby golf course as he waits to hear them call "caddie"—the name of his favorite sibling.

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. In 1898 when their grandmother died, the four Compson children were forced to play outside during the funeral.

In order to see what was going on inside, Caddy climbed a tree in the yard, and while looking inside, her brothers—Quentin, Jason and Benjy—looked up and noticed that her underwear was muddy.

The theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury

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. Other crucial memories in this section are Benjy's change of name from Maury, after his uncle in 1900 upon the discovery of his disability; the marriage and divorce of Caddy 1910and Benjy's castrationresulting from an attack on a girl that is alluded the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury briefly within this chapter when a gate is left unlatched and Benjy is out unsupervised.

Readers often report the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury 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.

June 2, 1910[ edit ] Quentin, the most intelligent of the Compson children, the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury the novel's best example of Faulkner's narrative technique. We see him as a freshman at Harvardwandering the streets of Cambridgecontemplating death, and remembering his family's estrangement from his sister Caddy. Like the first section, its narrative is not strictly linear, though the two interweaving threads, of Quentin at Harvard on the one hand, and of his memories on the other, are clearly discernible.

Quentin's main obsession is Caddy's virginity and purity. He is obsessed with Southern ideals of chivalry and is strongly protective of women, especially his sister.

When Caddy engages in sexual promiscuity, Quentin is horrified. He turns to his father for help and counsel, but the pragmatic Mr. Compson tells him that virginity is invented by men and should not be taken seriously. He also tells Quentin that time will heal all. Quentin spends much of his time trying to prove his father wrong, but is unable to do so.

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. The two fight, with Quentin losing disgracefully and Caddy vowing, for Quentin's sake, never to speak to Dalton again.

Quentin tells his father that they have committed incestbut his father knows that he is lying: 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" 51he could protect his sister by joining her in whatever punishment she might have to endure.

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In his mind, he feels a need to take responsibility for Caddy's sin. Pregnant and alone, Caddy then marries Herbert Head, whom Quentin finds repulsive, but Caddy is resolute: Herbert finds out that the child is not his, and sends Caddy and her new daughter away in shame. Quentin's wanderings through Harvard as he cuts classes follow the pattern of his heartbreak over losing Caddy.

For instance, he meets a small Italian immigrant girl who speaks no English. Significantly, he calls her "sister" and spends much of the day trying to communicate with her, and to care for her by finding her home, to no avail. He thinks sadly of the downfall and squalor of the South after the American Civil War.

Tormented by his conflicting thoughts and emotions, Quentin commits suicide by drowning. 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.

Not only do chronological events mesh together irregularly, but often especially at the end Faulkner completely disregards any semblance of grammar, spelling, or punctuation, instead writing in a rambling series of words, phrases, and sentences that have no separation to indicate where one thought ends and another begins. This confusion is due to Quentin's severe depression and deteriorating state of mindand Quentin is therefore arguably an even more unreliable narrator than the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury brother Benjy.

Because of the staggering complexity of this section, it is often the one most extensively studied by scholars of the novel. April 6, 1928[ edit ] The third section is narrated by Jason, the third child and his mother Caroline's favorite. It takes place the day before Benjy's section, on Good Friday.

Of the three brothers' sections, Jason's is the most straightforward, reflecting his single-minded desire for material wealth.

This idea is further emphasized with his bad investments on cotton, which becomes symbolic to the failing south. By 1928, Jason is the economic foundation of the family after his father's death. He supports his mother, Benjy, and Miss Quentin Caddy's daughteras well as the family's servants. His role makes him bitter and cynical, with little of the passionate sensitivity that marks his older brother and sister.

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. This is the first section that is narrated in a linear fashion.

It follows the course of Good Friday, a day in which Jason decides to leave work to search for Miss Quentin Caddy's daughterwho has run away again, seemingly in pursuit of mischief. 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: 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, 1928[ edit ] April 8, 1928, is Easter Sunday. This section, the only one without a single first-person narratorfocuses on Dilsey, the powerful matriarch of the black family servants.

She, in contrast to the the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury 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' the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury. Through her we sense the consequences of the decadence and depravity in which the Compsons have lived for decades.

Calvinistic Visions of Time and Humanity in The Sound and the Fury

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 the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury best to placate his brother. Jason the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury 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. 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 theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury

Having been written sixteen years after The Sound the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury 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 1779 and continuing through 1945, including events that transpired after the novel which takes place in 1928.

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.

It is also revealed that Jason had himself declared Benjy's legal guardian many years ago, the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury 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 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. The librarian later realizes that while Jason remains cold and unsympathetic the theme behind cleanth brooks the sound and the fury 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: He also narrates several chapters of Absalom, Absalom! In her old age she has become an abusive hypochondriac.

He is also a character in Absalom, Absalom! The bridge over the Charles Riverwhere he commits suicide in the novel, bears a plaque to commemorate the character's life and death.