Friday, May 29, 2009

The Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

1949 Nobel

The Compton family are the descendents of a once noble family with a Civil War general and a governor in their family tree. But they are self-destructing. Father is content to rest on the laurels earned before him and Mother is self-absorbed and can't connect with her children. They are basically being raised by Dilsey, the black housekeeper.

The Sound and the Fury is written in four sections. The first section is through Benjy's eyes on his 33rd birthday. Benjy is severly retarded and cannot talk. While roaming around outside with one of Dilseys boys, Benjy's mind keeps jumping around as things provoke his memory. But Benjy has no concept of time so his memories could have happened yesterday as far as he knows. The second section narrated on the last day of Quenton's life. Quenton is unable to handle the loss of honor his sister has caused the family. The third section is narrated by Jason, the mean-spirited middle son. The final section is written in the third person.

It's an incredible book. The different sections are written in different voices and no two are alike. Benjy jumps all over time. Quenton gets more and more disjointed as his day goes one. And Jason just reeks of hate and greed. You have to pay attention with this book but it's well worth the effort.

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