Paradoxical Sense of Time in "the Sound and the Fury",

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In speaking of stream of consciousness in "The Sound and the Fury," one must take into account a few factors. Amongst them, confusion of chronology and dislocated time sequences are the most important. From Faulkner's point of view, time, more than anything else, is the ordering principle of social relations that, according to its organic connection with social situation and individual consciousness, creates different levels of consciousness. For example, in the case of Benjy, lack of consciousness may lead to a chaotic sense of time that may also paradoxically be linear. Or, time, as is the case with Quentin, may assume a philosophical dimension, a state, which results from his conscious wrestling with the questions of identity, honor and desire. In relation to Jason, the significance of time is locked with the importance of financial success. The flashbacks and transitions from the present to the past in Jason's mind are always associated with events in which he has lost a profit. Consequently, Jason always thinks that he has lost a deal and therefore he is drawn where he thinks he is behind time. But apart from these three conceptions of time, there is another view of time. This view of time, without emphasizing any of them in particular, combines the three different senses of time that are associated with Benjy, Quentin and Jason. It is natural that this complex and multi-dimensional view of time should affect the structure of the novel. In The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner narrates the struggle with time through the point of views of four characters. Benjy, the first narrator, is a castrated idiot who is incapable of speech. His lack of speech is symptomatic of his entrapment in the past and his unawareness of the present... ... middle of paper ... ... monologue is in such a way as if he was defending himself against a court. To prove his innocence, Jason goes on to condemn and damns anyone who opposes him (Caddy, Quentin, Benjy, Dilsey, etc). Here one can clearly see that Jason and Benjy, ironically, share one quality: they both evaluate any action only as it may affect them personally. "The Sound and the Fury" is the novel of time and timelessness. Although the concept and the impression of time is used differently in every section, it remains the main issue of the novel, and its relation to the ordering principle of social relations and individual consciousness, creates different levels of consciousness, thus, remains the main concept of the novel. Bibliography 1- Faulkner, William. THE SOUND AND THE FURY, The Corrected Text with Faulkner's Appendix. The Modern Library, New York, 1992, Random House

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