The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner

1341 Words6 Pages
When William Faulkner first published his novel, The Sound and the Fury, in 1929, it was not only heavily criticized, but also highly expirimental. Faulkner pioneered the road to literary modernism by completely abandoning most traditional forms and structures of writing. Faulkner’s framework behind the structure of The Sound and the Fury can be seen in the way that he divided the book into four segments. With each segment being told through a different character’s point of view, the story branches out and many details are revealed, including the varying ways each Compson brother interacts with time . In his novel, The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner uses techniques such as multiple narrators, stream of consciousness narrative, shifts between present and past tenses, and presents no clear chronological order in his storyline, in order to establish that time is not a constant or objective being, but that it interacts with each Compson brother differently. Faulkner first presents an image of time through the character Benjy in “April Seventh, 1928”. Benjy’s interpretation of time stems from his disability to distinguish between past and present. The connections Benjy makes between the differences in time allow him to see through the Compson’s family obsession with their previous greatness, and instead Benjy recognizes the family’s self-destruction. Faulkner illustrates Benjy’s connections by using a stream of consciousness narrative to portray all events, in “April Seventh, 1928”, in the present regardless of when they occurred. Although the events that occurred in the present are insignificant and rather confusing to follow, they evoke memories within Benjy that prove to be both important and enlightening for the reader. On... ... middle of paper ... ...hout his novel, The Sound and the Fury, he was a attempting a difficult and complicated task. Nevertheless, through the use of completely unknown literary devices at the time, Faulkner succeeded in his representation of time as a inconstant and wavering force. The subjectivity of time became obvious throughout the novel as Faulkner used the three Compson brothers, Benjy, Quentin, and Jason to show the effect that time can have on a person as they each grow and interact with it individualy. In his novel, The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner uses a four sectioned structure and techniques such as multiple narrators, stream of consciousness narrative, and shifts between present and past tenses in order to show that as time interacted with each Compson brother separately, it had a completely different effect on them indavidualy and how it influenced their lives.
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