The Significance of Order and Pattern in The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

The Significance of Order and Pattern in The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

Length: 1016 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Sound and the Fury ends with Luster and Benjy's unfortunate journey to the cemetery to visit Mr. Compson and Quentin's tombs, a trip that Benjy makes every Sunday. The chaos that ensues in this scene proves to be an interesting analysis for the conclusion of the novel. It demonstrates to the reader that the Compson family is truly unable to escape its patterns of thought and behavior. This important theme of the novel is shown throughout the novel, through Quentin’s obsession with time and the guilt he feels over Caddy’s situation, Mr. Compson’s nihilistic attitude that leads to his alcoholism and eventual death, and Mrs. Compson’s constant referral to herself as a victim, but this final scene of the book fully brings it to an interesting and culminating close. The reader can see just how much the family’s obsession with patterns and order has done nothing but contribute to their social decline, demonstrated in this scene by Jason’s continued maltreatment of his brother. However, the reader also learns in this scene that order and pattern are necessary for Benjy to function. Therefore, the reader is faced with a difficult decision: Is it better to continue repeating negative thoughts and behaviors in order to keep Benjy content, or would it be best for Benjy and the family if they could completely change their ways?
On Easter Sunday in 1928, Luster drives Benjy to the cemetery, after much convincing of his grandmother Dilsey. As the carriage approaches the Confederate soldier monument on the courthouse square, Luster attempts to show off in front of a “group of negroes,” and decides to change the route that Benjy is accustomed to, which proves to be utterly disastrous (Faulkner 319). Luster only alters the route slightly, and ...


... middle of paper ...


... order of the Compson family is, especially the family’s treatment of Benjy, it is better for Benjy to have a sense of pattern and order in his life. Through the last scene, the reader can see that Benjy was happiest when Jason restored order back into their trip, even though he did it violently and with questionable intentions. It is easy, and justified, for the reader to be disgusted by the family’s treatment of Benjy, but he generally seems content in his life, probably because he has never known any other option. This was a sad reality of mental deficiencies at the time of the novel, but its depressing nature does not change the fact that keeping patterns and order, even if they were negative, was the best thing for Benjy to function at his highest level possible.







Works Cited

Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury. New York: Vintage Books, 1990. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner

- 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 ....   [tags: Time, Literary Devices]

Strong Essays
1341 words (3.8 pages)

The Sound and the Fury: Riding the Stream of Conciousness Essay

- ... Through Benjy, the reader is able to see how Caddy leaving has made a deep impact on the Compsons. Although being the most difficult character to understand throughout the novel, he is the most transparent. Quentin's section goes back to the day of his suicide. This section is compiled out of his jumbled inner thoughts before he kills himself. The use of the stream of consciousness helps demonstrate Quentin's puzzlement and astonishment toward both Caddy and the concept of time (Alirezazadeh)....   [tags: William Faulkner novel analysis]

Strong Essays
987 words (2.8 pages)

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner Essay

- In William Faulkner’s novel, The Sound and the Fury, the decline of southern moral values at the close of the Civil War was a major theme. This idea was portrayed by the debilitation of the Compson family. Each chapter of the novel was a different characters’ interpretation of the decaying Compson family. Benjy, Quentin, and Jason Compson were three members of the Compson family who had their own section in the novel. Their unique ideas contributed to the reader’s understanding of the novel. In his novel, The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner’s characters’ relationship with time played a significant role in the novel....   [tags: The Sound and the Fury ]

Strong Essays
1488 words (4.3 pages)

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner Essay

- William Faulkner is a celebrated American author. A native of the south, many of his novels have a southern influence and often revolve around a common theme: the fall of the South. These novels contain elements and characteristics similar to those of the south after the Civil War. Faulkner symbolizes the fall of the south throughout his novel The Sound and the Fury by illustrating how the male characters are weaker than the female characters. Jason Compson III, the father of the Compson family, is considered a weak character due to flaws in his personality....   [tags: The Sound and the Fury ]

Strong Essays
1113 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury is a novel that depicts the loss of traditional Southern values after the Civil War. This corruption is shown through the Compson family, whose notions of family honor and obsession with their family name are the driving force in severing all the ties that once held them together. Mr. Compson tries to instill these notions into his four children, but each is so occupied by their own beliefs and obsessions that this effort results in a house that is completely devoid of love and consumed by self-absorption....   [tags: Sound fury william Faulkner Essays]

Free Essays
445 words (1.3 pages)

William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury Essay

- William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury In William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, the image of honeysuckle is used repeatedly to reflect Quentin’s preoccupation with Caddy’s sexuality. Throughout the Quentin section of Faulkner’s work, the image of honeysuckle arises in conjunction with the loss of Caddy’s virginity and Quentin’s anxiety over this loss. The particular construction of this image is unique and important to the work in that Quentin himself understands that the honeysuckle is a symbol for Caddy’s sexuality....   [tags: Faulkner Sound Fury Essays]

Strong Essays
1595 words (4.6 pages)

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner Essay

- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner One of the main realities of human existence is the constant, unceasing passage of time. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner explores this reality of time in many new and unexpected ways as he tells the tragic tail of the Compson family. The Compsons are an old Southern aristocratic family to whom time has not been kind. Years of degeneration mainly stemming from slavery have brought them to the brink of destruction. Most of the story focuses on the Compson children who are undergoing the worst of the social and moral decay....   [tags: Slavery The Sound and the Fury Essays]

Strong Essays
1024 words (2.9 pages)

The Sound and the Fury Essay

- The Sound and the Fury: Chronology of Despair Three little boys watch wearily and fearfully as their sister shimmies quickly up a tree to peer through the window of a dilapidated Southern farmhouse. Our attention focuses neither on her reaction to the festivities commencing in the house, nor on the danger suspended nervously in the dusky air as the tiny image worms up the tree trunk. Sensing the distress apparent in the boys’ words and actions, our eyes rivet to the same thing that fills their faces with apprehension—the dark and muddied stain of filth firmly planted on the bottom of the little girl’s underpants....   [tags: Sound Fury]

Strong Essays
6984 words (20 pages)

The Role of the Watch in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Essay

- The Role of the Watch in William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily Even the casual reader of William Faulkner will recognize the element of time as a crucial one in much of the writer's work, and the critical attention given to the subject of time in Faulkner most certainly fills many pages of criticism. A goodly number of those pages of criticism deal with the well-known short story, "A Rose for Emily." Several scholars, most notably Paul McGlynn, have worked to untangle the confusing chronology of this work (461-62)....   [tags: A Rose for Emily, William Faulkner]

Strong Essays
1194 words (3.4 pages)

Sound and The Fury Essay

- Sound and The Fury William Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury is a complicated story of tragedy, lies, and destruction. The whole Compson family is filled with negativity and bad decisions. The family is broken down little by little until it is finally destroyed. Ms. Compson is supposed to be in control but she is a neurotic self-centered woman that escapes responsibility by depending on Dilsey for every need. Ms Compson also created hostility between the Family. Jason, the head of the family since their father died, is always knowing but only cares for himself....   [tags: Faulkner Sound and the Fury Essays]

Free Essays
682 words (1.9 pages)