This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Character Analyisis Of Benjy From William Faulkner's "The Sound And The Fury".

1235 words - 5 pages

Life's But a Walking ShadowLife's but a walking shadow; a poor player,That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,And then is heard no more: it is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing.- Shakespeare's Macbeth; Act V, Scene v, Lines 26-30How better could one describe the narrative of the beginning of this book than "told by an idiot," for told by an idiot it begins? Originally named Maury Compson, the mentally handicapped Benjamin is the first narrator of William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, a novel whose title originated from a line of William Shakespeare's famous play Macbeth (see quote above). With no concept of time nor reason, Benjy is left to live his painful life through mere memories of his family. He seems to remember not things he sees and hears, but more often things he smells. To understand all that the eyes see and the ears hear, this requires reason; but the human nose cannot lie to you -- if you smell lemons, there are lemons nearby, if you smell trees, nearby are trees -- or Caddy.Only Caddy, Benjy's older sister, holds compassion towards the slowest of the family. Benjy subconsciously relates the kindness and love that Caddy shows towards him and the innocence that she has as the smell of trees and leaves. All throughout the book, Benjy constantly says how "Caddy smelled like trees" (Faulkner 43). Yet in many cases, Benjy "couldn't smell trees anymore," thus showing that Caddy is not always there for Benjy (Faulkner 40). When Caddy is getting married, Benjy somehow knows that he is going to lose her, so he no longer recognizes Caddy as the young girl who used to play with Benjy and love him so dearly; she is now someone new, someone who no longer is innocent, and no longer smells like trees. When Caddy puts on perfume to prepare for a date, she loses her "scent of innocence;" and Benjy is even able to detect when she loses her virginity. Caddy is the thing in Benjy's life that he loves most, so he has a special connection with her. He knows not why she smells different in each of these events, but he can still tell that something's happened.Taking the novel back to a story's level, Faulkner may relate Caddy to trees because of a more symbolic reason -- the innocent Christ was crucified on wood, and Caddy could be seen as Benjy's Jesus, his savoir. So could it be that while Caddy is innocent, the scent of trees remain; but as she loses her innocence, becoming less Christ-like, she thus loses her leafy smell?Faulkner may have also chose to make Benjy the first narrator so the reader could better see how messed up the family is. Had the reader first read someone of the right mind's view of the family's history, it is possible that the family would have seemed a bit more normal. Or they could have seemed totally different than they truly were. Benjy also seems to have an objective narrative style. When he tells of events that occur, he tells them just as they happened. For example, rather than...

Find Another Essay On Character Analyisis of Benjy from William Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury".

A Comparison between the Benjy & Quentin sections of The Sound & the Fury

2115 words - 8 pages Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrowCreeps in this petty pace from day to dayTo the last syllable of recorded time,And all our yesterdays have lighted foolsThe way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle.Life's but a walking shadow, a poor playerThat struts and frets his hour upon the stage,And then is heard no more. It is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing.(Macbeth: V.v.18-27)These Shakespearean verses lend William

Dilsey's Easter Conversion in Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury

3052 words - 12 pages The main action of William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury occurs during Easter Week, 1928. Because Easter is the holiest event in the Christian calendar, and because the Passion Week serves as the book's main organizing device, many readers have sensed the presence of religious themes in this often opaque work. But over the past five decades, critical interpretations have ranged from Christian spirituality to existential nothingness. While

Changing Times Depicted in Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury

777 words - 3 pages might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools."- William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury, June Second, 1910 What seems to be Quentin’s downfall is the fact that he is obsessed with time and trying to stop time from moving

The Sound and the Fury, Caddy Compson by William Faulkner

2255 words - 9 pages Values are instilled from generation to generation ensuring that society is able to function with a sense of order. However, if humans grow mired in greedy and lustful intentions and expectations and allow these values to decline, then their lives are set up for gradual destruction. In William Faulkner’s iconic novel, The Sound and the Fury, Caddy Compson illustrates this decline in values as readers observe the results of her downfall on

"The sound and the fury", by William Faulkner. "The Death of a Family"

2906 words - 12 pages The subject-matter [of Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury] is the death of a family and the corresponding decay of a society. More narrowly, the novel is about the various Compsons--parents and children, brothers and sisters--and how they are able or not able to love each other, and how the failure of love destroys them all. The central focus is the beautiful and doomed Candace Compson. We never see her full-face or hear her speak in her own

Family and Human Relationships in The Sound and Fury by William Faulkner

1415 words - 6 pages Family and Human Relationships in The Sound and Fury by William Faulkner William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury is a novel about a family ties and relationships. Within the novel Faulkner examines family and human relationships and reactions. He presents a southern dysfunctional family, which believes that it has been plagued by problems. The basis for character, plot and title comes from an excerpt from Shakespeare's Macbeth

William Faulkner - The Sound and The Fury; this is comparison between the innocent and experienced characters in this book

1497 words - 6 pages The innocence of the human mind and soul are all relative to the level of understanding we have of this world. While on the other hand, those who are wily, street-smart and crafty are those who are experienced; those who know what makes a human being function, what the ultimate desire of man is and know how to obtain and use this desire for their own benefit.Benjy, the thirty-three year old mentally disabled man in William Faulkner's The Sound

The Character Puzzle - Barry Hannah's "Water Liars," Raymond Carver's "Cathedral," and William Faulkner's "Barn Burning"

1900 words - 8 pages The Character PuzzleHuman growth is an extraordinary anomaly. Every individual has their own way. Yet, the journey to maturity is hardly ever taken on a road with no bumps or sudden twists. Each personality must suffer conflict. Then, they must learn and grow from this in order to go through the 'rites of passage'. The age people achieve this varies, and some never see the other side. For the ones that do cross the bridge, maturity doesn't

"The Sound of Hollyhocks" by Hugh Garners: character analysis - William Cornish Radson, Insane or just Desperate?

635 words - 3 pages in order to avoid returning to the "Bitch of Belsen" is the concept behind the character of William Radson Cornish, in Hugh Garner's short story, "The sound of Hollyhocks". Rock was not completely insane-he new what he wanted, and more importantly what he didn't.

Character in William Faulkner's Barn Burning

640 words - 3 pages Character in William Faulkner's Barn Burning The use of concise imagery and brilliant description in William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" gives depth and familiarity to his two main characters. It is the poignant story of a boy's inner struggle between his inherent sense of right and the constricting bonds of blood which tie him to his evil, domineering father and pathetic family. Faulkner often attributes to his characters animal-like

The Sound And The Fury

787 words - 3 pages William Faulkner helped to bring about a new style of literature for the twentieth century known as the stream of consciousness. The stream of consciousness is a technique where the author takes the reader into the minds of the characters. This style is reflected through unorganized occurrences of events, random ideas associated with images, and in The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner employs the innovative style of multiple streams of consciousness

Similar Essays

The Character Of Benjy In The Sound And The Fury

1588 words - 6 pages The Character of Benjy in The Sound and the Fury In the short monologue from William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, the title character likens life to a “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury.” Benjy, a thirty-three year old idiot, begins to relate William Faulkner’s unfortunate tale of the Compson family in The Sound and the Fury. Just as it is a story told by an imbecile, it is one characterized by “sound” and “fury.” Benjy’s

Analyisis Of Quentin's Section In William Faulkner's "The Sound And The Fury"

680 words - 3 pages The Shadow of TimeIt is quite evident how the writing styles of the characters in William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury resemble their personality and mental stability. At the very beginning of section two, Quentin's sentence structure was very sturdy and accurate -- with the exception, of course, of the random interruptions of various memories. Yet later in his section, Quentin begins to lose his hold on life. It seems that everything is

Analyisis Of Benjy's First Section In William Faulkner's "The Sound And The Fury"

863 words - 3 pages William Faulkner, a strong man with even stronger words, fights hard to express his virtues and ideals in his many writings. The first section of his novel The Sound and the Fury is told by a mute handicap whose only means of communication is moaning and flailing his arms. However, the words he cannot speak are processed within his mind, as he lives through memory after memory, unable to differentiate between the past and the present.Faulkner

William Faulkner's The Sound And The Fury

1085 words - 4 pages Heart's Darling: Faulkner and Womanhood      In William Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury, Caddy Compson is the anchor character because Faulkner himself is so obsessed with her that he is unable bring her down off a platform enough to write words for her. Instead, he plays out his obsession by using her brothers as different parts of himself through which to play out his fantasies and interact with her. Faulkner