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:
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life'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 tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing. (ACT V, SC V)
This quotation sets the stage for most of the novel. The development of the novel and the relationships within the novel takes shape from segments derived from the latter quotation. Faulkner creates all of the characters in the form of Shakespeare's player. He then adds unique qualities that individualize each character. Each character views things differently then the rest of the family. Even the three brothers obtain and form different opinions about things, especially in regard to their opinions toward Caddy. The novel is split into four different perspectives. Three out of these four are written in the opinions of the brothers. In all of these viewpoints Caddy seems to be the central idea. The first story is told through the eyes of Benjy. Benjy is the least complex character within the novel. His relationship in regard to Caddy is simple and innocent. Benjy is a man-child and Caddy is his caretaker, a safety net. She is the only one that truly views him as a person and not just a hindrance, or punishment. This in return makes Benjy's opinion of Caddy optimistic. He views her as security and decency. Jason and Caddy's relationship is distant; the basis for their relationship is purely business and money. Jason and Caddy's relationship is very different then that of her and her other two brothers. Quentin and Caddy are extremely close to one another, sometimes almost intimate. They are very similar to each other, except Quentin is a more tragic character then Caddy. Overall, Caddy and her relationships with her brothers are the focal point of The Sound and the Fury. The three brothers present several controversial opinions concerning their sister, Caddy. With all three of the brothers there are conflicting opinions that are presented within their stories. In the three perspectives of the brothers the final opinions of Caddy are overwhelmingly negative opinions.
Faulkner allows each brother to tell his views on life and different occurrences that affect him. Benjy is the first out of the three to do so. Benjy's opinions of Caddy differ as time and the novel...