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Moll Flanders Essay

1234 words - 5 pages

Discuss the interrelationships of the various members of the Compson family.How is Dilsey portrayed as the strongest figure to emerge from the novel?How does each character's reaction to the past and the present affect his characterization?Write an essay explaining how the breakup of this southern family might apply to any family in the United States.One of the most wrenching sections of the novel is Quentin's confrontation with Caddy following the loss of her virginity. What drives Quentin to propose mutual suicide and to conceive of the idea of incest as a solution to their problems? Even in the absence of sex between them, is there something incestuous about Quentin and Caddy's relationship?Compare and contrast the three major narrators of the novel: Benjy, Quentin, and Jason. How are their sections alike? How do they differ? What are the consequences of Faulkner's decision not to introduce an easily readable chapter until the second half of the novel?Think about Benjy's character. What purpose, if any, does he serve beyond the novel's opening section? Is he a believable character?Perhaps the single most important theme in The Sound and the Fury is the presence of time in human life. How is that relationship explored throughout the four sections of the novel?Why do you think the fourth section of The Sound and the Fury, the section focusing on Dilsey, is so technically different than the other three? For example, why would Faulkner write this section in the third person while the others are all written in the first person?1.The opening section of The Sound and the Fury is considered one of the most challenging narratives in modern American literature. What makes this section so challenging?Benjy narrates the first section of the novel. Due to his severe mental retardation, he has no concept of time. This makes his narrative incoherent and frustrating at times because he cannot separate events in the past from those in the present. Benjy can only associate the images of his daily existence, such as the golf course and fencepost, with other occurrences of those images in the past. Benjy's fusion of past and present explains why he still haunts the front yard waiting for Caddy to come home from school-he does not understand that Caddy has grown up, moved away, and will never return.Benjy's distorted perspective conveys Faulkner's idea that the past lives on to haunt the present. Benjy's condition allows Faulkner to introduce the Compsons' struggle to reconcile their present with a past they cannot escape. This unique narrative voice provides an unbiased introduction to Quentin's equally difficult section, in which Quentin struggles with his own distorted vision of a past that eventually overwhelms and destroys him.Shortly after The Sound and the Fury was published, the noted critic Clifton Fadiman dismissed the novel, claiming that its themes were too "trivial" to deserve the elaborate craftsmanship Faulkner lavished on them. Many other critics...

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