The Demise Of The Southern Aristocratic Family

1211 words - 5 pages

Prompt: How does Faulkner use the bond between Benjamin and Candance to reflect the moral ambiguities of the Southern culture?
As we grow up throughout our adolescence and even to a certain extent as adults, we see the world through a closed and fictitious lens. Our innocence and freedom prevent us from seeing the world for what it truly is. Society divides us into the haves and have nots’. For many of us who are privileged, we reminisce of the days of us being trouble makers; we remember the confetti infested birthday parties, the trips to Disney World, and the pranks that we played with our friends. For the less privileged though, their childhood is built around instability and abuse all which lead to acts of rebellion and loss of self-esteem. As a society we are not cognizant of how these emotional downturns and familial upbringings shape people to whom they are in the future. Staying in the lane of what society wants us to be, or maybe what life had consequentially intended for us to be, we often don’t intermingle with people whom we deem to be inferior, yet when we truly look at the scope of our differing personalities, we find vast similarities between us, both physically and spiritually. Faulkner is laying the foundation to the quote that “A man is the essence of his misfortunes. One day you'd think misfortune would get bored, but then time is your ill luck” when discussing the power, aristocracy and the great demise through the lens of a wealthy Southern family, the Compsons. At face, this might appear as a hasty and unwarranted argument, after all how can a family filled with wealth, be comprised of such moral ambiguities? How does each character, from Bengy, Caddy to Quentin, starve for love and attention? Faulkner instigates the argument that as society develops and evolves, we miss our sense of tradition, moral values, social and political perspectives, all while yearning for love when we are precipitated with loss and modification. Bengy, the youngest of the Compson family tree turns to his sister Caddy to fulfill the maternal figure that his mother has been never to him. To Bengy even when he grows older, his passion for his sister never gets out. For him, his sisters represent love, loss and change, and in the grander scheme of things the demise of the last southern aristocratic family, the Compsons.
From the start of the novel, The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner curtails the role of mom in the Compson family to the sister Caddy. Being the only daughter in the Compsons family, Caddy grows up to fulfill the majority of the maternal needs, especially towards Bengy. Her motherly instincts kick in when the rest of the Compsons derail Bengy for being the lonely and mentally incapable son, when in reality he senses the demise of the Compson family long before anyone else does. Caddy constantly comforts Bengy, telling him “You’ve got your Caddy. Haven’t you got your Caddy?” As a result Bengy becomes codependent towards Caddy, because...

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