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The Sound And The Fury: Riding The Stream Of Conciousness

1575 words - 6 pages

In William Faulkner's novel, The Sound and the Fury, the characters narrate in a style in such a way that they are able to express a multitude of different thoughts or feelings at once. This narrative style is known as stream of consciousness. Through this, each of the characters express everything that is going through their mind whether it is through interior monologue or through a conversation with others (Mohammad and Alirezazadeh). Although all of the characters narrate through stream of consciousness, they all have different ways of conveying their thoughts and ideas. Benjy, Quentin, Jason, and Dilsey all have something different they are able to bring to the table, showing the Compson family from four different angles.
It was April Seventh, 1928, the birth of the dreaded Benjy section. This section composed of all interior monologue really puts the reader for a ride to the past, present, to the past again... and so forth. Because of the sporadic jumps through time, his thoughts can be dificult to follow. After all it is the "tale told by an idiot." Although it's difficult to understand, Benjy's section plays a key role in giving insight on the Compson family that none of the other characters are able to do. Faulkner’s reason for using Benjy as the narrator of this first section is to hint at the tragic events of the Compson family. He is able to sense that something is wrong through an interruption in the familiarity of events he is used to (Semino). The most prevalent of these situations are events dealing with Caddy. One of the most memorable moments in this section is when Benjy dislikes the new smell of Caddy's perfume. Because she did not smell like trees anymore, he sensed that something was different about her, and he was right. Although he did not know the specifics, she was beginning to experiment with boys. Just through such a small stimuli, he knew something was different and that caused him to cry and moan. Another instance where Benjy begins to sense change is when Caddy and Charlie were on the swings. "Charlie came and put his hands on Caddy and I cried more. I cried loud." Benjy could tell that something wasn't right. As Caddy begins to make these changes, she begins to start avoiding Benjy which makes him even more upset. Caddy and Benjy went from being really close to being very distant. These series of events lead up to Caddy leaving the Compsons. After this, Benjy is seen going through emotional pain as he cried at the gate for Caddy to come back. 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...

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