The Strength Of Dilsey In The Sound And The Fury

794 words - 3 pages

The Strength of Dilsey in The Sound and the Fury


In The Sound and the Fury, the fated Compson family is a portrayal of both the declining old South and the new South that rose demonically out of its ruins. Through the Compsons, Faulkner personifies at once the mournful self-pity of a fallen gentry, and in Jason, the embittered rage and resentment of those who come after the fall. Throughout the novel, Dilsey is the one quiet fortitude in this irredeemably tragic and fallen family.

One of the first indications of Dilsey's strength in the Compson house is attested to by the fact that she can tell time from the warped clock that hangs in the kitchen. This clock and its skewed rendering corresponds with the Compsons' own inability to reconcile themselves to any rational concept of time. Quentin is long tortured and eventually driven to suicide by his morbid nostalgia; "... time is [Quentin's] misfortune..."(97). Jason's resentment of the past has driven him to his maniacal obsession with hoarding money, in preparation for an abstract future that will never, can never become a reality. Dilsey's ability to make sense of the broken clock reveals that she has made a sense of time eternal, a sense that allows her to live free from the grip of the past and the anticipation of the future. Through her responsibility for the Compson family, and the fact that she is the sole person with whom this responsibility lies, she is inextricably bound to the present-- to project onto Dilsey a past or future seems inappropriate and irrelevant. Dilsey's present however is not Benjy's present, comprised simply of one moment to the next; through living the present, Dilsey transcends it.

That Dilsey is steadfastly engaged in a timeless present makes her the "sworn enemy"(297) of Jason; she is the one human being he fears and respects. In the constant war between Jason and the girl Quentin, Dilsey pits herself tirelessly and thanklessly against Jason and his demonic cruelty. Quentin is for Jason an unbearable symbol of the past that he tries so forcefully to negate, and for the reader the consummate symbol of the decadence of the fallen South. She is ...

Find Another Essay On The Strength of Dilsey in The Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury Essay

2534 words - 10 pages retard. Author:      The author of The Sound and the Fury is William Faulkner. He grew up in Oxford, Mississippi. After dropping out of high school, Faulkner pursued his studies at the University of Mississippi. And he was a member of England’s Royal Navy in World War I.      Attempting to leave his mark in history as a great author, Faulkner created a host of characters comprised of the faults of

The Sound And The Fury Essay

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

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

3052 words - 12 pages Jesus's life. The four sections of the novel form four Compson gospels, which like the biblical originals develop and expand the story they retell. These parallels to the gospel tradition are most insistent during the Sunday church service in the fourth section of The Sound and the Fury. By means of his powerful if unorthodox rendition of the Passion narrative, the Reverend Shegog wakens in Dilsey capacities for spiritual renewal. Her visionary

Quentin's Passion and Desire in The Sound and the Fury

1834 words - 7 pages Quentin's Passion and Desire in The Sound and the Fury   As Quentin Compson travels through the countryside with his college friends, the reality of the situation becomes terribly confused by memories and past feelings. After a little girl follows him for miles around town, his own sexuality reaches the forefront of his consciousness and transforms itself into disjointed memories of his sister Caddy. Quentin's constant obsession in

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

777 words - 3 pages In The Sound and the Fury written by William Faulkner, Faulkner bases this story in theImaginary town of Jefferson, Mississippi. The Compson’s are a rich middle class family that has four children that seem to have problems with the thought of letting time move forward. What the family seems to experience is the dividing of the family Quentin Compson the eldest son of the Compson family that personifies all the key elements of insanity that

The Sound and the Fury: Noblesse Oblige

1725 words - 7 pages Heritage Dictionary of English Language) A single member of a family or the entire family may feel some need to display honorable and generous conduct based on their last name. In this case, there are three main defenders of noblesse oblige in the Compson family. According to the appendix of The Sound and the Fury, the Compson family held a place of high status in Jefferson Mississippi. They owned a plot of land that encompassed one square

Quentin's Struggle in The Sound and the Fury

1158 words - 5 pages Quentin's Struggle in The Sound and the Fury       Too much happens...Man performs, engenders so much more than he can or should have to bear.  That's how he finds that he can bear anything.         William Faulkner (Fitzhenry  12) In Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, we are given a character known as Quentin, one who helps us more fully understand the words of the author when delivering his Nobel Prize acceptance speech

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

Analysis of Memory and Time in Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury

945 words - 4 pages Sartre and Brooks’ Literary Critiques: Analysis of Memory and Time in Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury “History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time.” Cicero presaged the study of historical memory and conceptions of time, which assumes that what and how we remember molds our past into something more than a chronological succession of events. Ever more appreciative of the subjectivity of recollection, we grasp that

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

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

Similar Essays

Shakespeare In The Sound And The Fury

1744 words - 7 pages existence is false: life has no significance.  Life is merely a brief episode of strutting and fretting, "full of sound and fury, . . . signifying nothing."   Every section of the Sound and the Fury relates to Macbeth's speech. Each narrator presents life as "full of sound and fury," represented in futile actions and dialogue.  Benjy, Quentin, Jason, and Dilsey all emit constant words and demeanor of frustration and

The Character Of Benjy In The Sound And The Fury

1588 words - 6 pages family’s collective ruin, The Sound and the Fury also tracks Caddy’s fateful descent from a beautiful, rebellious young woman into a desperate, selfish outcast. Faulkner purposely includes four different viewpoints in an effort not to allow Caddy to remain beautiful to the reader. Without the deterioration of her pride and charm, the fall of the Compson family would not be complete, for one survivor suggests durability. In fact, the only witness to their tragedy is Dilsey, who, as Faulkner noted, “endured” (Faulkner 348).

The Sound And The Fury Essay

944 words - 4 pages The Sound and the Fury This novel revolves around the rise and the fall of the aristocratic 19th century Southern Compsons that advocated conventional Southern values. In that dynamism and the muting family norms, the rival upsurge was the changing role of men and women. This is true, as men used to enjoy their authority, dominance, power, masculinity, valiancy, virtuous strength, determination, and courtliness over women and in the society

The Sound And The Fury Essay

1573 words - 6 pages and seizes one of them, trying to tell her something; her father hits him over the head with a blunt stick, and later, Mr. Compson and Jason, believing that Benjy may have been unknowingly trying to rape one of the girls, decide to have him castrated.Commentary Of course, as anyone who has ever tried to read this first chapter of The Sound and the Fury knows, it is not at all that simple. Benjy's flashbacks occur without any warning, often in