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The Sound and the Fury


The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury

First edition cover Author Country Language Genre(s) Publisher Publication date Media type Pages ISBN OCLC Number Dewey Decimal LC Classification William Faulkner United States English Southern Gothic novel Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith 1929 Print (Hardback and Paperback) 336 0-679-73224-1 21525355

813/.5220 PS3511.A86 S7 1990

The Sound and the Fury is a novel written by the American author William Faulkner. It employs a number of narrative styles, including the technique known as stream of consciousness, pioneered by 20th century European novelists such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. Published in 1929, The Sound and the Fury was Faulkner's fourth novel, and was not immediately successful.In 1931, however, when Faulkner's sixth novel, Sanctuary, was published — a sensationalist story which Faulkner later claimed was written only for money — The Sound and the Fury also became commercially successful, and Faulkner began to receive critical attention.

Plot introduction
The Sound and the Fury is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. The novel centers on the Compson family,former Southern aristocrats who are struggling to deal with the dissolution of their family and its reputation. The novel is separated into four distinct sections. The first, April 7, 1928, is written from the perspective of Benjamin "Benjy" Compson, a 33-year-old man with severe mental handicaps. Benjy's section is characterized by a highly disjointed narrative style with frequent chronologicalleaps. The second section, June 2, 1910, focuses on Quentin Compson, Benjy's older brother, and the events leading up to his suicide. In the third section, April 6, 1928, Faulkner writes from the point of view of Jason, Quentin's cynical younger brother. In the fourth and final section, set a day after the first, on April 8, 1928, Faulkner introduces a third person omniscient point of view. The lastsection primarily focuses on Dilsey, one of the Compson's black servants. Jason is also a focus in the section, but Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury presents glimpses of the thoughts and deeds of everyone in the family. A simple plot summary cannot adequately describe this novel, as much of the novel's strength lies in its technical achievements and lyrical prose.


Explanation of thenovel's title
The title of the novel is taken from Macbeth's soliloquy in act 5, scene 5 of William 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 hishour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." Immediately obvious is the notion of a "tale told by an idiot", in this case Benjy, whose view of the Compsons' story opens the novel. The idea can be extended also to Quentin and Jason, whose narratives display their own varieties of idiocy. More to the point, the novel recountsthe decline and death of a traditional upper-class Southern family, "the way to dusty death". The last line is, perhaps, the most meaningful; Faulkner said in his speech upon being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature that people must write about things that come from the heart, "universal truths". Otherwise they signify nothing.

Plot summary
The four parts of the novel relate many of thesame episodes, each from a different point of view and therefore with emphasis on different themes and events. This interweaving and nonlinear structure makes any true synopsis of the novel difficult, especially since the narrators are all unreliable in their own way, making their accounts not necessarily trustworthy at all times. Also in this novel, Faulkner uses italics to indicate points in...
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