Summary of the work - Sykalo Eugen 2023
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
"The Sound and the Fury" is a masterpiece of modernist literature, a novel that is both challenging and rewarding for those who are willing to delve into its complex narrative structure and intricate themes. William Faulkner's novel explores the decline of the Compson family, a once-respected Southern family that has fallen from grace, through the eyes of four different narrators, each with their own perspective on the family's history, present, and future.
The novel is divided into four sections, each told from a different perspective and each with its own unique style and structure. The first section, narrated by Benjy, the mentally disabled brother of the Compson family, is the most difficult to read, as it is presented in a stream-of-consciousness style with no clear delineation between past and present, reality and memory. Through Benjy's section, we learn about the Compson family's past and the events that lead to their downfall, including the loss of their once-great fortune and the tragic death of their sister Caddy.
The second section of the novel is narrated by Quentin, the eldest son of the Compson family, and takes place on the day of his suicide. Quentin's section is also presented in a stream-of-consciousness style, but it is more linear than Benjy's, as it follows a single day. Quentin's narrative is preoccupied with his obsession with his sister Caddy and his feelings of shame and guilt. His section is a meditation on time, memory, and the burden of the past, as Quentin struggles to come to terms with the events that have led him to this moment.
The third section of the novel is narrated by Jason, the cynical and bitter youngest son of the Compson family. Jason's section takes place a few years after Quentin's suicide and focuses on his manipulation of the family and his hatred of his sister Caddy. Jason is a character consumed by greed and bitterness, and his narrative is a scathing critique of the moral decay and corruption of the Southern aristocracy.
The final section of the novel is narrated by Dilsey, the Compson family's black servant. Her section takes place on Easter Sunday, and it focuses on her relationship with the Compson family and her faith in God. Dilsey is a character of great moral strength and resilience, and her narrative is a testament to the enduring power of faith and community, even in the face of overwhelming adversity.
"The Sound and the Fury" is a novel that is difficult to read, but it is also a novel of great beauty and power. Faulkner's use of multiple narrators and stream-of-consciousness style allows him to explore the themes of time, memory, and the decline of the South in a unique and powerful way. The novel is also notable for its experimental style, its use of non-linear narrative structure, and its exploration of themes that were ahead of their time.
In conclusion, "The Sound and the Fury" is a challenging and complex novel that explores the decline of the Compson family and the themes of time, memory, and the decline of the South. The novel is a masterpiece of modernist literature, and it remains a powerful meditation on the human condition and the enduring power of the human spirit.