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Please post all your comments etc relating to The Sound and the Fury in this thread.

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Aloha | 69 comments William Faulkner

(from Wikipedia)
Born: September 25, 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi
Died: July 6, 1962 (aged 64) in Byhalia, Mississippi

Notable Works:
The Sound and the Fury
As I Lay Dying
Light in August
Absalom, Absalom!
A Rose for Emily

Notable Awards:
Nobel Prize in Literature: 1949
Pulitizer Prize for Fiction: 1955, 1963

Spouse: Estelle Oldham (1929-1962)

Biography from

William Faulkner (1897-1962), who came from an old southern family, grew up in Oxford, Mississippi. He joined the Canadian, and later the British, Royal Air Force during the First World War, studied for a while at the University of Mississippi, and temporarily worked for a New York bookstore and a New Orleans newspaper. Except for some trips to Europe and Asia, and a few brief stays in Hollywood as a scriptwriter, he worked on his novels and short stories on a farm in Oxford.

In an attempt to create a saga of his own, Faulkner has invented a host of characters typical of the historical growth and subsequent decadence of the South. The human drama in Faulkner's novels is then built on the model of the actual, historical drama extending over almost a century and a half Each story and each novel contributes to the construction of a whole, which is the imaginary Yoknapatawpha County and its inhabitants. Their theme is the decay of the old South, as represented by the Sartoris and Compson families, and the emergence of ruthless and brash newcomers, the Snopeses. Theme and technique - the distortion of time through the use of the inner monologue are fused particularly successfully in The Sound and the Fury (1929), the downfall of the Compson family seen through the minds of several characters. The novel Sanctuary (1931) is about the degeneration of Temple Drake, a young girl from a distinguished southern family. Its sequel, Requiem For A Nun (1951), written partly as a drama, centered on the courtroom trial of a Negro woman who had once been a party to Temple Drake's debauchery. In Light in August (1932), prejudice is shown to be most destructive when it is internalized, as in Joe Christmas, who believes, though there is no proof of it, that one of his parents was a Negro. The theme of racial prejudice is brought up again in Absalom, Absalom! (1936), in which a young man is rejected by his father and brother because of his mixed blood. Faulkner's most outspoken moral evaluation of the relationship and the problems between Negroes and whites is to be found in Intruder In the Dust (1948).

In 1940, Faulkner published the first volume of the Snopes trilogy, The Hamlet, to be followed by two volumes, The Town (1957) and The Mansion (1959), all of them tracing the rise of the insidious Snopes family to positions of power and wealth in the community. The reivers, his last - and most humorous - work, with great many similarities to Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, appeared in 1962, the year of Faulkner's death.

message 3: by Aloha (last edited Oct 01, 2012 03:23PM) (new)

Aloha | 69 comments The Sound and the Fury

Genre: Southern Gothic
Publication Date: 1929
Setting: Fictional Yoknapatawpha County

Major Characters
Members of the Compson family
Quentin Compson: Son, the oldest of the Compson children, narrator of the second chapter.

Candace (Caddie) Compson: Daughter and second oldest, whom the three brothers’ strong emotions revolve around.

Jason Compson IV: Second oldest Compson son, narrator of the third chapter.

Benjamin “Benjy” Compson: Youngest of the Compson children with severe mental handicaps. Narrator of the first chapter. Born Maury Compson, but name changed when he was discovered to be mentally disabled.

Caroline Compson: Mother of the Compson children. Self-absorbed and hypochondriac.

Jason Compson III: Father of the Compson children.

Dilsey: The Compsons’ “Negro” cook and stabilizing force in the Compson family.

Quentin: Caddy's daughter and Quentin's namesake.

Novel is separated into 4 different point of views.
First Chapter: April 7, 1928, POV of Benjy Compson, who is now a 33-year-old man mentally disabled man.

Second Chapter: June 2, 1920, POV of Quentin Compson.

Third Chapter: April 6, 1928, POV of Jason Compson IV.

Fourth Chapter: April 8, 1928, third person omniscient POV focusing mainly on Dilsey, the black servant with an impartial observation into the Compson family.

message 4: by Aloha (last edited Oct 01, 2012 07:24PM) (new)

Aloha | 69 comments Possible topics for discussion without revealing spoilers.

1. The point of views of the characters. What do they reveal to you?

2. Faulkner has said that Benjy’s point of view is the most complete while the other point of views are further explanations. What details would support his claim?

3. What are the brothers’ feelings toward Caddy?

4. What is Caddy’s feelings toward each brother?

5. Why do the family dynamics revolve around Caddy?

6. What do you think of Benjy as a narrator? How did you feel navigating through the disorienting narration of Benjy’s POV? What is your opinion regarding the subtle time shift in Benjy’s chapter? How is memory and time represented in Benjy’s chapter?

7. How would you describe Caddy’s personality? Why do you think the strong dynamic revolve around Caddy? How do you feel about Caddy and how she was treated?

8. What do you think of the Compson family dynamic and values?

9. What do you think of the attitude toward women and virtue?

10. (view spoiler)

11. What details tell you about the type of person Caddy is? What do you think of Caddy's personality and traits?

12. How does Faulkner play with the idea of time?

13. Race and the south.

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