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The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.
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The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, p. 3 of 7 (audio book)

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.
William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury

The novel was first published in and was soon recognized as one of the greatest Southern novels ever written. Praised for its complexity and subtlety, the novel challenges the reader until the last page with its stream of consciousness narratives which require a significant amount of attention from the reader, given the fact that Faulkner changes both the narrative and the style of writing with each chapter. Each of these characters, in their own special way, describes the final stages of the downfall of their once wealthy and acknowledged family which started after the Civil war and with the beginning of the Reconstruction. The fourth chapter is written in the narrative voice of the author himself but the main focus is put on Dilsey, a black woman who practically raised all the Compson children on her own and serves as the central moral figure of the novel until it reaches its defeating end. The novel begins with the chapter written in the voice of Benjamin Compson, the youngest son of Caroline and Jason III Compson, who is mentally disabled from birth as well as deaf and mute. This part of the novel is the most difficult to follow since Benjamin does not tell the difference between past and present: he just recollects things and events in the way they happened, without any personal comment or perspective. He cannot separate his memories from present events; therefore this chapter is consisted of numerous scenes or captions of scenes from the fall of when his grandmother died until April 7th , the day of his 33rd birthday.

The Compsons are an old, aristocratic Southern family from Jefferson, Mississippi. After the Civil War the Compsons declined in wealth, morality, and sanity: Jason III is a philosophical but ineffective alcoholic and Caroline is a self-obsessed hypochondriac, and their children have a host of problems. The second section is narrated by Quentin, and takes place at Harvard eighteen years before, on the day Quentin committed suicide. In the present action, Quentin breaks his watch, which still keeps ticking, and stands on a bridge thinking about death. Later he buys bread for a young Italian girl, gets beat up by her brother, and gets a ride with a swaggering, promiscuous Harvard boy, whom Quentin then attacks. When he returns to his dorm room at Harvard, Quentin leaves his watch behind and goes out. The bitter, cruel Jason works at a farm supply store and steals money that Caddy, who is disgraced and disowned by the family, sends to Miss Quentin, the daughter she has never met.

The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. The latest generation of titles in this series also feature glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format. The Sound and the Fury tells the story of the decline of the once-aristocratic Compson family of Yoknapatawpha County, in northern Mississippi , as told in stream of consciousness by three brothers -- Benjamin, Quentin, and Jason. Summaries and commentaries guide you through each section of the novel, and critical essays help you understand the origin of the book's title, the structure of the book, and Faulkner's stream of consciousness style of writing. Other features that help you study include A section on the life and background of William Faulkner A special guide to the Benjy section -- the most difficult section of the novel Analyses of the major characters An additional critical essay on meaning through motif in the novel Review questions and essay topics Classic literature or modern modern-day treasure -- you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.

The Sound and the Fury

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  1. Christina K. says:

    the next novel to The Sound and the Fury, that part of me which learned as. I wrote, which perhaps is book than I did about The Sound and the Fury when I sat down before the first blank page. she tried to break her wrists free let me go.

  2. Richard M. says:

    You re a badass book review beauty and the beast narrator voice

  3. Taiel P. says:

    What happens when you add colored ink to the previous black-and-white type of a William Faulkner classic?

  4. Azura L. says:

    The sound and the fury

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