Quentin Compson's Neurosis, in the Sound and the Fury by W. Faulkner

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Quentin’s neurosis: a psychoanalytic interpretation

On looking at The Sound and The Fury, Faulkner’s fourth novel , through the lens of psychoanalytic discourse, we may easily discover that this novel keenly deals with the various psychoanalytical and psycho-sexual problems of the Compsons family; as a matter of fact, Benjy is a congenital moron, Quentin suffers from neurosis and melancholia, and Jason is a monomaniac. However, of the three brothers, Quentin deserves our special attention, for the endeavour of comprehending his psychology is more problematic in comparison to that of Benjy and Jason. Quentin Compson, a Harvard University undergraduate student, is about twenty years old. If we pore over his monologue we perhaps can understand his problems clearly. The second section of the present novel, The Sound and the Fury is illustrated from the perspective of Quentin. Quentin commits suicide on 2nd June, 1910, and this section records the flow of thoughts of his mind with some of his physical actions, before he drowns himself (in the river Charles). Now let’s see how a good tempered, Harvard boy, Quentin would be seized by neurosis and finally be drowned in the river of melancholia. Actually Quentin became obsessed with some of his thoughts: his preoccupations include Caddy’s loss of honour, the decline of the family fortune, the perversion of the moral order in the South, and his father’s absurdist and cynical views of life etc. Like grotesque spiders these social and private aspects were spreading the cobwebs over his brain, and started clouding his sanity and normality. And to add to this crux, he was getting confused at the tussle between two notions –orderly and ideal life, and disorderly and pervert one. His obsession with these issues and consequently becoming of almost a psycho, conjures up the image of Tarak, the protagonist of the recent Bengali film ‘Shabda’...
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