"The Sound and the Fury" Literary Criticism

Topics: Narrative, Time, Narrative mode Pages: 3 (1304 words) Published: April 23, 2008
"The Sound and the Fury" Literary Criticism
“Within this rigid world Caddy is at once the focus of order and the instrument of its destruction,” (Bloom 20). Candace Compson, “Caddy”, is the central character of the novel even though none of the narration is seen through her eyes. In each of the three sections by her brothers she is the main subject. Caddy represents something different to everyone one of her brothers, but remains the center of their lives. “Faulkner was a pioneer in literary modernism, dramatically diverging from the forms and structures traditionally used in novels before his time. Faulkner often employs stream of consciousness narrative, discards any notion of chronological order, uses multiple narrators, shifts between the past and the present tense, and tends toward impossibly long and complex sentences,” (Wall). He practiced many of the techniques in the Sound and the Fury. There is no chronological order to this story at all, leaving it very hard to follow. Faulkner also used multiple narrators throughout the story, and shifted between past and present without any warning. This story depicts the fall of the Compson family from its former greatness. Through a series of events the family’s lives change completely leaving them a shell of what they used to be. The parents die, Quentin kills himself, Caddy runs away, and a corrupt Jason Jr. is left in control of the family. The only claim of sanity this family had left was Caddy, and when she left they never recovered. Faulkner wrote the story into four sections, with four different narrators, which enabled him to tell the Compson story from four separate points of view. The first 3 sections are narrated by Caddy’s brothers, Benjy, Quentin, and Jason. All of their monologues end up center around memories of Caddy. The final section is a third-person narration by Faulkner himself. Many find it strange that Caddy doesn’t get to tell the story from her side even though she is the main...
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