Symbols in The Sound and The Fury

Topics: Absalom, Absalom!, Novel, Short story Pages: 2 (780 words) Published: February 23, 2014
Symbols in The Sound and The Fury
The Sound and the Fury, a novel written by William Faulkner in 1929, is the story of a large, well-established family in the South and their downfall. The family is comprised of many disorganized and very complicated characters, all with their own flaws that all lead up collectively to the deterioration of the Compson name. One of the major aspects of the novel that Faulkner really emphasizes on is the use of symbols and motifs. Through the use of these two literary devices, Faulkner is able to really bring out the true aspects of the characters in his novel. The symbols and motifs that Faulkner uses in his work are clocks and time, water, honeysuckle, and shadows.

Quentin, the eldest son in the recent generation of the Compson family, is the only child in the Compson family out of his brothers and sisters to be put into college, better yet Harvard. However, Quentin really doesn’t express the happiness that a Harvard student usually portrays, instead he is very on-edge and also obsessed with time. Many references are made throughout the Quentin Section displaying incidences where Quentin expresses this obsession of time. “I went to the dresser and took up the watch . . . tapped the crystal on the corner of the dresser . . . twisted the hands off . . . the watch ticked on.” (80) Quentin is so obsessed with time that he even aims to stop it entirely. He discovers that there is no way to stop time, alive at least. So, at the end of the section, Quentin resorts to suicide as his last attempt to stop time.

Caddy, the only daughter of the four Compson children in the novel, is never given her own section to tell her side of the story. Given this, we are left to depend on the viewpoints of her three other brothers to see what she is really like. Throughout the novel, Caddy is characterized as either a sweet little girl or as very promiscuous. Whenever Caddy is given the certain portrayal of innocence, she is referred to have the...
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