Perception, Memory, And Broken Glass In William Faulkner's The Sound And The Fury Alabama American Literature Short Essay

520 words - 3 pages

“Clocks slay time”: Perception, Memory, and Broken Glass
in William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury
William Faulkner creates confusion due to the time fragmentation in his modernist novel, The Sound and the Fury. This novel is organized into four parts; three told from the perspective of each Compson brother and the fourth by an omniscient narrator. Faulkner tells the story of an aristocratic family from Jefferson, Mississippi. While each brother has a section of the novel to narrate, their sister, Caddy, remains voiceless but the story revolves around her anyways. The novel begins with Benjy Compson, the youngest and severely mentally disabled child who never developed the ability to adapt to change. Benjy has no concept of time and his disability allows his mind to draw connections between the past and present that most others are incapable of. While on a walk down to the branch with his friend Luster, Benjy’s vast and dense memories of the past are easily triggered. Partway into their walk, Luster grudgingly said, “You snagged on that nail again. Cant you never crawl through here without snagging on that nail” (Faulkner, 3). With every incidental occurrence, like getting stuck on the same nail, Benjy dove deep into his past memories and shared every meticulous detail of every story with Luster. The only person Benjy has been able to connect with is his older sister, Caddy, therefore making friendships hard for him when no one else really understands what he is trying to convey in his long winded travels down...

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