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Fourteen ways of looking at a blackbird : point of view in The Sound and the Fury Layman, Lewis Magnus 1973

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FOURTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT A BLACKBIRD P o i n t of*View i n The Sound  and the  Fury  by  LEWIS MAGNUS LAYMAN  A T h e s i s Submitted i n P a r t i a l F u l f i l m e n t o f The Requirements f o r t h e Degree o f Doctor o f P h i l o s o p h y i n t h e Department of English  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to t h e r e q u i r e d  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH September, 1973  COLUMBIA  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r  an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y  a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and  I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s .  study.  c o p y i n g of t h i s  be g r a n t e d by the Head of my  Department or  I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n  of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t written permission.  Department of  k: r-> £> L U  H  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada  Date  O C T  17  ,  thesis  / 1 7  ?  my  ABSTRACT  This  thesis  i s an  intensive  a n a l y s i s o f The  the  Fury,  The  n o v e l i s e x a m i n e d a s an e x p l o r a t i o n  f o c u s s i n g on F a u l k n e r ' s t r e a t m e n t o f p o i n t  perception,  reflecting  consciousness. s e e s one novel used  the author's Bergsonian view  a s p e c t o f t h e t r u t h and  as a f o c a l  and d i s t o r t i o n  basic  of each p o i n t  Fury  The each  section  a literal I stress  I Lay  Dying,  validity  by  the  from  the  these c r i t e r i a  discuss  Light  The  in  to  Sound  and  August,  chapters are close analyses of I emphasi2e B e n j y ' s  function In Chapter  o f Q u e n t i n ' s monologue t o  o f the growth  of consciousness.  the s i g n i f i c a n c e of i n c e s t  of Quentin's character.  the  distance  embodiment o f t h e Compson d i l e m m a . the r e l a t i o n s h i p  the  introductory  as conveyed  I briefly  of  Down,Moses.  subsequent  o f t h e book.  as a r e f l e c t i o n explore  of the n o v e l ,  and Go  four  of view  of  overview i s  to discuss  Before applying  i n r e l a t i o n t o As  Absalom,Absalom!  In the  i n v o l v e m e n t and  presented perspectives.  the  approach:  view.  reflector  the w r i t i n g  f o r the t h e s i s .  rendering of authorial  the r e f l e c t o r s  every  t o a c h i e v e a comprehensive  point  I s t a t e my  that  of  and  of the a c t o f  Faulkner's statement that  i s an a t t e m p t  chapter  Sound  The  and  I  the q u i x o t i c  focus of Chapter  as 3  Benjy's also aspects  4 i s upon  Jason as a r e f l e c t o r who f u l l y expresses  the negative  impulses t o renounce r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and withdraw from human involvement. taneously  I suggest t h a t P a r t Three i s s i m u l -  a r e a l i z a t i o n o f d e s t r u c t i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s and a  k i n d o f comic r e l i e f .  The l i k e l i h o o d t h a t Joyce's use o f  p e r s p e c t i v e i n the Cyclops  episode  o f Ulysses  precedent f o r t h i s horror-comedy i s e x p l o r e d .  was a In Chapter F i v e  I examine the n a r r a t i v e p o i n t o f view and the way the language o f S e c t i o n Four r e f l e c t s t h e process I study  the  of perception.  i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p of the various parts of t h i s  s e c t i o n t o each o t h e r and t o t h e monologues o f t h e Compson brothers.  I a s s e r t t h a t t h e r e i s a sense o f a f f i r m a t i o n ,  stemming from the author's  and audience's a b i l i t y t o  comprehend t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f e x p e r i e n c e ,  t h a t i s not  embodied i n any c h a r a c t e r s i n t h e n o v e l . The  f i n a l chapter  c o n t a i n s some g e n e r a l  conclusions  about t h e book and a d i s c u s s i o n o f the "Appendix" w r i t t e n i n 1945.  By i n t e n s i v e l y a n a l y z i n g aspects o f t h e n o v e l  such as the use o f m u l t i - p e r s p e c t i v e s , t h e f u n c t i o n o f a c h a r a c t e r who begins  and ends t h e book, and the a n t i -  c l i m a c t i c ending, I have s t r i v e n t o achieve  two g o a l s .  I have attempted t o g a i n a f u l l understanding and  the  Fury.  o f The  First, Sound  Second, i n e x p l o r i n g d i s t i n c t i v e and e s s e n t i a l  features of Faulkner's  novels  i n t o h i s works as a whole.  I have sought t o g a i n  insight  T A B L E OF  CONTENTS Page  ABSTRACT  •  i  i  i  CHAPTER  1  F O U R T E E N WAYS OF L O O K I N G A T A B L A C K B I R D  2  CHAPTER  2  T R Y I N G TO S A Y  CHAPTER  3  A LONG CORRIDOR  CHAPTER  4  I S T H I S THE PROMIS'D  END?  128  CHAPTER  5  E A C H I N I T S ORDERED P L A C E  212  CHAPTER  6  CONCLUSION.  33 OF GREY H A L F L I G H T  68  AND WAS NOT HEARD OF A G A I N . EXCEPT  ... ( 1 1 )  C H A P T E R NOTES AND L I S T OF WORKS C O N S U L T E D  296 314  CHAPTER  1  F O U R T E E N WAYS OF L O O K I N G A T A  BLACKBIRD  2  On  May 8 t h ,  between W i l l i a m  1958, t h e f o l l o w i n g  Faulkner  exchange  and a student  took  place  a t t h eUniversity o f  Virginia: Q. M r . F a u l k n e r , i n Absalom, Absalom! does a n y o n e o f t h e p e o p l e who t a l k s a b o u t S u t p e n h a v e the r i g h t v i e w , o r i s i t more o r l e s s a c a s e o f t h i r t e e n ways o f l o o k i n g a t a b l a c k b i r d w i t h none of them r i g h t ? A. That's i t exactly. I t h i n k t h a t no one i n d i v i d u a l can look a t t r u t h . I t b l i n d s y o u . You l o o k a t i t a n d s e e o n e p h a s e o f i t . Someone e l s e l o o k s a t i t and sees a s l i g h t l y awry phase o fi t . But t a k e n a l l t o g e t h e r , t h e t r u t h i s i n what t h e y saw t h o u g h n o b o d y s a w t h e t r u t h i n t a c t . . . . I t w a s , as y o u say, t h i r t e e n ways o f l o o k i n g a t a b l a c k b i r d . But t h e t r u t h , I w o u l d l i k e t o t h i n k , comes o u t , t h a t when t h e r e a d e r h a s r e a d a l l t h e s e t h i r t e e n d i f f e r e n t ways o f l o o k i n g a t t h eb l a c k b i r d , t h e r e a d e r h a s h i s own f o u r t e e n t h image o f t h a t blackb i r d which I would l i k e t o think i st h e t r u t h . 1  I  intend  t o elaborate  upon  t h em u l t i p l e  statement  i n my i n t r o d u c t i o n  intensive  study  o f The  Sound  and then and  the  The purpose o f t h i s t h e s i s  a  exploration  provide  o f The  an understanding  Faulkner's  fiction,  immersion w i t h i n  Sound  apply Fury  chapters. thorough  implications  i n subsequent  the  o f how e s s e n t i a l  such as his m u l t i p l e x  t h econsciousness  them t o an  i snot only  and  but to  characteristics of focus  and h i s  of h i s characters,  h i su n d e r l y i n g  conception  of existence.  chapter  I will  how I f e e l  this particular  should of  be viewed,  Faulkner's  within  works.  thecontext  Faulkner  and seek  achieves  More  to establish specifically,  of thef i v e novels h i sf u l l e s t  t o conduct  Fury,  reflect  suggest  of this  I n my  first  novel  i t i nthe context I will  i nwhich  regard i t I  consider  immersion w i t h i n t h e  3  consciousness Fury, Go  As  I Lay  They are The  of h i s c h a r a c t e r s . Dying,  Light  in  August,  Sound  Absalom,  and  the  Absalom!  and  Down,Moses. Faulkner's  p r o v i d e s a key  answer t o the q u e s t i o n quoted above  to understanding  h i s v i s i o n of r e a l i t y .  " t r u t h " i s beyond the comprehension o f any  one  T h i s e x p l a i n s why  h i s novels present  number of people,  r a t h e r than f o c u s s i n g on one  In F a u l k n e r ' s  individual.  the consciousness  f o r example, Joyce does i n A Portrait Young Man.  The  of  view, no one  the  of a  individual  Artist  as  c h a r a c t e r has  as,  a  a  s u f f i c i e n t l y comprehensive grasp of r e a l i t y to m e r i t exclusive focus.  One  o f the most d i s t i n c t i v e  character-  i s t i c s o f h i s l o n g e r f i c t i o n i s t h a t no s i n g l e p r o t a g o n i s t emerges.  His mode o f p r e s e n t a t i o n , as Walter S l a t o f f  "prevents  us from o r g a n i z i n g our  single  center."  impressions  about  says,  any  2  I t i s p o s s i b l e to argue t h a t v a r i o u s c h a r a c t e r s become p r o t a g o n i s t s i n the f i v e novels deal with i n t h i s chapter.  But  s u b j e c t to q u a l i f i c a t i o n .  do  t h a t I am going  to  these arguments are always  I w i l l attempt to show t h a t a  case can be made f o r each of the f o u r Compson c h i l d r e n being most c e n t r a l t o The  Sound  p l i c i t y of p e r s p e c t i v e s and consciousness  and  in  Fury.  l a c k of any  i s most e v i d e n t i n As  i s narrowed down i n Light  the  August  The  multi-  single center  I Lay  Dying.  as  of  The  focus  to three main c h a r a c t e r s ;  but t h e i r d i v e r s i t y of background and  outlook m a i n t a i n s  the  4  sense of d i f f u s e n e s s , as does the the p l o t sequences.  From one  of  p o i n t of view, Thomas Sutpen  i s most c e r t a i n l y the p r o t a g o n i s t Faulkner, himself,  slight interconnection  of Absalom,  Absalom!  suggests t h i s , a l t h o u g h he q u a l i f i e s  the  point. c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r of Absalom, so o b v i o u s l y to be Sutpen, y e t i t ' s a l s o the s t o r y of Quentin, j u s t who i s the c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r ?  Q. Who i s the Absalom!? I t seems i t ' s been s a i d t h a t and I was wondering  A. The c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r i s Sutpen, yes. The s t o r y of a man who wanted a son and got too many, got so many t h a t they d e s t r o y e d him. It's incidenta l l y the s t o r y of Quentin Compson's h a t r e d of the bad q u a l i t i e s i n the c o u n t r y he l o v e s . But the c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r i s Sutpen . . . 3  P a r a d o x i c a l l y , Sutpen i s both more c e n t r a l and more remote than the p r o t a g o n i s t s He  i n the p r e v i o u s l y mentioned  i s the i n i t i a t o r o f a l l the a c t i o n and  i n the minds of the n a r r a t o r s .  But we  than we  Wayne Booth s a y s , " I f g r a n t i n g r e f l e c t h i s own withholding  s t o r y can  i t from him  i s always  present  are never allowed a  d i r e c t view of Sutpen's c o n s c i o u s n e s s and more d i s t a n t from him  novels.  are i n one  sense  are from the n a r r a t o r s .  As  to the hero the r i g h t to  i n s u r e the r e a d e r ' s sympathy,  and  g i v i n g i t to another  can p r e v e n t too much i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . "  character  1 1  In c o n t r a s t , Isaac M c C a s l i n i s both a p a r t i c i p a n t i n the a c t i o n and The  a center  tone poem a t the b e g i n n i n g of the n o v e l  importance of past and  of c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n Go  e s t a b l i s h e s him  events  Down,Moses.  suggests  ("Was") i n forming h i s  the  sensibility,  as the dominant c o n s c i o u s n e s s .  Never-  5  theless,  Isaac  stories,  including  The  technique  reflects  i s not d i r e c t l y  of  those  which begin  framing  the f a c t  present  Ike  in  b e y o n d him.  that Faulkner  The  " D e l t a Autumn."  and  end  the  complex  Isaac u l t i m a t e l y  expands  Isaac McCaslin  expansion  i s , i n my  of consciousness  character  his limitations  Yet,  c l e a r when he  says  Autumn," " Y o u ' r e a n i g g e r 1" , 5  him  as  follows:  forgotten knew o r  felt  363).  as  sensitive  o r even heard  responding  limitations  human b e i n g  o f h i s own  individual  when she  later  lived  rebukes  so  long  remember a n y t h i n g y o u {Go  about l o v e ? " clear  in this  and ever  Down,Moses, story  t h a t even  Isaac McCaslin d i s t o r t s  reflect  p o i n t of view.  the road,  this  dont  No  or  through  truth  in  dilemma.  how  much a  experience,  limitations person  through  own  look at t r u t h .  empathy,  i s a b l e to a c q u i r e i n the  r e a d i n g books, d i s t o r t i o n  In F a u l k n e r ' s can  t h e b a s i c human  matter  through  w h a t e v e r e d u c a t i o n he  inevitable.  a r e made  i s bound u l t i m a t e l y w i t h i n t h e  expands h i s s e n s i b i l i t y  on  as  any  to i t .  Ike's  through  and  I t becomes p a i n f u l l y an o b s e r v e r  of  the  to h i s niece i n "Delta  . . . have you  so much t h a t y o u  p.  Every  " O l d man  i s shown  opinion,  most comprehensive r e f l e c t o r  startlingly  novel.  portrays a large,  necessity for this  i n Faulkner.  seven  i n t h e c e n t e r o f t h e work  cosmos, w h i c h w h i l e c e n t e r i n g on far  i n four of the  words:  comment i s t h e m e t a p h o r o f t r u t h  is  " I t h i n k t h a t no  I t blinds you." as t h e  6  sun,  woods,  one  Implicit the  in  source  6  of  the light  b y w h i c h we a l l s e e ; b u t e a c h p e r s o n i s  enclosed  w i t h i n h i s own e a r t h b o u n d  man  the sun d i r e c t l y  sees  him,  s t i l l  above h i s head,  another.  both  true  The dilemma,  and n o t true  then,  and  " i s a t once  the  Fury  thetruth"  all  7  human b e i n g s , Isaac  sees  some t h i n g s  sees  though  total  i twere  vision The  itself) said  that and  not only  Charles  Feidelson,  suggested  distortion  less  than  h i s narrow  biases,  I k e ,despite h i s  truth,  This i s  and elaborates  i tinto a  8  narrator  something thoughts."  by F a u l k n e r ,  (ando f r e l i a b i l i t y  objectively true 9  This  idea  c a n be  has been  b u t by modern n o v e l i s t s a n d James J o y c e ,  multiple points  o f view.  the impossibility  o f being  as f a r back  Sound  The d i s t o r t i o n  falsely.  as Henry James, J o s e p h Conrad,  whom e x p e r i m e n t w i t h  o f The  some f r a g m e n t o f t h e t r u t h  of a reliable  about a c t i o n s  challenged, such  t h e whole  "presupposes  despite  Whereas  upon  of the world."  concept  Vickery's  i ssignificantly  some t h i n g s  b e c a u s e e v e r y man " s e i z e s  perceive  some q u a l i f i c a t i o n , t o  But Jason,  accurately.  insights,  sections  by Faulkner.  perspective  o f J a s o n Compson.  Olga  t h e t r u t h and a complete  as portrayed  McCaslin's  profound  three  i sapplicable, with  that  as  i strue f o r  i s t h a t w h a t we  simultaneously.  each o f t h e f i r s t  of  this  I fa  f o r a n o t h e r man, a n d i n t h e W e s t e r n h o r i z o n f o r  comment t h a t  of  of vision.  y e t a t t h e same moment t h e s u n may b e i n t h e E a s t e r n  horizon  is  angle  a l lof  According  to  objective i s  a s 18 5 1 b y H e r m a n M e l v i l l e  i n Moby  Dick.  7  The p a t t e r n o f "The D o u b l o o n " i s t h e scheme o f t h e book: under t h e overhanging consciousness o f Ishmael, with M e l v i l l e looking over h i s shoulder, t h e s e v e r a l characters envisage the meaning o f t h e c o i n . As t h e v a r i o u s meanings m u l t i p l y , we h e a r t h e c h a n t o f P i p : " I look, you l o o k , h e l o o k s ; we l o o k , y e l o o k , t h e y l o o k . " 1 0  There  i s an analogue  looking  t h e c h a r a c t e r s o f Moby  between  a t the gold doubloon  people  gazing  stress  t h e a c to f l o o k i n g , which  of  at different  and Faulkner's  human p e r c e p t i o n .  Melville  that  significant subscribe  "the  world  phases o f t h e sun o f t r u t h .  i sgenerated  because  "the  significance  enough, t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e  tion  a s i t comes i n t o  look'  . . . etc.] This  and  belief  world  that  and o f t h e i n n e r realms  would  significance  a  by  fragmenta-  ['I l o o k , y o u  multiplicity." i s in  1  2  the world  by l o o k i n g " i s  rendering both o f human  precisely  and d i s t o r t e d  suffers  of real  i s generated  vivid  Neither  Strangely  a n d P i p ' s comment  "the  world  i nFaulkner's  realized  "The m e a n i n g  being  and t h e  to it,  theworld."  i s an a s s e r t i o n  the significant  reflected  i s in  1 1  as f o r  that the individual  i n responding  i sboth  response.  theworld  by'looking.'"  t o thetheory  t h e meaning o f l i f e  Both  i s a symbol o f t h e process  i s in  significance  creates  t :e i n d i v i d u a l  metaphor o f  I t i sas true f o r Faulkner  completely  Dick  o f t h ee x t e r n a l  consciousness.  H e n c e n o m a t t e r how p s y c h o l o g i c a l t h e story's m a t e r i a l , Faulkner never f a l l s i n t o t h e mere e n u m e r a t i o n w h i c h i n much s t r e a m - o f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s w r i t i n g d i s s o l v e s a l l drama a n d reduces t h e n a r r a t i v e t o a case h i s t o r y without t h e shaping framework o f a n a l y s i s , o r e v e n t o a n unmapped a n a c h r o n i s t i c chaos o f raw consciousness. Faulkner i s always a dynamic s t o r y - t e l l e r , never j u s t a  8  r e p o r t e r o f u n o r g a n i z e d phenomena. His most d r a s t i c , most d r e a m - l i k e use of stream-ofc o n s c i o u s n e s s , f o r i n s t a n c e , i n The Sound and the Fury, i s not only l i m i t e d to the f i r s t two s e c t i o n s o f the book, but i t s k e t c h e s a p l o t which i n the l u c i d s e c t i o n s t h a t f o l l o w g r a d u a l l y emerges c l e a r - c u t . As c l e a r - c u t , a t l e a s t , as F a u l k n e r ' s s t o r i e s can be. 1 3  Like spective within  world  the  narrative writer as  vision  at  reality) No  reality, truth  the  no  doubloon the  Most  matter  the  important,  presents observing  of  overhanging  life  fragmentation  as  the  how  fluid  h i m s e l f as  he  gold coin,  has  which  intense renderings characters through  of  In a  1 h  being  of  5  a  fixed  an  Ishmael.  author. external  innermost  h i s use  of  symbol of  of  change  elusive  decay or  soliloquies,  are observed  process  even more  does not  the  "under  the  of  the  of  novel  p e r s p e c t i v e s , the  i s an  brief  place  characters  subject to the  Thus,  i n s t e a d of  the  take  consciousness  which  earlier  the m u l t i p l i c i t y  1  and  of  (Sutpen  vision"  including  psyche  the  the  intro-  view  i f the  equivalent  the  from  Ishmael."  i t i s as  "delegated  his interpreters. than  Despite  gold doubloon,  i s Sutpen,  reality  him  of  the  of matter,  e x p l o r a t i o n of  inevitability  Absalom!,  without  of  world  h i s commitment t o  consciousness  character i s the  Instead  as  the  the  to convey  Doubloon", e v e r y t h i n g does  a s Absalom,  looking  the  of  perception occurs.  i n "The  i s able  What d i s t i n g u i s h e s  of  overhanging  such  and  his novels  totality  and  of  Faulkner  the mind  action.  i s the  process  of  range of  process  the  Melville,  change.  Faulkner beings  of  the  stream-of-conscious-  9 ness t e c h n i q u e s .  I f "the s i g n i f i c a n t world  ' l o o k i n g ' " , t h e author can best render h i m s e l f i n the consciousness life  through t h e i r eyes.  i s generated by  t h i s by immersing  of h i s characters, looking at  T h i s i s one reason why  Faulkner  r e a l i z e s h i s a r t i s t i c p o t e n t i a l r a t h e r suddenly i n The and  the Fury.  In h i s three p r e v i o u s n o v e l s  Sound  the author's  p o i n t o f view i s e x t e r n a l t o t h e c h a r a c t e r s .  He i s not a b l e  to convey h i s sense o f the i n d i v i d u a l ' s p e r c e p t i o n being a t once i n t e n s e l y t r u e and r a d i c a l l y d i s t o r t e d . of Soldiers'  Pay,  Mosquitoes,  and Sartoris  The m u l t i - f o c u s  r e v e a l s the  l i m i t a t i o n s o f each i n d i v i d u a l p e r s p e c t i v e by showing d i v e r g i n g and c o n t r a s t i n g views.  But t h e c h a r a c t e r s a r e  seen from so g r e a t a d i s t a n c e t h a t t h e i r views have o n l y slight validity. The  As a r e s u l t t h e d i s t o r t i o n i s emphasized.  e f f e c t i s not so much " s a t i r e "  1 6  or " c a r i c a t u r e "  1 7  as a  sense o f t h e grotesque. In The Sound render  and the  Fury  Faulkner  i s able to f u l l y  the simultaneous t r u t h and d i s t o r t i o n o f human  p e r s p e c t i v e f o r t h e f i r s t time.  As i n t h e p r e v i o u s  novels,  the m u l t i p l e x focus helps t o convey the l i m i t a t i o n s o f each i n d i v i d u a l p o i n t o f view. consciousness  By immersing h i m s e l f i n the  o f t h r e e people,  a r t i s t i c d i s t a n c e , conveying perceptions to c l a r i f y  he r e s o l v e s t h e problem o f  the v a l i d i t y of h i s characters'  as w e l l as t h e i r a b e r r a t i o n s .  Wayne Booth helps  t h i s p o i n t about d i s t a n c e i n a d i s c u s s i o n o f  Jane Austen's Emma.  10  The s o l u t i o n t o t h e p r o b l e m o f m a i n t a i n i n g sympathy d e s p i t e almost c r i p p l i n g f a u l t s was primarily t o use the h e r o i n e h e r s e l f as a k i n d of n a r r a t o r , though i n t h i r d person, r e p o r t i n g o n h e r own e x p e r i e n c e . . . .By s h o w i n g m o s t o f t h e s t o r y t h r o u g h Emma's e y e s , t h e a u t h o r i n s u r e s t h a t we w i l l t r a v e l w i t h Emma r a t h e r t h a n s t a n d against her. 1 8  Faulkner's "travel be  with" or  vision  validity. point  of  But  of view  standing  t h a t we  conflicting  Booth's the  insight  toward  does have  first  person  narrator function  third  person  narrator,  o n l y Jane Austen, through  the  Faulkner  with  to present  view. of  As  Booth  travelling  helpful  increase with  1 9  our  Jason  with  sympathetic  but  has  also an  reality  remarks,  i s that of  emotional  enables  us  Jane Austen gone one  as  He  beyond  renders  point  important  i s unaccompanied  involvement. to understand  him;  by  of effect a  emotional  a technique This  the  sufficiently  own  the most  such  the  unsympathetic  Jason's  d e c r e a s i n g our  Jason  used  step  an may  making had  to i d e n t i f y  from  "Perhaps  In other words,  By  Henry James.  been a b l e  under-  one  destructive  insensitive,  the  I t provides  faults."  has  w i t h a n a r r a t o r who  author  distance."  as  Faulkner  eyes of  observer. Jason  some  that identification  "crippling  simply  simultaneously,  p e r s p e c t i v e s has  a c h a r a c t e r as  to  I t would  s i m p l e a n s w e r t o t h e q u e s t i o n o f why  ambivalent  life  both  relevant to Faulkner.  C o m p s o n , who  not  do  character leads to  is directly  astonishingly feel  say  the  of  t o a l l o w us  "stand against" his characters.  more a c c u r a t e t o  because each  i s too complex  tends  to  identification and  the  under-  11  standing  e n g e n d e r s sympathy, d e s p i t e h i s many o b n o x i o u s  traits. T h r o u g h empathy, F a u l k n e r his  readers  t o draw h i m s e l f  and  close to his characters, c r e a t i n g a f e e l i n g  intense  involvement.  ability  to achieve  novelist  i s able  from the  According empathy  inferior  to Henri  Bergson,  of  this  i s what d i s t i n g u i s h e s t h e  great  one.  C o n s i d e r , a g a i n , a c h a r a c t e r whose a d v e n t u r e s a r e r e l a t e d t o me i n a n o v e l . The a u t h o r may m u l t i p l y t h e t r a i t s o f h i s h e r o ' s c h a r a c t e r , may make him s p e a k and a c t as much a s he p l e a s e s , b u t a l l t h i s c a n n e v e r be e q u i v a l e n t t o t h e s i m p l e and i n d i v i s i b l e f e e l i n g which I should experience i f I were a b l e f o r an i n s t a n t t o i d e n t i f y m y s e l f w i t h the person of the hero h i m s e l f . Out o f t h a t i n d i v i s i b l e f e e l i n g , as f r o m a s p r i n g , a l l t h e w o r d s , g e s t u r e s , a n d a c t i o n s o f t h e man w o u l d a p p e a r t o me t o f l o w n a t u r a l l y . 2 0  Bergson*s term f o r t h i s "intuition."  act of  sympathetic  I t i s t h e a c t o f empathy and  "analysis"  w h i c h i s k n o w l e d g e f r o m an  view.  intuition  "By  sympathy order  external point  been r e c o g n i z e d  has  this  illustrates  chiefly  as  they  the a r t i s t  essentially  by  novels  and  of  consequently  a number  of  In E l i z a b e t h K e r r ' s  who  uses p r i v a t e  unlike  'empathy') i s a c h i e v e d  stream-of-consciousness  to  object i n  i l l u m i n a t e human n a t u r e  projected i n characters  T h i s p r o j e c t i o n (or  capacity.  is  intellectual  kind of  p l a c e s o n e s e l f w i t h i n an  I t has  2 1  that Faulkner  "Faulkner  feelings  his  i s opposite  t o c o i n c i d e w i t h what i s u n i q u e i n i t and  critics  be  i s meant t h e  by w h i c h one  inexpressible."  view  identification  and  himself."  most f u l l y  i s one  may  reason  2 2  in for  12  their  special  intensity.  And F a u l k n e r ' s s e n s e o f i r o n i c t r a g e d y , though powerful o f t e n i n such novels as Sanctuary a n d The Hamlet, r e a c h e s t h e credibility necessary for t h e sharpest e f f e c t i v e n e s s only i n h i s streamo f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s n o v e l s i n w h i c h p s y c h i c drama p r e v a i l s over grandiose r h e t o r i c . Robert  Humphrey's o b s e r v a t i o n i s e s s e n t i a l l y  even t h o u g h h i s t e r m s a r e somewhat v a g u e . of-consciousness basic  emphasis  levels  the  term.  "intelligence" consciousness logically  the  of the characters."  I would  i s structured  consciousness  rather  than  spoken  speech.  This i s  rationally  levels of  controlled, or  helps  to clarify his  add t h a t t h e rendering o f on t h e a s s o c i a t i v e  moves f r o m  Humphrey  *  satisfactory^definition of  This d i s t i n c t i o n  on t h e more  2 1  that i n contrast tothe  a r e not censored, 2 5  i n which t h e  primarily, of  o f a character "the prespeech  ordered."  definition.  states  stream-  o f t h e prespeech  f o r t h e purpose,  though n o t t o t a l l y  Humphrey  He d e f i n e s  of fiction  i s p l a c e d on e x p l o r a t i o n  the psychic being  adequate,  levels  as "a type  of consciousness  revealing an  novels  correct,  prespeech  principle  by  which  one p e r c e p t i o n t o another  logically says  ordered  principle of  that:  Henry James has w r i t t e n n o v e l s w h i c h r e v e a l p s y c h o l o g i c a l processes i n which a s i n g l e p o i n t of view i s m a i n t a i n e d so t h a t t h e e n t i r e n o v e l i s presented through t h e i n t e l l i g e n c e o f a character. B u t t h e s e , s i n c e t h e y do n o t d e a l a t a l l with prespeech levels o f consciousness, a r e not what I have d e f i n e d as s t r e a m - o f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s novels. 2  6  Unfortunately, which  Humphrey  works o f Faulkner  fails  he c o n s i d e r s  to specify  exactly  stream-of-consciousness  13  novels.  This  Faulkner  f r e q u e n t l y combines  prespeech distant  distinction  levels  narrator, features Using  plausibly  be argued  these  s e c t i o n s o f The  Humphrey o b v i o u s l y definition the five  as  "Faulkner's  Faulkner  mind, than  I  the  are strong Moreover,  a n d The  that  representing have  t h e term  a hard  character  this  asserted  novel  novels."  There a r e  but i n these flow  works of the level to  t o bear i n rather  definition.  a relatively takes  refer  chapter  i s a useful convenience,  place  full  sense o f  between  the author  stream-of-consciousness  t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between  i s a l t e r e d i n these  statement about  elements  I will  I t i s important  and f a s t  i n Faulkner's that  a  be  fiction.  the innermost  beings.  stated that  suggest  i tcould  and f e e l i n g s on a prespeech  identification  character  i t might  f o rd i s c u s s i o n i n t h i s  depicts  narrative  t o be a n a r r a t i v e , do f i t h i s  i n a l l o f them;  psychic  with  narrative  Hamlet,  stream-of-consciousness  however,  also  Mansion  included  thoughts  their  imaginative and  works  most f u l l y  I  novels.  considers  elements  characters' reveal  there  of  a coherent p l o t and  as a c r i t e r i o n ,  o f stream-of-consciousness  to  narrative  with  usually associated  features  that  a l l of Faulkner's  that  the intensive rendering  of consciousness  fiction.  in  i s not self-evident, since  works.  fiction;  the reader  Leon  Edel's  relationship i s helpful.  O n c e t h e a t t e m p t i s made t o r e n d e r a c e r t a i n mind, there ensues t h e meeting o f that mind w i t h t h e mind o f t h e reader. There can f o l l o w a m e r g i n g o f t h e two m e n t a l a t m o s p h e r e s .  and  14  I n t h e o l d n o v e l s t h i s was n o t t h e c a s e . The r e a d e r was b e i n g t o l d a s t o r y . He l i s t e n e d . He was d r a w n i n t o i t p r i m a r i l y t h r o u g h i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h one o r another o f t h ec h a r a c t e r s . . . . I f t h e author succeeds i ndrawing t h ereader into t h i s s i n g l e consciousness, he s h o u l d be a b l e t o make t h e r e a d e r feel with thecharacter: and t h e reader does t h i s o n l y i f proper i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . . . i s achieved He m a y t h e n . . . a l l o w h i s o w n s m e l l m e m o r y t o come i n t o p l a y w h e n B e n j y . . . t e l l s h i m t h a t C a d d y smelled l i k e leaves o r that Versh smelled like 2 7  raxn. Edel  suggests  perception  that  Faulkner,  of various  i nrendering  characters,  h i s own p r o c e s s  forces  t h eprocess t h ereader  of perception.  of  to bring  into  play  words  support t h i s statement. Remember a l l T o l s t o y s a i d a b o u t A n n a K a r e n i n a was t h a t s h e was b e a u t i f u l a n d c o u l d see i n t h e d a r k l i k e a c a t . That's a l l he ever s a i d t o d e s c r i b e h e r . A n d e v e r y man h a s a d i f f e r e n t idea o f what's b e a u t i f u l . Andi t ' s b e s t t o t a k e t h e g e s t u r e , t h e shadow o f t h e b r a n c h , and l e t t h emind c r e a t e t h e t r e e . 2  The own i m a g e  technique  i s more t h a n  underlying is  o f encouraging  concept  a literary  that  life  increasingly prevalent  attributable thinkers and  telling  such as Darwin,  outside itself  us i n simple by time  o f both, the  t h ereader  to create h i s  I tr e f l e c t s t h e  i sp r o c e s s .  i nthetwentieth  Freud,  This  century  Bergson, W i l l i a m  t o name b u t a f e w .  by Whitehead,  conditioned  8  device.  it..elf  own  view  and i s  t o a wide v a r i e t y o f i n f l u e n c e s i n c l u d i n g  Whitehead,  stated  Faulkner's  as reported terms  and space  and that  actuality."  that  2  *  I t i s most s u c c i n c t l y  by a f r i e n d :  "He h a d b e e n  o u r judgments a r e s h a r p l y  but that  change This  James,  is  the  concept  theactualities are process  and  is  i sc l a r i f i e d i n  15 H e n r i B e r g s o n ' s An Introduction which Faulkner  to  acknowledges having  Metaphysics, read.  an essay  3 0  T h e r e i s no s t a t e o f m i n d , however s i m p l e , w h i c h d o e s n o t change e v e r y moment, s i n c e t h e r e i s no c o n s c i o u s n e s s w i t h o u t memory, a n d no continuation of a state without the addition, to t h e p r e s e n t f e e l i n g , o f t h e memory o f p a s t moments. I t i s t h i s which c o n s t i t u t e s d u r a t i o n . I n n e r d u r a t i o n i s t h e c o n t i n u o u s l i f e o f a memory which prolongs t h e past onto t h e p r e s e n t . 3 1  In  o t h e r words c o n s c i o u s n e s s ,  continuous  itself,  flux.  B e r g s o n i s one o f t h e d i r e c t "In  fact,  fluidity I  I agree  then,  T h e r e i s o n l y t h e p r e s e n t moment i n w h i c h  essentially  is  a state  perpetual  conceive  a fixed  3 3  concept.  consciousness  . . .[a state of]  i . e . , a c o n s t a n t l y changing  state.  Slatoff  He  has observed  B e r g s o n i n t h a t "he o f t e n t e n d s  process,  that t o view  as a s t a t e o f t h e whole b e i n g o r o f t h e s e l f and o f t h e s e l f as an i n d i v i s i b l e i n t e r n a l  w h i c h c a n o n l y be  Faulkner's  this  i n agreement w i t h Bergson t h a t  i s like  experience  i n the present  t h e u s e o f f l a s h b a c k , s h o w i n g i t t o be t h e  becoming,"  The  a novel  "which changes and endures  than  Faulkner  Faulkner's  3 2  influence of the past r e f l e c t s  is  rather  method o f b e g i n n i n g  through  cumulative  in  p r e t t y much w i t h B e r g s o n ' s t h e o r y o f t h e  o f time.  characteristic  to  i n f l u e n c e s on F a u l k n e r .  i n c l u d e t h e p a s t and t h e f u t u r e . "  and  i s a process i n  sense  process  intuited." * 3 1  of process  i s rendered  stream-of-consciousness  most f u l l y i n  novels.  t h e c h a r a c t e r s p o r t r a y e d and g e n e r a t e d  I t i s dramatized i n the reader.  16  S i n c e e x p l i c i t a u t h o r i a l comment tends t o be absent or minimal, the reader  i s f o r c e d to r e l y more on h i s own  of p e r c e p t i o n i n order The  to make sense out of the  conclusions.  should  and  witness  judgment be banned from The  explicit allowed  i n "Barn B u r n i n g . "  key  work.  Sound  "Why  and  the  In the s h o r t s t o r y  we  the boy's s t r u g g l e from a g r e a t e r n a r r a t i v e d i s t a n c e  than i n the n o v e l .  The  author poses a problem f o r h i s  c h a r a c t e r and r e s o l v e s i t . The "Barn Burning" decided  3 5  reader  This explains a  q u e s t i o n r a i s e d by Wayne Booth about F a u l k n e r ' s  Fury  experience.  l e s s the author comments d i r e c t l y , the more the  i s f o r c e d to draw h i s own  process  f o l l o w i n g passage from  o c c u r s a f t e r young S a r t o r i s Snopes has  t o a c t a g a i n s t h i s own  father:  F a t h e r , my Father , he thought. "He was brave!" he c r i e d suddenly aloud,but not l o u d , no more than a whisper: "He was! He was i n the war! He was i n C o l o n e l S a r t o r i s c a v ' r y ! " not knowing t h a t h i s f a t h e r had gone t o t h a t war a p r i v a t e i n the f i n e o l d European sense, wearing no uniform, a d m i t t i n g the a u t h o r i t y of and g i v i n g f i d e l i t y to no man or army o r f l a g , going to war as Malbrouck h i m s e l f d i d : f o r b o o t y - - i t meant n o t h i n g and l e s s than n o t h i n g to him i f i t were enemy booty or h i s own. 1  36  The  i n f o r m a t i o n p r o v i d e d makes i t c l e a r t h a t the  d e s p i t e h i s remorse, d i d make the c o r r e c t d e c i s i o n . knowledge a v a i l a b l e to the reader and p i t y the boy because the boy The  reader  enables  him  This i s  correct his decision i s .  has no doubts about the c o r r e c t n e s s of  d e c i s i o n , because he has  The  to admire  from a p o s i t i o n of c e r t a i n t y . can not know how  boy,  been p r o v i d e d w i t h  t h a t i s not a v a i l a b l e to S a r t o r i s Snopes.  the  information As a r e s u l t ,  he  17  i s a w i t n e s s to the boy's s t r u g g l e , r a t h e r than a p a r t i c i p a n t in  it.  The reader i s i n the secure p o s i t i o n of having  a problem  posed  by the author and then  whereas i n The  resolved;  Sound  and  judgments are absent from the f i r s t minimal  i n the f o u r t h .  seen  satisfactorily  the  Fury  e x p l i c i t value  t h r e e s e c t i o n s and  The r e a d e r i s thus c l o s e r to the  s i t u a t i o n o f the c h a r a c t e r s who  are f o r c e d t o grope f o r  meaning i n a world o f u n c e r t a i n t y .  The r e s u l t i s t h a t the  r e a d e r , l i k e the c h a r a c t e r , i s s u b j e c t e d to the p r o c e s s of p e r c e p t i o n and f o r c e d t o make h i s own s y n t h e s i s . Thus, "Barn Burning" f u n c t i o n s more on the l e v e l of a n a r r a t i v e , i n which the author, c e r t a i n of h i s judgments, passes them on to the r e a d e r .  In The  Sound  and  the  Fury,  c h a r a c t e r s , author, and audience must a l l seek meaning i n a world which i s c o n f u s i n g , because the v e r y a c t o f seeking b r i n g s d i s t o r t i o n as w e l l as c l a r i f i c a t i o n . reason t h a t e x p l i c i t judgments are minimal I have suggested  that Faulkner's  It i s for this i n the n o v e l .  stream-of-conscious-  ness f i c t i o n i s h i s most s u c c e s s f u l f o r t h r e e i n t e r r e l a t e d reasons:  he i s a b l e t o a c h i e v e the g r e a t e s t e x t e n t of  empathy i n these works.  Through empathy, he i s a b l e t o  e x p l o r e the innermost p s y c h o l o g i c a l workings of h i s characters. to  In d r a m a t i z i n g t h e i r i n n e r l i v e s , he i s a b l e  convey t h e i r p r o c e s s e s of p e r c e p t i o n , r e n d e r i n g h i s  v i s i o n that l i f e intense  i s process.  involvement.  The  t o t a l e f f e c t i s toward  18  Strangely  enough, t h i s i n t e n s e involvement does not  p r e c l u d e d i s t a n c e between the reader  and  r a t h e r i t seems to c o - e x i s t along with  the  character;  i t . As p r e v i o u s l y  mentioned, the s h i f t i n g p e r s p e c t i v e s of a Faulkner make us aware of the l i m i t a t i o n s of any necessary  f o r the reader  novel  s i n g l e view.  to grope somewhat i n order  It is to  determine whether the p e r s p e c t i v e of a n a r r a t o r such as Stephen Dedalus i s d i s t o r t e d i n A Portrait a Young Man. Ulysses  Faulkner's  novels  of  the  Artist  are more l i k e Joyce's  i n the use of m u l t i p l e v i e w p o i n t s ,  each of which i s  i m p l i c i t l y compared and c o n t r a s t e d to the o t h e r s . r e s u l t these novels p r o v i d e a context beyond each perspective.  This context  a s i n g l e angle  As a  3 7  individual  i s l a c k i n g i n novels which r e l y  c h a r a c t e r to another, but a l s o from  c h a r a c t e r to the author. the more we  and  the  s h i f t u n t i l we consciousness brothers  Fury  reason  i s doing  shifts, the  i s t h a t the p o i n t of view does not  August  to have h i s f u l l  The  immersed i n the Each of the Compson say, b e f o r e r e c e d i n g  changes of p e r s p e c t i v e are more  and  and  f o r the s p e c i a l i n t e n s i t y of  of the main c h a r a c t e r s .  i s allowed  in  g r e a t e r the number of  have become thoroughly  the background. i n Light  One  not  the  T h i s awareness tends to evoke d i s t a n c e  l i m i t involvement. Sound  The  become aware of the a r t i s t who  manipulation.  The  on  of v i s i o n .  Each change i n p o i n t of view s h i f t s our f o c u s , only from one  as  f a r more numerous i n As  I  Lay  to  frequent Vying.  19  The  involvement between the author and reader w i t h the  c h a r a c t e r i s i n i n v e r s e p r o p o r t i o n t o the number of g r e a t e s t i n The  Sound  and  the  Fury,  and s i g n i f i c a n t l y l e s s i n As  l e s s i n Light  I Lay  shifts:  in  August  Dying.  I t should be noted, however, t h a t t h i s i s not t o be taken as a mathematical technique of changing  e q u a t i o n or a new  theorem.  f o c u s i s o n l y one of the  a f f e c t i n g involvement and d i s t a n c e .  The  The  factors  stance t h a t the  author takes i n r e l a t i o n t o h i s c h a r a c t e r s i s of the utmost importance.  In The  Sound  and  the  Fury  and As  I Lay  Dying,  F a u l k n e r p r e s e n t s h i s i n f o r m a t i o n without a u t h o r i a l comment, as i f he were d i r e c t l y r e n d e r i n g the c o n s c i o u s n e s s of h i s characters  (the c o n c l u d i n g s e c t i o n of The  the  Fury  In Light  Absolom!  a t h i r d person a u t h o r - n a r r a t o r  i s e s t a b l i s h e d i n the opening passages throughout  the n o v e l s .  i n a comparison the  Fury  in  and  Absolom,  maintained  The d i f f e r e n c e i n e f f e c t may  of the opening  and Light  August,  and  i s the e x c e p t i o n t o t h i s ) . and Go Down,Moses,  in  Sound  s e c t i o n s of The  Sound  be  seen  and  August.  Through the f e n c e , between the c u r l i n g f l o w e r spaces, I c o u l d see them h i t t i n g . They were coming toward where the f l a g was and I went along the f e n c e . L u s t e r was hunting i n the g r a s s by the f l o w e r t r e e . They took the f l a g out and they were h i t t i n g . Then they went to the t a b l e , and he h i t and the o t h e r h i t . S i t t i n g b e s i d e the road, watching the wagon mount the h i l l toward her, Lena t h i n k s , I have come from Alabama: a f u r p i e c e . A l l the way from Alabama a-walking. A fur piece. T h i n k i n g although I have not been quite a month on the road I an already in Mississippi j further from home than I' have ever been before. I am now further from Doane's Mill than I have been since I was twelve years old. 1  3 8  20  until In within  She h a d n e v e r e v e n b e e n t o D o a n e ' s M i l l a f t e r her f a t h e r and mother died . . . 3  The  Fury,  of Benjy  of the f i r s t  t o see l i f e  distance into  section  Faulkner  immerses  Compson,  limiting h i s  t o Benjy's  i salso  through  strong  Benjy's  because  assistance  thirty-three taking first  year  eyes.  responses.  The sense o f  the reader world.  he must deduce  o l di d i o t  himself  because t h e reader i s  an u n f a m i l i a r and b e w i l d e r i n g  authorial  that  named B e n j y  i sthrust Without  the narrator and t h a t  not the narrator,  question  what i s happening  and then attempt t o  This  i s incapable intellectual  i s remote  from  of focussing synthesis.  the experience  on a q u e s t i o n  As one c r i t i c  i sa  a game i s  I t i s the reader,  i t .  suddenly  explicit  place.  decipher  an  the  sense o f involvement i s intense  forced  who  and  the consciousness  presentation The  Sound  9  who m u s t  o f Benjy  and o f making notes:  i t w o u l d seem t h a t F a u l k n e r i n t e n d e d t o i n d i c a t e something about t h e q u a l i t y o f Benjy's perception of t h e w o r l d about him by u n i f o r m l y o m i t t i n g t h e q u e s t i o n marks i n t h e q u e s t i o n s t h a t a r e asked i n the dialogue o f h i ss e c t i o n o f t h e n o v e l . 4 0  The  i n c a p a c i t y o f Benjy  him  from In  rendering  not  questions  distances  the reader. Light  in  August  of the flow  observations presence  t o formulate  o f Lena's  about her.  i sdirectly  alternates the  consciousness with  Though u n o b t r u s i v e ,  felt.  i n the consciousness  alternation  the author-narrator  He c o n v e y s  information  i n Lena's passage  own  the author's  o f any o f h i sc h a r a c t e r s .  of perspective  his  that i s The  seems t o s h i f t  21 the  focus  The  italics  this in  slightly  from  o f t h e quoted  point.  passage  The change o f f o c u s  t h e major  shifts  f o r this  subtle  and unobtrusive shifts  serve  from  The  effect  i s t o emphasize  and  t o remind  the  us o f t h e author  Fury  because t h e reader  consciousness he  novel from  enables  the juxtaposing.  less  than  i n Light  reader  i sdistant  synthesis This  provides  because  removes him from  i s less  reader  i n kind.  t r u e o f Light  in  i n The  I n The  Sound  Sound  i n the latter  that  and  i n both and  the  the  the experiences in  August,  Fury.  Fury t h e h i s own  of the character.  where t h e author But i n that novel the  has t h e distance o f a knowledgeable onlooker. from  stems  works, but  t h e n e c e s s i t y o f making  i n f o r m a t i o n more e x p l i c i t l y .  passage quoted  August  with the  stance  the intensity  the characters i sevident  i sdifferent  Sound  w i t h a c h a r a c t e r , even though i t  what he a c h i e v e s  from  i n The  i s immersed w i t h i n t h e  The n a r r a t i v e  t o convey  close identification  Distance it  Faulkner  t oJoe  transitions.  i s more c o m p l e t e  o f t h e c h a r a c t e r , whereas  consciousness.  when  of perspectives  i sa kind of spectator i n close association  character's  is  who i s d o i n g  sense o f involvement  Lena  smooth  the juxtaposition  The  Whereas  o r from  omit  than  of vision are  passage.  t o Quentin  he seems t o d e l i b e r a t e l y  and  i n the novel.  i n t h e quoted  Benjy  t o emphasize  to but less  i s t h a t t h e changes o f angle  Christmas,  The  the author.  quietly  i ssimilar  o f point o f view  reason  Faulkner  t h e c h a r a c t e r toward  t h e Lena  section,  the angle  I nthe  of vision  22  shifts  slightly  commentator bute  i sd i r e c t l y  t o a sense  Benjy and  and t h epresence  passage  o f assuming  though  lucidly  t h eauthor  c a n never  in  the  Fury  the  i sn o t evident,  comment  i sg i v e n .  "we m u s t n e v e r  forget  As  that  1  that  Lay  i n The Sound  friction  t h e change o f t e c h n i q u e in  August  Dying  reflects  from  The  Sound  a basic  alteration  No s u c h  change  where F a u l k n e r d i r e c t l y  and  the  between c h i l d r e n  Fury.  and t h e loss  been e x p l o r e d i n t e n s e l y  earlier I  novel.  Lay  Dying.  presents  The n o v e l ' s  o f Addie  Her  generates  toward  thechildren  character.  sense  Bundren  w i t h comic  title  indicate  theaction  and works  confrontation  fully  have  i n the  distancei n  and t h e r e v e a l i n g hercentral  importance.  i n t h enovel and her a t t i t u d e  i sa crucial  But the large  of diffusion  difficulties,  of virginity  and r e l a t i v e l y  They a r e t r e a t e d  soliloquy death  Domestic  o f t h e same f a m i l y ,  t h eknowledge o f death,  all  of  One m u s t n o t  c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f h i s c h a r a c t e r s a s he had p r e v i o u s l y  done  As  to the  t o d i s a p p e a r . " "*  t o Light  i n As I  contri-  constant  felt.  Faulkner's perception of experience.  occurs  of  remains  a writer  authorial  i t :  factors  arei ncontrast  of vision  that  as a  c a n t o some e x t e n t c h o o s e h i s d i s g u i s e s ,  choose  I suggest and  puts  o f these  i sindirectly  because no e x p l i c i t  Wayne B o o t h  They  where t h e angle  t h eauthor's presence  simply  Both  of distance.  make t h e m i s t a k e  he  felt.  o f t h eauthor  factor  i ntheir  number o f r e f l e c t o r s against intensive  development creates a  focus.  23  Although his  the author's  immersion  characters encourages  captions  and frequency  preventing felt  the consciousness  involvement,  of the shifts  the shortness  because  writing "tour  i t . "  de  e x p l o r a t i o n o f any one r e f l e c t o r .  2  Light  narrator  This  than  As  t h a t book  August  t h e presence  I  Lay  before as a  a vision  person  o f a u n i v e r s e f a r more  t h e one p r e s e n t e d  i spresent  of a third  i n The  Sound  the narrative  and  in  Fury.  consciousness  as a g u i d i n g f o r c e from  a p p l i c a b l e t o Light  under  the  of  beginning t o  C o l e r i d g e ' s comment o n "Venus a n d A d o n i s "  opinion,  Faulkner  from  i s why he s p e a k s o f t h e n o v e l  i t i sunobtrusive  author  ofthe  4 3  in  suggests  Although  end.  he h a d known so much a b o u t  force."  In  control  4  of  evoke d i s t a n c e ,  t h a t t h e s e n s e o f d i s c o v e r y was " m i s s i n g  Dying  the  depth  within  i s , i n my  August.  I t i s t h r o u g h o u t a s i fa s u p e r i o r s p i r i t more i n t u i t i v e , more i n t i m a t e l y c o n s c i o u s , even t h a n t h e characters themselves, n o t only o f outward look and a c t , b u t o f t h e f l u x a n d r e f l u x o f t h e mind i n a l l i t s s u b t l e s t thoughts and f e e l i n g s , were p l a c i n g t h e whole before our v i e w ; 4 4  In  b o t h The Sound and the  reader  must  cation  i s achieved.  clarity.  immerse h i m s e l f  Whereas t h e i n i t i a l angle is  of vision  placed  intense  focus  in  both  and the reader's  struggle through  in August t h e  August  before begins  i n the lucidity  awareness o f what  i n The  of a bewildered  i n a position  a n d Light  i n experience  B u t Light  I t i sreflected  perceptions  Fury  Sound  and  reflector,  of confusion.  the  clarifiand ends i n  o f Lena's i s happening. Fury  i s the  and t h e reader  I t i sonly  after  two s e c t i o n s t h a t e x p e r i e n c e  begins  24  to  clarify.  The p o s s i b i l i t y  throughout implicit  from  The  and  narrations, this  the  Fury.  found  look  Jason Lycurgus 1  for  texture  family.  achieved  areforced  experience. picturing  this  both t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s  forefather Other  who a t t e m p t e d examples o f t h i s  a r eC o l o n e l  Sartoris,  t o understand t h e rely  documents and hearsay.  The  i n t h enovel i sr e f l e c t e d  t o make a b o u t  Judith,  could  a n d must  and t h esuppositions  This insight  Then he t h o u g h t it  tentative.  past experience, taking h i s  plain." '  1 6  If  I  Quentin  of perspective i s  i nevaluating  immediate  i s e x p r e s s e d b y Q u e n t i n when he i s and C l y t i e .  s e e i t ; he m i g h t  No.  that  i n the  t h enature o f Sutpen and  a clarity  one c a n n o t a t t a i n  Sutpen,  Quentin,"he  confronts  on w r i t t e n  Paradoxically,  that  moves  i n t h e f i n a l two  have never met him p e r s o n a l l y  o f t h er h e t o r i c  his  as i n  Compson, a n d L u c i u s Q u i n t u s C a r o t h e r s  o f comprehension  Shreve  clarity  i n Mississippi.  information  and  t o understand t h e  and as intense  i nFaulkner's f i c t i o n  o f Sutpen  their  Fury b u t  August.  T h e y o u n g men who a t t e m p t  5  difficulty  seen  greater  a t t h eruthless  figure  McCaslin. *  the  Although t h en o v e l s i m i l a r l y  of exploring  a dynasty  recurrent  i s problematic  t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g a c h i e v e d i s more  advantages  nature  in  and  thestruggle  novel Faulkner f u l l y  profoundest to  Sound  o f e x p e r i e n c e i sas d i f f i c u l t  Sound  and  o f Light  Absalom!  from c o n f u s i o n toward  In  o f The  part  thestart  Absalom,  In nature  thefirst  of clarification  had been Events  even there  The n a r r a t o r have been I  could  a r eperceived  says o f  there.  not  only  as  have filtered  25  through the c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f the v a r i o u s r e f l e c t o r s . Coldfield  Rosa  " i s the o n l y one o f the n a r r a t o r s who was an a c t u a l  p a r t i c i p a n t i n the drama, and even her r o l e was a l i m i t e d and minor one which ended f o r t y - t h r e e years e a r l i e r w i t h her sudden d e p a r t u r e from Sutpen's house." * 1  In Go Down,Moses, more e x t e r n a l . consciousness  7  on the o t h e r hand, the focus i s f a r  Depth immersion w i t h i n a t u r b u l e n t , s t r u g g l i n g  i s conveyed o n l y i n P a r t Four o f "The Bear."  In t h a t s t o r y F a u l k n e r renders an e x t e r n a l metaphor r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e process o f p e r c e p t i o n i n I s a a c ' s s e a r c h f o r O l d Ben  i n the f o r e s t .  I t i s o n l y a f t e r immersion i n t h e woods  t h a t c l a r i f i c a t i o n o f v i s i o n takes p l a c e w i t h the emergence of the animal t h a t i n c a r n a t e s the s p i r i t o f t h e w i l d e r n e s s . "The  Bear"  f u n c t i o n s more as a t r a d i t i o n a l n a r r a t i v e  the n o v e l s p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d .  than  I see i t as b a l a n c i n g the  immersion i n c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f F a u l k n e r ' s ness f i c t i o n w i t h n a r r a t i v e elements.  stream-of-conscious-  The sense o f a t h i r d  person n a r r a t o r i n c o n t r o l i s even more e v i d e n t than i n Light  in August.  The r h e t o r i c , w i t h the e x c e p t i o n o f P a r t  Four, r e f l e c t s t h i s sense o f c o n t r o l .  The long  are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f F a u l k n e r ' s attempt an understanding  sentences  t o r e a c h out f o r  o f the c o m p l e x i t i e s o f e x p e r i e n c e .  t o r t u r e d q u a l i t y o f the language,  But the  i n d i c a t i n g the d i f f i c u l t y  of t h i s s t r u g g l e f o r c h a r a c t e r s such as Quentin Compson and G a i l Hightower, i s absent here.  The reader i s more o f a  witness t o Ike's s t r u g g l e t o f i n d h i m s e l f than he i s a  26  participant. the  Although  n a r r a t i v e angle  the  of  sense of  vision  works p r e v i o u s l y discussed. The  dual  essence of  the  but  work  to  any  artist .  .  sense of response, of  art.  must balance  . against  our  of  disbelief  faith." * 1  The  9  even  as  newspaper  the  example, t e m p o r a r i l y  the  convention  surprised The  fact  to that  works against of  the  Richard  strong  response  R o v e r e on  Light  so  immersed  in  that,  dispute  to  August  art. this  in fact,  of  so  The  Wayne B o o t h ' s  "The  world  Involvement  8  "that w i l l i n g  can  place sense  talk  suspen-  of  Donald  Nor  limited  distance  that  5 0  the  He  street.  seconds sense  extent.  i s also critics  "we  and  he  the  are  as  Hightower  momentarily  defeated would  inevitable such  In d i s c u s s i n g G a i l that  form  accept  is  but  It  Duck,  to  i n several  with  art  down t h e  involvement;  become h i m . " point  of  a dog  a  art.  a popular  English.  i s read  to  to  his disbelief  I disagree point.  response  reader  seedy, unfrocked we  the  novel,  his  1  limited  ,Rovere a s s e r t s  in this  artifact." *  i t precludes  sense of  a  is  insists,  an  termed  the  moment w h i c h c o n s t i t u t e s p o e t i c  strip  take  believe that  of  man  a  Joyce  r e a l i t y of  a duck walking  comic  involvement does I  in  the  has  distance  of  in  distance.  the  suspends  ducks  observe  critic  strip.  for  that  a  to  i t as  reading  comic  only  sense of  f o r the  i n the  evokes  a Faulknerian  absence of  occurs  This  not  sense of  strong,  i s more e x t e r n a l t h a n  and  depends upon what C o l e r i d g e sion  is  involvement  As  our  involvement  old  clergy-  apparently  a r t i s t i s evident  in  27  the d e t a i l s he has s e l e c t e d t o render and can not choose disappear. one.  No matter how  always art  I b e l i e v e t h a t Booth's  to  contention i s a v a l i d  i n t e n s e our involvement, t h e r e c o - e x i s t s  a sense of detachment, an awareness of the work of  as an a r t i f a c t , which p r e v e n t s us from becoming the  character.  I suggest t h a t the involvement of author  and  reader w i t h a c h a r a c t e r i s s i m i l a r t o the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of a c h i l d w i t h a r o l e he i s p l a y i n g i n a game.  The c h i l d  become extremely i n v o l v e d i n the r o l e he assumes. Johan H u i z i n g a p o i n t s out i n Homo Ludens, possesses  may  Yet, as  "Genuine p l a y  . . . the c o n s c i o u s n e s s , however l a t e n t , o f 'only  pretending,' "  5 1  I r e a l i z e t h a t t h i s p o i n t can not be proven, but would l i k e to c i t e one example to support my complete  contention.  The  l a c k o f t h i s sense of detachment i s p o r t r a y e d as  a k i n d of madness by one o f F a u l k n e r ' s f a v o r i t e a u t h o r s , M i g u e l de C e r v a n t e s .  5 2  c r i t i c a l distance, f a i l s art.  Don  Quixote, l a c k i n g a l l sense o f  t o d i s t i n g u i s h between l i f e  Cervantes informs us t h a t " a l l the F a b l e s and  t i c a l T a l e s which he read, seem'd t o him now most a u t h e n t i c  Histories."  5 3  and fantas-  as t r u e as the  The i n a b i l i t y t o make t h i s  d i s t i n c t i o n , e v i d e n t throughout the work, i s most v i v i d l y i l l u s t r a t e d by the episode i n which Don a puppet  show.  Quixote i s watching  Incensed by a t h r e a t of one of the  puppet  v i l l a i n s , he charges a t the show, sword i n hand, c u t t i n g and s l a s h i n g a t the v i l l a i n o u s m a r i o n e t t e s . * 51  Cervantes'  28  point  i s that  life,  rather  fail  t h e puppet than  life  show i s a r t , a r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f  itself,  t o know t h e d i f f e r e n c e .  and that  only  a madman  E v e n Don Q u i x o t e ,  would  over-involved  as  he i s , d o e s n o t become t h e c h a r a c t e r s  i n t h e works o f a r t  he  observes,  their  though  he does  t r y t o enter  world  as  savior. What i s u n i q u e that  involvement  present  about  and d i s t a n c e  novels  detachment  i s extremely  Swiggart  t h e sense  hc-.s c a l l e d  the world  character  "a k i n d  t o render  human d i l e m m a " :  truth  and a d i s t o r t i o n .  ness  of this  locked  within  c l o s e l y The  treatment these  that  irony. Sound  i t i s that  the point  heightened  i n his  5  most  and o f Peter  i n which  we  of view ofthe The i n v o l v e -  o f each perspective, i t s limitations.  while Thus,  each  i s a t once a  refer t o Faulkner's individual  aware-  i si n e v i t a b l y  o f h i s own p o i n t  of view as  .In the following chapters and  the  Fury,  o f involvement and d i s t a n c e .  f a c t o r s , though  5  distance.  w h a t we p e r c e i v e  I will  that  factors are  these  i s not  what I have r e f e r r e d t o a s " t h e  the limitations  sense o f cosmic  analyze  a  dilemma  since  The r e s u l t i s what  from  t o us t h e v a l i d i t y  i s able  then  o f double v i s i o n "  simultaneously  basic  his  intense.  detachment enables us t o judge  Faulkner  of Faulkner  both o f involvement  a n d f r o m o u r own c r i t i c a l  ment c o n v e y s the  exist,  i n a l l works o f a r t ; r a t h e r  successful  see  t h e work  stressing I will  I  will  Faulkner's  show  e s s e n t i a l i n any work o f a r t ,  s i g n i f i c a n c e when t h e a c t o f p e r c e p t i o n  that assume (i.e.,  29  how  we l o o k a t e x p e r i e n c e )  also the  e x a m i n e how t h e p r o c e s s novels  i san attempt  inevitable from  i sa central  distortion  Faulkner  central  in  to this  the  concern.  of writing  (and  o f reading)  t o cope w i t h t h e dilemma o f t h e  o f human p e r s p e c t i v e . University,  thesis,  I will  which  The q u o t a t i o n  I have taken a s  again provides  the key.  I t h i n k t h a t no o n e i n d i v i d u a l c a n l o o k a t t r u t h . I t b l i n d s you. You look a t i t and you seeone phase o f i t . Someone e l s e l o o k s a t i t a n d s e e s a s l i g h t l y awry phase o f i t . But taken a l l t o g e t h e r , t h e t r u t h i s i n what t h e y saw t h o u g h nobody saw t h e t r u t h i n t a c t . . . . I t w a s , a s y o u s a y , t h i r t e e n ways o f l o o k i n g a t a b l a c k b i r d . B u t t h e t r u t h , I w o u l d l i k e t o t h i n k , comes o u t , t h a t when t h e r e a d e r h a s r e a d a l l t h e s e t h i r t e e n d i f f e r e n t ways o f l o o k i n g a t t h e b l a c k b i r d , t h e r e a d e r h a s h i s own f o u r t e e n t h image o f t h a t b l a c k b i r d w h i c h I would l i k e t o t h i n k i s the t r u t h . 5  Faulkner become i m m e r s e d able  i n each  t o comprehend  various be  i s suggesting  angles  within  Walter  errs  seriously  He  that  "Our t e n s e  characteristic also  share  permitted  state  through  Faulkner's position his  those  of Faulkner's  final  own p r o c e s s  brilliant this  point.  v e r y much resembles t h e characters, a state  No more resolution  than  they  I t encourages  of perception to strive  we  a r e we  or release."  a r t does n o t l e a v e t h e reader  as h i s characters.  will  by any I n d i v i d u a l  t o comprehend  condition  they a r e  p o i n t o f view  despite a  i nfailing  must  Includes a l l the  expressed  Slatoff,  empathy.  t o achieve  which  The r e s u l t a n t  than  analysis, states  and reader  of theperspectives until  of vision.  thenovel.  that t h e author  an overview  more comprehensive  6  5 7  i n t h e same  the reader  t ouse  f o r an integrated  30  vision  of  reality,  conflicting explicit is  only  based  versions  in literature anecdotes  juxtaposed  and  credibility." W e b s t e r as  colors."  that i n the  "Anneal"  "to  This  heat,  He  and  a t one  effective  the  p a r a d o x i c a l and e v e n  mutually  Gambit and  i s the  key  glass,  than  literature  sections  contradictions  of  life.  love  of  i n t o i t , as  because the selves  novel to  they respond  to  indicated  the  University  any  that No  the  i t .  away f r o m  and  Don  necessity read  by  Faulkner  i s well  qualification "But  an the Knight's  solution  to  An  rather  Quixote  knows.  imperfect,  i n d i v i d u a l s , them-  aware o f  experience this,  i n h i s statement at  the  5 9  whole.  life  be  The  of d i f f e r e n t  perfect  i n e v i t a b l e d i s t o r t i o n , of  of V i r g i n i a .  ink.  from  patterning  fact  of  such s o l u t i o n e x i s t s .  admirer of  i s written  quotation  i n t o a coherent  l e a d one  ardent  the  defined  the  consciousnesses of  a r t i s the  r e s o l u t i o n must o f  subject  by  a r t can  be  to f i x l a i d - o n  different sections  the  involves  say  the  It is  in different color  i m p l i c a t i o n of  to  Moreover,  word h e r e .  i n order  diverse  i s not  excessive  can  d i f f e r e n t c o l o r i n k w o u l d be  the  contradictory  This the  The  5 0  printed  that  i n d i c a t o r of  i s that  often  a human h e a r t  a r t i n t o v e r i s i m i l i t u d e and  as  t o be  time f e l t  characters.  quite  i s e s p e c i a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g i n view of  Fury  and  that " i t  h i s t o r y of  He  is  various  states  t h a t F a u l k n e r o r i g i n a l l y wished the Sound  Faulkner  Gambit.  the  a n n e a l e d by 5 8  a s s i m i l a t i o n of  experience.  i n Knight's  about t h i s  negativing  by  of  upon t h e  t r u t h , I- would  like  as  the to  as  31  think,  comes o u t . . . ."  italicized quotation  phrase  and incomplete.  i n Quest  assumes  impossible  i n theconcluding  repetition  sentence  of the  for  This  Failure,  and t h a t t h ereader  does  n o t mean, a s  that resolution i s  i s "doomed t o f a i l . "  d o e s mean t h a t t h e p r o c e s s  o f understanding  not  b e c a u s e o f b a s i c human  It  be t o t a l l y  successful,  i st h eb r i l l i a n c e  render hension  Fury.  of Faulkner's  i nh i s a r t both  study  t h ep o s s i b i l i t i e s  inherent  I will  2  I t  limitation.  t o be a b l e t o  o f human  i nany such  compreendeavor.  e x a m i n e how F a u l k n e r  and l i m i t a t i o n s  6  experience can  achievement  t h ep o s s i b i l i t i e s  and t h e l i m i t a t i o n s  In t h e f o l l o w i n g both  of the  i m p l i e s h i s a w a r e n e s s t h a t a n y human s y n t h e s i s  must be t e n t a t i v e Slatoff  Faulkner's  6 1  i n The  Sound  conveys and  the  CHAPTER 2 TRYING TO SAY  33  I n my immersing Faulkner resolving  introductory chapter  h i m s e l f w i t h i n the i s a b l e to convey his handling  suddenness of  one  the  intensity  t h e r e s o l u t i o n may  f r o m New  three years  consciousness of  that  by  of h i s characters, their  perceptions,  of the problem of p o i n t of view.  comparison of the opening with  I suggested  Orleans  be  illustrated  p a s s a g e o f The Sketches,  Sound  written  by and  The  a the  Fury  approximately  before.  The c a r came s w i f t l y down D e c a t u r S t r e e t and t u r n i n g i n t o t h e a l l e y w a y , s t o p p e d . Two men a l i g h t e d , but the o t h e r remained i n h i s s e a t . The f a c e o f t h e s i t t i n g man was v a g u e and d u l l and l o o s e - l i p p e d , and h i s e y e s were c l e a r and b l u e a s c o r n f l o w e r s , and u t t e r l y v a c a n t o f t h o u g h t ; he s a t a s h a p e l e s s , d i r t y lump, l i f e w i t h o u t m i n d , an organism without i n t e l l e c t . Yet always i n h i s s l o b b e r i n g , v a c u o u s f a c e were h i s two e y e s o f a h e a r t s h a k i n g b l u e , and g r i p p e d t i g h t l y i n one fist was a n a r c i s s u s . 2  Through the f e n c e , between the c u r l i n g f l o w e r s p a c e s , I c o u l d s e e them h i t t i n g . T h e y were c o m i n g t o w a r d where t h e f l a g was and I went a l o n g the fence. L u s t e r was h u n t i n g i n t h e g r a s s by t h e flower tree. They t o o k t h e f l a g o u t , and t h e y were hitting. Then t h e y p u t t h e f l a g b a c k and t h e y went t o t h e t a b l e , and he h i t and t h e o t h e r h i t . Then t h e y went on, and I went a l o n g t h e f e n c e . Luster came away f r o m t h e f l o w e r t r e e and we went a l o n g t h e f e n c e and t h e y s t o p p e d and we s t o p p e d and I l o o k e d t h r o u g h t h e f e n c e w h i l e L u s t e r was hunting i n the g r a s s . "Here, c a d d i e . " He h i t . They went away across the p a s t u r e . I h e l d t o t h e f e n c e and w a t c h e d them g o i n g away. " L i s t e n a t y o u , now." Luster said. "Ain't y o u s o m e t h i n g , t h i r t y - t h r e e y e a r s o l d , g o i n g on t h a t way. A f t e r I done went a l l t h e way t o town t o buy y o u t h a t c a k e . Hush up t h a t m o a n i n g . Aint y o u g o i n g t o h e l p me f i n d t h a t q u a r t e r so t h a t I c a n go t o t h e show t o n i g h t . " They were h i t t i n g l i t t l e , a c r o s s t h e p a s t u r e . I went [back] a l o n g t h e f e n c e t o where t h e f l a g was. I t f l a p p e d on t h e b r i g h t g r a s s and t h e t r e e s . (23)  34  Faulkner's astonishing. volume view  development  The f i r s t  implies,  dirty  pictorial  eyes  details  such  without mind, clinically deepest  images r a t h e r  rendered  the effect that  t h e eyes  without  Bergson  terms  statements.  because  rather  image.  than There  passage The in  that  from  t h e passage  ineffective  intellect"  "life  i s almost that  on t h e  p e r c e i v e s i n terms o f are concrete are generaliza-  the actof experiencing. from  i s an i m p e r f e c t l y  New Orleans primarily  controlled  as  . . . "  i s  statement  ambivalence  i s e v i d e n t i n much o f F a u l k n e r ' s e a r l y of the paragraph  In  Sketches  begins,"Yet  h i s s l o b b e r i n g , v a c u o u s f a c e were h i stwo eyes blue  that  "utterly  o f t h e man a s  The former  3  i tfunctions  concluding sentence  shaking  mingled  of vivid  were  has suggested  o f consciousness"man  one s t e p removed  Bergsonian  and tends t o  t h e man's m o u t h i s  embodiments o f p e r c e p t i o n , w h i l e t h e l a t t e r tions  point of  of thedescription  The d e s c r i p t i o n  an organism  than  ofthe  and b l u e a s c o r n f l o w e r s " i s o f f s e t by  abstract.  level  as t h e f a c t  proclaiming that  o f thought."  as the t i t l e  A b s t r a c t i o n s a r e awkwardly  The c o n c r e t e n e s s  were c l e a r  the narrator's vacant  lump."  period i s  who i s d e s c r i b e d a s a  renderings, weakening  "loose-lipped." "his  the idiot  three year  The n a r r a t i v e  to the subject being  evoke d i s t a n c e from  with precise  description,  i s simply a sketch.  i sexternal  "shapeless  i n this  I t i s as i f t h e author  i n the  writing. always  of a heart-  i stelling the  35  audience  that  slobbering him;  despite the repulsive  organism  but the author  qualities  of this  vacant,  "yet" there i s something  appealing  about  i s n o t a b l e t o make  point  this  vincing.  The d e s c r i p t i o n  to  t h e sense  of repulsiveness suggested  The t o t a l  effect  offset  details. feels  when s t a r i n g I n The  render  providing conveys of  than  his  rendered  tale an  Faulkner  description be l i k e  him.  the abstract  of Benjy,  t o see l i f e i n showing  Benjy.  The sense  h i s angle i s like  He h a s  statements  of  p r e s e n t a t i o n o f images as  the novel that  by an i d i o t .  description  the reader  what Benjy  the consciousness o f Benjy. into  rather  the author  through  and p r o c l a m a t o r y  work t o t h e d i r e c t  told  i s able to  Instead of  t h e r e a d e r what t o t h i n k .  forced  achieves  passage  telling  i s well  by t h e o t h e r  deformed.  succeeds  i s being  external  Fury  i s badly  He t h u s  through  the reader  i s n o t enough  perceptions of the idiot-child,  i t might  from  earlier  the  who  g e n e r a l o b s e r v a t i o n s about  what  advanced  and  an e x t e r n a l  vision.  rather  Sound  eyes  i s t o evoke t h e d i s t a n c e one  a t a person  the specific  than making  of the idiot's  con-  he i s aware t h a t  By t h e t i m e  o f him i n P a r t Four  t o acknowledge  Lt i s not until  Faulkner (2 9 0 ) ,  t h e humanity  of intense involvement  i s e x p l a i n e d by Leon E d e l as  that  this  gives  he h a s  he s h a r e s the author  follows:  In a c c e p t i n g t h e m a t e r i a l i n a scrambled s t a t e a n d s e e k i n g t o u n d e r s t a n d i t , we a r e i n v i t e d by F a u l k n e r t o p l a c e o u t s e l v e s w i t h i n t h e a n g l e o f v i s i o n o r p e r c e p t i o n o f B e n j y . . . . We a r e manouvered by t h e n o v e l i s t i n t o t a k i n g over a l l o f  with  36  Benjy's senses: h i s e y e s become o u r e y e s , h i s sense o f smell i s o u r s , h i s unique e x p e r i e n c e o f the world around him i s ours f o r t h e d u r a t i o n o f the book [ s e c t i o n ] . We a r e , s o t o s p e a k , o n t h e i n s i d e o f a n i d i o t - - l o o k i n g o u t — e v e n t h o u g h we r e t a i n , a t t h e same t i m e , o u r own r e a s o n a n d o u r awareness. A p e c u l i a r e m p a t h y i s a s k e d o f u s [:] 'The r o o m w e n t a w a y , b u t I d i d n ' t h u s h , and t h e room came b a c k a n d D i l s e y s a t o n t h e b e d , l o o k i n g a t me.'' 1  One that  he sees  states act  advantage  that  existence with  means t o p l a y  Because  golf,  than u s i n g t h e word  to  little."  the narrative  observation response  Booth  "putt"  o f Benjy  which  Ulysses But  itself,  technique i s to give  a precision  and a l i t e r a l n e s s o f  that  terms  i s t h e good  this  i n A Modest and t h e Jason  "the pleasure o f feeling  of a literary  one gets pattern  pleasure i sespecially narrator  Proposal, section  parts  unlimited"  6  of these i n Ulysses  i s used,  i n compre-  or allusion. evident i n such  as t h e  the Cyclops episode of o f The  two n o v e l s . a n d The  direct  induces the reader t o  Sound  and  the  the pleasure of deciphering i s not restricted  ironic  rather  of this  works where an u n s y m p a t h e t i c speakers  he i s d e s c r i b i n g t h e  represents t h e concept o f  The t e c h n i q u e a l s o  the significance  suggests  little"  eyes i s When h e  aremanifestations of his simple,  which  5  Benjy's  and d i r e c t n e s s .  he d e s c r i b e s t h e a c t i o n  w h a t Wayne B o o t h  deciphering'/ hending  which  through  he h a s no k n o w l e d g e o f w h a t i t  The r e s u l t  to life.  undertake  clarity  "They were h i t t i n g  of putting.  "hitting  of viewing l i f e  Fury. to the  I ti s "virtually  Sound  and  the  Fury  because  37  the process is  t h e essence  Faulkner's is  "Here,  toward  having  caddie"  Sound  "'Belier.  (74).  By t h i s scene  comprehend  1  Benjy  thefact  ball  since  something  section golfers  t h e reader he  first  circles walk  Luster,  he hoped t o s e l l on t h e h e l p l e s s to belier  time  o f Benjy's  h a s become c l a r i f i e d .  for a Benjy:  about.  'Caddy. B e l i e r  A l l right  now.  conduct  The r e a d e r  back  beyond t h e  takes place after  he w h i s p e r e d . t h e cause  sister.  for the idiot-child's  i nwhich  that  that the  him o f h i s departed  as t h e Benjy  passage  watches  i t i s m o s t e v i d e n t when  stems from  The r e a s o n  his frustration  You want  Caddy.  I t i s manifest  t h epeople  golf;  i n the  i n f o r m a t i o n a t t h e time  episode  thegolf  then.  presenting  and i n under-  Fury.  c a n n o t b e made a t f i r s t ,  sufficient  vents  the  that  (23)reminds  B e n j y moan.  lost  and  h i s moaning  The f o l l o w i n g  i n which,  7  areplaying  t h e opening  quarter,  opening  t o understand  becomes c l e a r e r  fence.  t h e theme  itself  that  does n o t have  conduct  that  seeks  realization  realization  witnesses  Ulysses  through which,  t h e fence  we c o m p r e h e n d  This  i t i sas true o f  o f t h e human s p i r i t  o f The  t h ereader's  cry  I feel  pleasure of deciphering i sinitiated  passage  through  books.  to recreate."  The opening  thecomplexity of experience  novel as i t i so f Joyce's  continually  standing  to  o f both  the "activity  life  in  o f understanding  Caddy'"  i n the i s now a b l e  and t a k e p l e a s u r e i n t h e a u t h o r ' s method o f  experience.  38  Faulkner the  eyes  and  limitations  first the He  o f an  has  innocent.  flower  directly  f o c u s s e d and  of  t o be  highly  since  i s of c e n t r a l  of r e a l i t y  t h e Compson f a m i l y ) . time  was  about  minute  I got  each  the g o l f e r s .  he  But  except  (in this  limits  the  r e f e r e n c e to the f a c t out"  sightedness.  (234)  and  distorts  The  sees  Sound  and  the  of Fury,  ways o f l o o k i n g  at  i n s t a n c e the experience  and  grabbed  (206) .  so mad  I t s h o u l d be  that  this  Compson's  literal  and  for a  clear  to  the  way  reflects  his perspective.  Dilsey's  says,"By  h e r hands t h e r e  I t made me  t h a t Mrs.  suggests her  In c o n t r a s t ,  limita-  i s a symbol  In S e c t i o n Three J a s o n  the myopic Jason  anger  curling  i s simultaneously  individual Sight  four d i s t i n c t  people looking.  his  giving  the  the novel begins with a  t h e way  i t k i n d o f b l i n d e d me"  everyone  (23) .  restricted.  the c a r stopped  a dozen  i n the  seeing the fence,  angle of v i s i o n  significance.  be r e g a r d e d as  blackbird  the  are i m p l i c i t  symbolic of the  process of p e r c e p t i o n throughout  w h i c h may  validity  s e e them h i t t i n g "  beyond t h e spaces  Benjy's  through  t h e f e n c e , between  clearly,  i s no c o i n c i d e n c e t h a t  reference to sight, existence  and  I take t h i s  of innocence.  It  "Through  both the  t h r o u g h n a r r o w c h i n k s , i . e . , "between t h e  spaces."  clearly  that  of view  flower spaces, I could  f l o w e r s , and  sees l i f e  the  I believe  of Benjy's p o i n t  looks at l i f e  curling  the  to begin his presentation  sentence of the n o v e l :  curling  tions  chosen  Likewise, "eyes  are  spiritual  statement  that  short-  "I've  39  seed her  de f i r s t vision,  with  en de l a s t "  as w e l l  as t h e wide  t h e Compsons.  initiates  The f i r s t  a crucial description,  evident  i n the context  experience.  sentence  of the novel Benjy  Howe, s t a t i n g  h i s mind Michael  6  that  serves  Millgate  "what F a u l k n e r  kind  o f camera  Although  that  Benjy's Jason's,  Benjy that  I do n o t f u l l y  to repress  elements  Colin  following  Wilson  as an  i nthis  distorted  than  supports  this  A study  with  . . .  Quentin's  I  that suggested  Faulkner,  o f Phenomenology  contention.  Wilson  makes t h e  observations:  Freud suggested . . . t h a t a man w h o l e f t h i s u m b r e l l a behind might a c t u a l l y want t o r e t u r n t o . the house, and so have s u b c o n c i o u s l y w i l l e d h i m s e l f to f o r g e t i t . T h a t i s t o s a y t h e o v e r s i g h t was intentional y e t not consciouslys o . 1  0  Consciousness itself . . . i sintentional. I t i s not a plane m i r r o r , merely r e f l e c t i n g t h e world. I t m a k e s i t s own d i s t o r t i o n s q u i t e a p a r t f r o m o u r n a t u r a l human t e n d e n c y t o d i s t o r t t h e w o r l d through our emotions and p r e j u d i c e s . 1 1  a  critics  with the opinion  by  entirely  [Benjy' s]  of objectivity  I n my i n t r o d u c t o r y c h a p t e r  of distortion.  become  color or  I agree w i t h these  concur  a  and d i s t o r t  i s i n agreement  a l l human p e r s p e c t i v e s , a s p o r t r a y e d  contain by  9  perspective i s less  i sobjective.  I t presents  the novel  does  a convention  eye."  thus  "Because he c a n n o t  section i s to establish  and  o f t h e book  as a whole.  i s unable  Howe e x p l a i n s t h a t  glass."  range o f h e r experience  the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f which w i l l  innocent,  shape h i s memories, faithful  t h e magnitude o f  and r e c u r r e n t m o t i f .  factual  Being  (313) s u g g e s t s  40  An  example o f t h e d i s t o r t i o n  provided longer  of consciousness  by t h eM u l l e r - L y e r i l l u s i o n  than  another  helpful  X  distinction  i nunderstanding Sound  and  one l i n e  length  6  between k i n d s o f d i s t o r t i o n i s  Faulkner's handling of point of  view  i n The  tion  o f t h e two o l d e r b r o t h e r s e x e m p l i f i e s t h e k i n d  the  illustrated  by W i l s o n ' s  perspective  reflects  His  reaction  threat it  Quentin  greater  t o Jason,  sexuality  be termed  F a u l k n e r moves f r o m  a basically  conversations  A collation and t h e f i r s t  poses a  from  Benjy t o  a n a r r a t o r who i s  and  The  thegreater i s the  the  glass"  repressed.  Fury.  o r "moral  employs Benjy's  The mirror"  1  2  consciousness t o  a c c u r a t e remembrance o f e v e n t s a n d  t h a t have  remember t h a t B e n j y  itself.  "natural", but  completely  Sound  as a " f a i t h f u l  since Faulkner  which  I n proceeding  t o o n e who i s a l m o s t  Benjy's  of consciousness  therepression of consciousness,  useful,  Fury  might  i n The  that the distor-  example, whereas  notobjective.  metaphor o f Benjy  project  I suggest  t h ed i s t o r t i o n  element o f d i s t o r t i o n  is  first  t o h i s own s e c u r i t y  unrepressed  Fury.  t o Caddy's d e v e l o p i n g  i scertainly  seems  V  A Wilson's  i nwhich  of theidentical ^  itself i s  taken  place.  But i ti s important t o  i snot a purely objective  narrator.  o f t h emanuscript  o f The  edition  t h a t F a u l k n e r was  indicates  Sound  and  the  41  conscious that  "Negro  revised This to  of this speech  of objectivity.  i n the f i r s t  so as t o reduce  type  of revision  distinguish  from  lack  speech  that directly  section  section  somewhat  Izsak  was  character."  i n P a r t One.  1 3  I t serves  as p e r c e i v e d by t h e i n n o c e n t  Miss  observes  of the novel  i t s colloquial  was made o n l y  rendered  of the novel.  Emily  Benjy  by t h e n a r r a t o r i n t h e l a s t Iszak  concludes  Benjamin's mind thus appears t o reshape t h e speech he h e a r s a c c o r d i n g t o a c o m p a r a t i v e l y i m p e r s o n a l pattern of diction. Faulkner has taken care n o t to denature Negro speech, b u t merely t o s u b o r d i n a t e somewhat i t s r e g i o n a l q u a l i t i e s t o t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s c o n s t r u c t e d f o r Benjamin. "* 1  Because he i s i n n o c e n t B e n j y instantly in  and w i t h t o t a l  the present  has  instead  instant  a sense  involvement.  lack  o f t e n s i o n i n Benjy  which  flow  u n r e s t r a i n e d l y from  one scene  and  the  and g r i e f  part  Fury.  i n reacting  movement I t conveys  ducing  i s also  useful  virtually  stimuli  fully  of oppositions.  every  to their  enables  involved  the lack  loss.  I t i s the  h i sconsciousness t o  t o another.  This  sense Sound  of i n h i b i t i o n which i s  The f l o w i n g from  t o Faulkner  as a d e v i c e  motif of the novel  episode t o f o r intro-  i n his first  section. Faulkner "groundwork" of  1 5  has r e f e r r e d o f t h e book.  observation enables  t o t h e Benjy  section  The i d i o t - c h i l d ' s  the author  He  to pleasur-  h a s t w o k e y f u n c t i o n s i n The  o f t h e j o y o f innocence.  episode  to  of intense j o y i n responding  stimuli  unrestricted  Being  he h a s no c o n c e p t  able  of  responds  t o render  as t h e  literalness  i n concrete  42  detail  the world  place.  Another  (i.e.,  'ground') i n w h i c h t h e  i m p l i c a t i o n of t h i s  rich  story  takes  image i s t h a t  metaphorical  resonances  of the n o v e l are grounded  concreteness  of l i t e r a l  experience.  Michael  the  i n the  Cowan e x p l a i n s  M o s t o f t h e s y m b o l s i n The Sound and the Fury b e g i n a s l i t e r a l r e f e r r e n t s . . . . When water f i r s t appears i n Benjy's s e c t i o n , i t i s l i t e r a l l y w a t e r ; shadows a r e l i t e r a l l y shadows; f l o w e r s , r a i n , and t r e e s , d i r t and mud, fire and s u n l i g h t , m i r r o r s and s l i p p e r s , money and g o l f b a l l s a l l a p p e a r t o B e n j y as a c t u a l phenomena. The m e t a p h o r i c a l r e s o n a n c e s o f t h e s e and o t h e r key words and images do n o t b e g i n t o a p p e a r u n t i l we h a v e s t r u g g l e d a good way i n t o h i s s e c t i o n , and s u c h r e s o n a n c e s do n o t a c q u i r e t h e i r f u l l r a n g e o f i m p l i c a t i o n u n t i l we e x p e r i e n c e new c o n t e x t s f o r t h e s e words and i m a g e s i n t h e r e m a i n i n g s e c t i o n s of the n o v e l . G u i d e d by F a u l k n e r , t h e r e a d e r must move g r a d u a l l y f r o m c o n c r e t e e x p e r i e n c e s t o complex i m p l i c a t i o n s , from c o n f u s i o n t o t e n t a t i v e understanding. 1 6  The several is  initial  illustrations  Luster.  increasing and  Jesus  fact  Christ  The  the  Fury  fact  are developed.  "You's de  i n the f i r s t  t h e end  The  Benjy  lines  this  o f t h e book when D i l s e y  says  (333).  resonance  f e n c e a t a game i n w h i c h he s e p a r a t i o n from  Benjy of  Lawd's c h i l e ,  full  anyway. 1 7  En  Benjy  I be  can  through  not p a r t i c i p a t e .  the a c t i v i t i e s  e x i s t e n c e a r e e m p h a s i z e d when L u s t e r s a y s  His'n  i s presented  t h e c o n f i n e s o f t h e Compson d o m a i n l o o k i n g  and  that  as t h e a s s o c i a t i o n s b e t w e e n  fo long, p r a i s e Jesus"  restriction  contains  T h i s c o n c r e t e b i t o f i n f o r m a t i o n assumes  emerges o n l y n e a r  within  and  o f Cowan's p o i n t .  significance  Benjy:  too,  the  Sound  t h i r t y - t h r e e y e a r s o l d i s conveyed  s p o k e n by  to  p a s s a g e o f The  of  to Benjy  His  human "You  43  oan't  play  no ball  "(51).  f i c a n c e when t h e r e a d e r his  balls,  girls.  having  resonate  first  of compression,  t h e book.  the author  succeeds  Faulkner  t o another,  two young  the appearance  lines. flow of  i s a b l e t o move f r o m  intensity.  i s thus  i n presenting several  avoiding transitional  diminish the novel's  lost  continue to  Without g i v i n g  In r e n d e r i n g t h e a s s o c i a t i o n a l  scene  frightening  page o f h i s n o v e l F a u l k n e r  images i n a few s h o r t  consciousness,  signi-  has l i t e r a l l y  a number o f f a c t s w h i c h w i l l  throughout  significant  l e a r n s t h a t Benjy  been c a s t r a t e d a f t e r  In the very  able t o render  T h i s r e m a r k t a k e s o n added  Benjy's  one  important  passages which might  He s u c c e e d s  i n introducing  a l a r g e c a s t o f c h a r a c t e r s a n d a g r e a t number o f e v e n t s , a s well  as i n i t i a t i n g  noted  by M a u r i c e  a l l the major m o t i f s  Coindreau,  cemetery, c a s t r a t i o n ,  these  e s c a p e down t h e window, e t c . "  Three. "'Of  reason  Father  for a l l life.  i n t o decay'" (63).  with  8  said.  the father's r e n d e z v o u s and h e r  Excerpts  from  the f i r s t  'Bad h e a l t h i s t h e p r i m a r y  Created  by d i s e a s e , w i t h i n  The n i h i l i s m  and M i s s  the l a t t e r  1  to the  by t h e f o l l o w i n g p a s s a g e :  dominant i n the c o n s c i o u s n e s s which Jason  Quentin's  As  s e r v e a s p r e l u d e s t o S e c t i o n s Two and  This i s i l l u s t r a t e d  course.'  include "visits  Caddy's m i s c o n d u c t ,  drunkenness,Jason's b r u t a l i t y ,  part of the novel  i n the novel.  Quentin  attempting  putrefaction,  o f Mr. Compson w i l l  o f Quentin. squabble  become  The p a s s a g e s i n  at the dinner  table,  t o throw a g l a s s a t her u n c l e ,  44  (88-90) s e r v e e v e n more e x p l i c i t l y to  come.  scenes this  Because the  o b s e s s i v e l y , as do  episode  past,  innocent  with  i t remains unobtrusive Juxtaposition  Benjy  Quentin  i s juxtaposed  i s the  past  present  poignant  and  and  Jason,  Benjy's  essential  b u t w i t h i n t h e n o v e l as scenes ,  does not d w e l l  i n Section  P a r t One and  a s a p r e l u d e o f what i s  because  memories o f  the  One.  technique  a whole.  Faulkner  and  on  By  not o n l y i n  juxtaposing  i s a b l e t o evoke  a  immediate c o n t r a s t between a g r i m p r e s e n t  a happier past.  The  c o n t r a s t s b e g i n on  the n o v e l , c o n t i n u i n g throughout  the  the Benjy  second  and  page  of  section.  "Wait a m i n u t e . " Luster said. "You s n a g g e d on t h a t n a i l a g a i n . Cant you never c r a w l t h r o u g h h e r e w i t h o u t s n a g g i n g on t h a t n a i l . "  Caddy uncaught me and we crawled through. Uncle Maury said not to let anybody see us so we better stoop over, Caddy said. Stoop over, Benjy. Like this, see. 3  The  tenderness  o f Caddy  of  the p a s t  to  p r o t e c t the h e l p l e s s Benjy  that  he  can  that Faulkner  not  dramatizes.  cope w i t h .  shows h e r  r e s c u i n g him.  kindness,  her  i s shown i n t h e  The  Her  p a t i e n c e and  from  concern  the use  "Benjamin." that of  the  Caddy's c o n c e r n less  characters occurs novel,  w i t h each  s e v e r a l times  existence  image o f h i s  sister  The  brother  and  nickformal  i s contrasted with  juxtaposition  i n the opening  instance reinforcing  her  the a f f e c t i o n a t e  Compson's c o l d  f o r her  patient Luster.  snags o f  tries  i s shown t h r o u g h  of  name " B e n j y " . w h i c h c o n t r a s t t o Mrs.  memory  I t i s Caddy who  the  first  first  (24)  of these  pages of  and'clarifying  the  the  two  4!5  contrast. this  The  following instance  particular  i s the  third  example  of  counterpoint:  C a d d y k n e l t a n d p u t h e r a r m s a r o u n d me a n d her c o l d b r i g h t face a g a i n s t mine. She s m e l l e d like trees. "You're not a poor baby. Are you. You've got your Caddy. Haven't you got your Caddy."  Cant you shut up that moaning and slobbering, Luster said. hint you shamed yourself making all this racket.  Caddy's the  sympathetic  irritability  quarter  without  idiot.  The  juxtaposed  hindered Caddy's  of  help the  to  Fury.  The  Uncle  Maury, Mrs.  opening  pages of  of  other  Compson and  the  book.  characters  by  a number o f  touchstone  or  "moral m i r r o r . "  are  critics 1 9  As  for his  of  Versh the  brought  with  Lawrance  Benjy  are  and in  of  Caddy,  portrayed  novel  t h a t Benjy  Luster.  experience  in.  lost  effectively  comparisons  nature  to  slobbering  thus  a t t i t u d e s toward  recognized  this  the  and  relationship  s e r i e s of  clarify  contrast  search  f e e l i n g s are  one  a  to  a moaning  i s but  and  responses  by  perfunctory  The  the  wishes  the  that  in  being  (28)  is in direct  against  contrasts  Luster,  L u s t e r , who  warmth of  This  Sound  of  understanding  of  proceeds I t has  serves  Thompson  been  as  a  explains  function: R e p e a t e d l y Ben i s r e p r e s e n t e d as h a v i n g the i n s t i n c t i v e and i n t u i t i v e power t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between o b j e c t s or a c t i o n s which are lifeencouraging and o t h e r s w h i c h a r e life-injuring, and t h e s e a r e u s e d by F a u l k n e r t o s y m b o l i z e the a n t i t h e s i s b e t w e e n good and e v i l . In t h i s l i m i t e d s e n s e . . . Ben s e r v e s as a k i n d o f m o r a l m i r r o r , i n w h i c h t h e m e m b e r s o f h i s own f a m i l y may contemp l a t e r e f l e c t i o n s o f t h e i r own potentialities, t h e i r own m o r a l s t r e n g t h s a n d w e a k n e s s e s . 2 0  the  46  One is  by  way  of  observing  response  to  Caddy and  they He  to up  castrated.  the  without  dolls  T h o s e who  care  the  as  statement  as  an  f o r Benjy him  process  of  implies.  outright taunting  force.  when h i s t r e a t m e n t  child,  appears  situation  regarded  On  the  other  as  Mrs.  who  as  a  unselfishly, anything a  for  readily  advantage of  a  boy  hand,  he  i s not  as  him  Luster Benjy  clear-cut  to  while angle  copes w e l l w i t h  Benjy,  and  In  his  are  is a disruptive i s compared  can  only of  to  Caddy's.  When  Compson's r e s p o n s e who  his  response  idiot-child  a person  From t h i s who  correct in  compassionate.  to Mrs. t o be  of  competently,  his patience.  be  take  of  him  impatience  the  perspective  compared  Luster  difficult losing  this  i t seems r e l a t i v e l y are  him  love  of  makes him  Luster's  of  From  reactions  has  when compared  emphasized.  Jason's,  love  can  the  Jason,  adult  evaluation  seems i m p e r s o n a l  Yet,  to  from doing  j u x t a p o s i t i o n h i s boredom, h i s  occasional  instinctive  frigidity  Thompson i s e s s e n t i a l l y  the  this  and  since people  observation,  example,  his  novel  retaliation.  Although  h i s above  to  his vulnerability  scapegoat,  i n the  affirmatively  negatively  Benjy's  f e a r of  and  c a l c u l a t e d meanness of  Conversely,  available  characters  t r e a t Benjy  h i s incapacity prevents  people.  for  the  responds  D i l s e y , and  cuts  since  how  them.  Compson and child  evaluating  to  his to  handle  her  own  a  infrequently  vision  Luster  a difficult  seems a m o r e d i s i n t e r e s t e d and  may  task. less  47 sympathetic to  spank  insight child  attendant  Benjy, which  "You's born  Faulkner's  a loose  Faulkner's  of  to a  no  to the by  of  fluidity  immersing  Second,  good o r  the  evil,  of  i s able  Benjy's association rences time,  he  he  Events those ness  which of  1928  Faulkner  The  explicit  moral what  exist  relationships to  to  understanding  Benjy  the  to avoid  registers  perspective itself  past.  does not  that  can  not  be  section important  consciousness  explicit  i s an  innocent  his impression  judgments. i s being  The  with of  reader  presented  conclusions.  back and  i n the  says  that they  because Benjy  to assimilate  d r a w h i s own  fact  himself within  is and  He  p e r s p e c t i v e s i n two  no  encouraged  idiot-  understanding  i s crucial  experience, making thus  to  i n fixed  of v i s i o n .  his character, Faulkner  concept  key  certain  (88-89).  perspectives.  statement  angle  comment.  shows a  saying to the  know i t "  rather than  This  single  First,  authorial  dont  novels, explaining  contributes ways.  of  Versh  threatens  c o n t e x t , h i s c h a r a c t e r s seem t o  suspension 2 1  occasionally  to lack,  provides the  in total  another."  reduced  Slatoff  who  t a u n t s him.  l u c k y and  juxtaposition  "when v i e w e d  one  never  L u s t e r appears  Walter  in  but  than Versh,  forth  from  Having  no  i n 18 98  present  between what  are  as  vividly  for this  reason.  In conveying  i s freed  from  limitations  the  moving  incidents  awareness of  differentiate  happened  is fluid,  by to  occur-  chronological i s and  what  rendered  was.  as  his consciousof  having  to  48 present  events I n my  passage as "In  fact  evidence  of  i n c l u d e the  concept an  past  and  the  The  unconscious Benjy  theory.  and  no  past  thus  the  assumes  self,  says an  i t a l l i s are  Benjy  2 2  view  of  to  moment i n  which  i s Bergsonian  his idiot,  to him-"  2 4  of  One  2 3  of  statement time  t h e r e was  to  the  " t h a t the mind  that  immediate  time:  of  i s timeless."  instant,  [now]  as  "To  following  theory  present  is similar  He  a c o n t i n u a t i o n , i t was tomorrow,  the  future."  author  not  children's  the  Bergsonian  d r a m a t i z a t i o n of  comments on  Bergson's  i s only  the  Faulkner's  like  Faulkner's  Faulkner's  There  of d u r a t i o n .  idiot,  about  of  I cited  p r e t t y much w i t h B e r g s o n ' s  time.  essentially  c h r o n o l o g i c a l sequence.  introductory chapter  I agree  fluidity I  in their  no  was  yesterday  Memories of  Benjy  as  the  present  occurrences. In  the  Benjy  section  happy memories of  the  sense of  the  of  position  w i t h the  the  section  childhood love  of  regarded The  December  that happiness,  progresses.  i s focussed  first 23.  as  The  than  on  Few the  a child,  I t conveys  of  innocence.  portrayed  joy that Benjy  primarily  rendered  most p o w e r f u l l y  The  as  feels  in his  the  innocent  c o n t r a s t between and  juxta-  poignant  t h i n g s e v o k e o n e ' s own  memory o f the  Caddy and  evokes  through,  becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y  sister.  more v i v i d l y Christmas  author  childhood world  present,  b r o t h e r and  innocence  now.  loss  the  t h e way  lost one  one's p e r s p e c t i v e of i t the  excitement  past  takes  that a  place  child  on  feels  49 during  the Christmas  season.  "What i s i t . " C a d d y s a i d . "Did you think i t w o u l d b e C h r i s t m a s w h e n I c a m e home f r o m s c h o o l . Is t h a t what y o u t h o u g h t . Christmas i s t h eday a f t e r tomorrow. Santy C l a u s , Benjy. Santy C l a u s . Come o n , l e t ' s r u n t o t h e h o u s e a n d g e t w a r m . " S h e t o o k my h a n d a n d we r a n t h r o u g h t h e b r i g h t rustling leaves. (27) The  anticipation  tion  a r e t h e essence  spontaneous "Nobody This  realizes  the spirit  can  contrasts  k n o w s how I d r e a d will  assume  that  conveyed i n Caddy's  of the j o yof innocence.  exuberance  contrast  reader of  and excitement  heightened  Nobody  only regard the celebration  of the birth  The i m p l i c a t i o n s  of this  evident  i n Section Four,  where D i l s e y ' s  manifest  i n her response  service.  unable  t o partake of the s p i r i t  Benjy's  humor o f c h i l d r e n  section  that  with  become f o rlove  of Christ  a tthe  o f whom a r e  regard Easter as  i sa recurrent motif  throughout  helps t o evoke the world o f c h i l d h o o d  The two f o l l o w i n g  respectively. the  Compson  of Christ  capacity  a n d M r s . Compson, b o t h of love,  partakes  inconvenience. The  joy.  Mrs.  juxtaposition  to the vision  Easter  an  Jason  when t h e  who i s c a p a b l e o f l o v e ,  of Christmas, while the f r i g i d  says  knows" ( 2 8 ) .  significance  dread.  is  The c h i l d r e n ' s  t o M r s . C o m p s o n who  Christmas.  Caddy,  exclama-  e x a m p l e s t a k e p l a c e i n 1898 and 1910  In the latter  the drunkenly  exuberant  speaker. "The o n e [room] n e x t t o i t i s w h e r e we have t h e measles." Caddy s a i d . "Where do y o u and T.P. h a v e t h e m e a s l e s , Frony."  T.P. i s  50  Frony  "Has said.  them  just  wherever  we  i s , I  reckon." (57)  Come o n , l e s d r i n k some m o r e s a s s p r i l l u h . . . We b e t t e r g e t o n e m o r e b o t t l e o r we b o t h b e hollering. We c a n s a y D a n d r u n k i t . Mr. Quentin a l w a y s s a y i n g h e s o s m a r t , we c a n s a y h e s a s s p r i l l u h dog, t o o . (58) Other  episodes  c o n t a i n i n g humor  serious  themes.  The e n m i t y  present  i n their  early years,  irrevocable  i n v o l v e comic  between Jason  treatments  of  and Caddy i s  b u t has n o t y e t hardened  into  hatred.  "You're a s k i z z a r d . " Jason s a i d . He began t oc r y . "You're a knobnot." Caddy s a i d . Jason cried. H i s hands were i n h i s p o c k e t s . " J a s o n g o i n g t o b e a r i c h man." Versh said. "He h o l d i n g h i s m o n e y a l l t h e t i m e . " Caddy and Jason  will  years,  a bitterness that  but with  instance. of  Caddy  Still  continue  other  their  passages  name c a l l i n g  i s not evident  reflect  i n later i n this  the whimsical  r e v e a l i n g her a s s e r t i v e n e s s , her acuteness  perception  and her a f f e c t i o n  (55)  nature  of  f o r Benjy.  Mother l a y c r y i n g a g a i n s t t h e r e d and y e l l o w cushion. "Hush, M o t h e r . " Caddy s a i d . "You go u p s t a i r s a n d l a y down, s o y o u c a n be s i c k . " Faulkner's section,  s e n s e o f humor i s n o t c o n f i n e d  being  manifest  a t t e m p t t o show i n l a t e r convey  a world  tions  into  chapters.  rendering  But the author  as I  will  does  humor a n d w h i m s e y w h i c h d i s s o l v e s  subsequent  o f t h e Compson e x p e r i e n c e The  Benjy  i n a l l parts of the novel,  of childhood  away a s he moves  to the  (.83)  o f humor  s e c t i o n s , and t h e i m p l i c a become more  i s only  serious.  one f a c t o r i n F a u l k n e r ' s  51  presentation response bright bird  of the joys of innocence.  t o phenomena such  grass, the red flag  upon  harmony  i tconveys  i s suggested  reactions  following  the  fence.  the fence  sensuous  flower spaces, the  i n the breeze world.  by t h e correspondence he o b s e r v e s .  passage:  implications  Section  flapping  This  and the  A kind of of  Benjy's  i s illustrated  "Then t h e y went o n , a n d I went  L u s t e r came away f r o m  went a l o n g The  as the curling  a pastoral-like  t o the people  the  Benjy's  and they  of these  the flower tree  stopped  lines  a n d we  by  along  a n d we  stopped" (23).  becomes c l e a r e r  later i n  One.  They moaned at Dilsey's house. Dilsey was moaning. When Dilsey moaned Luster said, Hush, and we hushed, and then I began to cry and Blue howled under the kitchen steps. Then Dilsey stopped and we stopped. (52) In  the f i r s t  to  those  shares  of the people  Dilsey's  responds laugh  excerpt Benjy's  child  suggested bitedly  involvement instant,  The p a s s a g e s  i s crying.  one scene of a child  c a n bump  This  corresponds he  t h e way a  l a u g h i n g when or crying  child  adults because  immediacy o f response i s  consciousness flows  t o another.  uninhi-  He h a s t h e t o t a l  who c a n b e h a p p y p l a y i n g  i n one  h i m s e l f a n d be w h o l e h e a r t e d l y c r y i n g t h e  n e x t moment  and c a n be i n s t a n t l y  (or  case  i n this  suggest  he c a n n o t " u n d e r s t a n d "  i n t h e way B e n j y ' s  from  movement  and i n t h e second  t o h i s environment,  a t something  another  he w a t c h e s ,  grief.  directly  physical  by t h e s l i p p e r  made h a p p y  a g a i n by a t o y  of a departed  sister).  52  The reflected Faulkner  flow of Benjy's through  t h e rhythm  i s able to identify  imaginative  level  the  idiot-child's  joy  of innocence  the  language,  senses."  that  of h i s section.  on so i n t e n s e an t h e rhythm  of  Edel recognizes that the rendered  t o t h e movement  through  "Laughter."  i n the f i r s t  the flow of  a s "a d a n c e o f t h e  enough, H e n r i Bergson  i n h i s essay  the  w i t h Benjy  i s evocatively  what F a u l k n e r i s d o i n g  and  o f the prose  consciousness.  Interestingly  2 5  i s primarily  he i s a b l e t o convey  referring  same m e t a p h o r  Sound  consciousness  uses  the  H i s comment d e s c r i b e s  three sections  The  of  Fury,  Others d e l v e y e t deeper s t i l l . Beneath these j o y s and s o r r o w s w h i c h c a n , a t a p i n c h , be t r a n s l a t e d i n t o language, they grasp something t h a t has n o t h i n g i n common w i t h l a n g u a g e , c e r t a i n r h y t h m s o f l i f e a n d b r e a t h t h a t a r e c l o s e r t o man t h a n h i s inmost f e e l i n g s , being the l i v i n g l a w — v a r y i n g w i t h each i n d i v i d u a l — o f h i s enthusiasm and d e s p a i r , h i s hopes and r e g r e t s . By s e t t i n g f r e e and e m p h a s i z i n g t h e m u s i c , t h e y f o r c e i t upon o u r a t t e n t i o n ; they compel us . . . t o f a l l i n w i t h i t , l i k e p a s s e r s - b y who j o i n i n a . d a n c e . And thus they impel us t o s e t i n motion i n the depths o f o u r b e i n g , some s e c r e t c h o r d w h i c h was o n l y w a i t i n g to t h r i l l . 2  Joyce  had used  different In  The  Sound  and m u s i c a l m o t i f s t o r e f l e c t t h e  and  the  i s less  Fury  i n the Sirens chapter of  o f a d e v i c e and more o f an  o f t h e n o v e l he c o n v e y s  reflect  the innermost  Although  I agree  Ulysses.  the rendering of the characters'  o f F a u l k n e r ' s c o n c e p t i o n o f them.  sections which  verbal  consciousnesses  life-rhythms part  6  integral  In the f i r s t  three different  beings  three  rhythms  o f t h e Compson b r o t h e r s .  w i t h Bergson  that  this  kind  of  53  achievement  i s essentially  I would n e v e r t h e l e s s  like  p a s s a g e s i n an attempt  b e y o n d words a n d l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s , t o examine s e v e r a l o f B e n j y ' s rendering  of the  I t was r e d , f l a p p i n g o n t h e p a s t u r e . Then t h e r e was a b i r d s l a n t i n g a n d t i l t i n g on i t . L u s t e r threw. The f l a g f l a p p e d on t h e b r i g h t g r a s s and t h e t r e e s . I held to the fence.  (24)  idiot-child's  to c l a r i f y  Faulkner's  consciousness.  Versh set me down and we went into Mother's room. There was a fire. It was rising and falling on the walls. There was another fire in the mirror. I could smell the sickness. It was a cloth folded on Mother's head. Her hair was on the -pillow. The fire didn't reach it, but it shone on her hand, where her rings were jumping. (80) In t h e f i r s t  passage the l a c k o f "connective  between h i s s e n t e n c e s " stand  L u s t e r , who  is  bird  disappears  immediate  and t h e f l a g  than  flaps  reflects  suggests  This concentration  throws, It  convey t h e s t r o n g e s t  Participles  are prominent i n the The  simplicity  t h e d i r e c t n e s s and l a c k o f The c o n c r e t e n e s s  to abstract.  manifesting  t o whatever  tilting.  " I t i s f l a p p i n g " i s more v i v i d a n d  " I tflaps."  his inability  contained,  tration  and  as i t d i d b e f o r e .  p a s s a g e s a n d t h r o u g h o u t S e c t i o n One.  the syntax  t o under-  i s i n motion:  i s slanting  that p a r t i c i p l e s  t i o n o f Benjy's responses.  and  Everything  i s o f t e n a d i s r u p t i v e f o r c e f o r Benjy,  sense o f a c t i o n , t h a t  of  Benjy's i n a b i l i t y  i s flapping, the bird  g e n e r a l l y accepted  cited  reflects  cause-effect relationships.  the r e d f l a g  the  2 7  tissue  o f each  i s evident  line  Each sentence i s c l e a r  t h e way B e n j y g i v e s  impression  complica-  he i s r e n d e r i n g i n the c l a r i t y  total  concen-  a t the time.  o f f o c u s and  54 unity  of  p e r c e p t i o n conveyed  emotions  are  passages  because  of  a  as  clear  as  they  i n each  the d e t a i l s  are pure  rendered the  smelled  and  out  first  the  i s not  even  something  seen.  section  The  reflects  responses.  The  ness  as  picture,  not  falling.  these  l a u g h t e r and  a  static  When l o o k i n g  rings  jumping  the  the  i s rendered but  a t Mrs.  as  fire  dramatic  is  the  on  a physical  level,  Benjy  is  b e c a u s e he  has  p r e c o n c e p t i o n s , no  2 8  that  I t also  grief  barriers  no  between the  but  i s  renders  an  through-  uninhibited  his consciousrising  and  i s stagnant,  light.  The  "everything appears  flow of h i s consciousness. has  of  something  in  terms."  by  C o m p s o n , who  reflected  fact  to Benjy  intensity  motion  erects  conveys  fire  i n the  abstract  of  third  respects  variety passage  of  to  t h e movement  him  which  Though c o m p l e t e l y p a s s i v e active  external  Benjy's  I have  sensibility. repression  w o r l d and  i t s e r v e s as  responses  selected  a microcosm  This  that  his perception  i s illustrated  for analysis. of  the  entire  In  in  some  section.  C a d d y was w a l k i n g . T h e n s h e was r u n n i n g , book s a t c h e l s w i n g i n g and j o u n c i n g b e h i n d h e r . "Hello,Benjy." Caddy s a i d . She o p e n e d t h e g a t e and came i n and s t o o p e d down. Caddy s m e l l e d like leaves. " D i d y o u c o m e t o m e e t me." she s a i d , " D i d y o u come t o m e e t C a d d y . What d i d y o u l e t h i s hands g e t so c o l d f o r V e r s h . " " I t o l d him t o keep them i n h i s p o c k e t s . " Versh said. " H o l d i n g on t o t h a t ahun g a t e . " her  he  sense  i t . The  the  in  s y n e s t h e s i a F a u l k n e r uses  sensuous  of  Benjy's  child. Sickness  sees  like  sentence.  55  "Did you come t o meet Caddy." she s a i d , rubbing my hands. "What i s i t . What are you t r y i n g to t e l l Caddy." Caddy smelled l i k e t r e e s and l i k e when she says we were a s l e e p . The  t h r e e b a s i c modes of Benjy's  t h i s excerpt.  (26)  p e r c e p t i o n are e v i d e n t i n  There i s an a l t e r n a t i o n of the  idiot-child's  d e s c r i p t i o n of events w i t h h i s r e c o r d i n g of c o n v e r s a t i o n s , and h i s r e n d e r i n g o f h i s own  sense-impressions.  By  employing  t h i s p r i n c i p l e of a l t e r n a t i o n F a u l k n e r avoids the danger of monotony i n h e r e n t i n a p o i n t of view which p r e c l u d e s tion.  V a r i e t y i s conveyed both through the use of  p r i n c i p l e and because of the f a c t t h a t Benjy's  reflec-  this  consciousness  i s r e c e p t i v e t o e x p e r i e n c e , c a p t u r i n g the d i f f e r e n t p a t t e r n s and mannerisms of each person.  speech  T h i s sense of  v a r i e t y i s absent from the c o n s c i o u s n e s s of a r e f l e c t o r , such as Jason, who as b i t c h e s .  p e r c e i v e s a l l men  as f o o l s and a l l women  U n l i k e Quentin and Jason who  l i v e In a world of  concepts which d i s t o r t and mute t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n of the o u t s i d e world Benjy responds  openly t o e x p e r i e n c e .  v a r i e t y r e f l e c t s the f a c t t h a t l i f e  i s always new  The and  e x c i t i n g t o the i d i o t - c h i l d , w h o i s i n a c o n s t a n t s t a t e of stimulation. In  t h i s i n s t a n c e the s t i m u l a t i o n i s i n t e n s e l y  pleasurable.  The  sense of motion m a n i f e s t throughout  s e c t i o n i s e s p e c i a l l y s t r o n g i n t h i s passage.  Faulkner  suggests on a number o f o c c a s i o n s t h a t he equates motion and death w i t h i m m o b i l i t y . to  g r e e t Benjy  2 9  The  the  eagerness  life  with  of Caddy  i s conveyed through her sense of movement.  56  This  i s evident i n the f i r s t  two  s e n t e n c e s where  " w a l k i n g , " " r u n n i n g , " " s w i n g i n g " and greatly  i n r e n d e r i n g her motion.  security harmony  i s suggested with nature:  comforted warmed.  t h e words  "jouncing" contribute  Benjy's  by h i s p e r c e i v i n g  feeling  of  his sister in  "Caddy s m e l l e d l i k e  trees."  He i s  by t h e p l e a s a n t s e n s a t i o n o f h a v i n g h i s hands T h i s g e s t u r e i s an e x t e r n a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f t h e  warming e f f e c t  that  her love  has upon h i m .  A l t h o u g h the author conveys a s t r o n g sense o f hood j o y and harmony, innocence. "blind  he d o e s n o t i d e a l i z e  I n F a u l k n e r ' s own  words B e n j y  self-centeredness of innocence."  c o n c e i v e o f Caddy a s a p e r s o n who to  life  and whatever l o v e  household.  t i o n s w i t h y o u n g men. is  his equivalent  change, merely to  the feeling  protests  represents the He i s u n a b l e t o respond  o u t s i d e o f t h e Compson her d e v e l o p i n g  rela-  H i s moaning d u r i n g Caddy's a d o l e s c e n c e  of Quentin's  s i n c e Benjy  the state of  must grow up and  she c a n f i n d  He i n s t i n c t i v e l y  3 0  child-  protest  a g a i n s t t i m e and  has no c o n c e p t o f t i m e a s an e n t i t y , b u t of loss that  consider others i s rendered  time b r i n g s .  His  i n the following  inability  lines:  L u s t e r had some s p o o l s and he and Q u e n t i n f o u g h t and Q u e n t i n had t h e s p o o l s . L u s t e r c r i e d and F r o n y came and g a v e L u s t e r a t i n c a n t o p l a y w i t h , and t h e n I had t h e s p o o l s and Q u e n t i n f o u g h t me and I c r i e d . "Hush." F r o n y s a i d , " A i n t y o u shamed o f yourself. Taking a baby's p l a y p r e t t y . " "He  "You have t o k e e p him down h e r e . " F r o n y f i g h t i n g these babies again."  J o h n Hunt a c u t e l y o b s e r v e s o f B e n j y  that  said. C49-50)  "his self-centered  57  i d i o c y e f f e c t i v e l y undercuts any tendency t h a t t h e reader might have to e x a l t h i s n o n r a t i o n a l i t y .  1 , 3 1  F a u l k n e r t r e a t s innocence as an ambivalent s t a t e o f consciousness.  The l y r i c beauty o f many o f Benjy's  passages  p r e s e n t s h i s i n s t i n c t i v e r e s p o n s i v e n e s s t o l i f e and h i s capacity f o r joy.  But F a u l k n e r reminds us, as E v e l y n S c o t t  noted, t h a t "Innocence  i s t e r r i b l e as w e l l as p a t h e t i c . "  3 2  E r i c h Neumann d i s c u s s e s the l i m i t a t i o n s o f innocence more fully.  He observes t h a t :  the t o t a l r e a c t i v i t y o f p r i m i t i v e man i s no s u b j e c t f o r romanticism. We must r e a l i z e t h a t , l i k e t h e c h i l d , h e was f o r c e d i n t o t o t a l r e a c t i o n by any and every c o n t e n t t h a t emerged, and overpowered by h i s e m o t i o n a l i t y and t h e u n d e r l y i n g images, a c t e d as a t o t a l i t y , b u t without f r e e d o m . 33  Thus, an event such as an e c l i p s e might overwhelm p r i m i t i v e man, stampeding  him i n t o committing a human s a c r i f i c e .  Like-  wise, a r i d e around a Confederate War monument i n an unaccustomed d i r e c t i o n might cause a p r i m i t i v e c o n s c i o u s ness t o p a n i c . D e s p i t e h i s l i m i t a t i o n s Benjy i s extremely important i n The Sound  and the Fury.  In an i n t e r v i e w i n Japan F a u l k n e r  suggests t h a t the germ o f the book l a y i n h i s c o n c e p t i o n of Benjy.  Having c o n c e i v e d o f him, t h e author began t o  s p e c u l a t e "where c o u l d he g e t the t e n d e r n e s s "  3 h  he needed.  A l t h o u g h t h i s statement should be viewed as but one o f a number o f F a u l k n e r ' s c o n f l i c t i n g v e r s i o n s o f t h e o r i g i n s of The  Sound  and the Fury,  i t i s an i n t e r e s t i n g one.  I t shares  w i t h the v e r s i o n o f the n o v e l b e g i n n i n g "with t h e p i c t u r e o f  58  the l i t t l e  g i r l ' s muddy d r a w e r s "  importance  o f Caddy, s i n c e  provider  of the tenderness  C a d d y ' s warm s p o n t a n e o u s response  n e e d e d by  idiot-child.  vitality.  The  i s never  the f i r s t  factors  positive i n determining  a lasting  impression of  section.  i n Mrs. has  somewhat m o d i f i e d by  i s t h e key  o f Caddy and  illuminates  Dilsey  Jason.  and  the lack  When  like  Compson's a f f e c t i o n a t e r e f e r r a l  idiot-son of  "old fellow"  his nature;  people Benjy  and  (81)  reveals  Sound  addition  sections,  and  to his  t h e more p o s i t i v e use  side of  h i s d e s p e r a t i o n a r e m a n i f e s t i n h i s employment o f Patterson.  to serving  as a t o u c h s t o n e  "groundwork" f o r i m p l i c a t i o n s  sequent  smelled  whereas U n c l e Maury's s e l f - c e n t e r e d  as a messenger t o Mrs. In  the  as  "Quentin  fond affec-  Dilsey.  Benjy  Mr.  that  of  though  he d o e s show c o n c e r n , (85).  aspect  His displays of  t o t h o s e o f Caddy and observes  the  Quentin,  t o do w i t h h i m .  a r e r a r e compared  rain"  other  affection  to the touchstone  I t most c l e a r l y  Compson and  little  her  negated.  him  affirmative qualities  Benjy,  his  q u e s t i o n o f where B e n j y w o u l d g e t t h e  necessary to sustain  compassion  and  chief  Through Benjy's p e r s p e c t i v e  T h i s i m p r e s s i o n , though  perspectives,  tion  the  l o v e of Benjy  i s a b l e t o convey  the  i s the  t o i t a r e t h e most i m p o r t a n t  Faulkner  of  emphasis on  i t i s she who  the reader's p e r c e p t i o n of her.  of  an  3 5  the  Fury.  Benjy  has  He may  t o be  and  developed  another major f u n c t i o n be  regarded  as an  providing in  sub-  in  image o f  The the  59  basic  c o n d i t i o n o f t h e Compson b r o t h e r s .  passive  and t o t a l l y  Faulkner there  says,"God  was  i s essentially  t o c o n t r o l h i s own  had s t r i c k e n  As  at birth  . . .  do a b o u t  i t . "  3  becomes a s y m b o l o f t h e Compson  brothers  who  a r e beset  that and  beyond  Quentin  he c o u l d  him b l i n d  fate.  ever  forces  nothing  unable  He  their  control.  and Jason  This  does  He  6  not negate  have more r e s o u r c e s  hence more r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s f o r t h e i r  thus  the  at their destiny  by fact  disposal  than  Benjy  does. Contradictory novel.  Their  belief and  that  patterns  presence  the nature  of view  other,  of "the truth" t o any s i n g l e  t h e Compson  as manifest  within the Faulknerian  i s a manifestation  c a n n o t be r e d u c e d  point  exist  brothers  by t h e f a c t  of the  i s complex pattern.  and s h i f t i n g  Thus,  are different  that  author's  from  f o r what happens t o them, w h i l e  youngest does n o t .  From a n o t h e r  angle  of vision  symbol o f t h e v i c t i m i z a t i o n  which  besets  who  are unable  their  overwhelming  his  inability  dramatizes trapped the  to adjust  t h e Compson d i l e m m a .  i s reflected  family I  i n Benjy's  literal  the  Benjy  a l l three  feeling  i s a  brothers  problems.  circumstances  Their  bear  of  In  he being  confinement  within  gates.  suggest that  Compson b r o t h e r s ' relative  to changing  one  each  t h e two e l d e r ones  some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y  t o cope w i t h  from  Benjy  i s not only  one v e r s i o n o f t h e  dilemma, but i s a k i n d o f o b j e c t i v e c o -  dramatizing  i n e x t e r n a l i z e d and u l t i m a t e  terms t h e  60  situation  that  reflected  i n Quentin's  tradition  and  manifest are  by  i s an  Present him.  events  has  talk. little  no  w i t h everyone  real  himself  Quentin,  ability  to  to His  he  hearing  the golfer's  of  can  and  the  not  communication  futile  times.  the  past.  to communicate, capable  of  Benjy  being  though  being  he  u n f o r t u n a t e enough t o c r o s s h i s p a t h , w i t h anyone;  he  Benjy,  him,  talks  though  totally  more  to  responding  lacks  to communicate  i s suggested  n o v e l , when he  can  cry of  "Here,  comprehend  the  Benjy's  the  reason  i s most v i v i d l y  Benjy's  attempt  bursting  to break  for  i n the  the  through  of the  At  the  after  this  point  Benjy's non-communication  w i t h the o u t s i d e  book,  illustrated  out  i n  o n l y moan  caddie."  relationship  Though e v i d e n t t h r o u g h o u t  describing  Compsons  of memories f o r  Jason,  i s t h u s made t o p a r t a k e  characterizes  world.  The  articulate.  lines  moaning,  idealistic  happier  flood  the past.  the w o r l d around  opening  him.  name.  though  does t o o t h e r s .  inability  the reader  identity,  dialogue w i t h the outside world,  communication  than  intensely  that  a  of  the Compsons, i s  supposedly  release  o v e r w h e l m e d by m e m o r i e s o f quibbles  an  c o n s c i o u s n e s s e n g u l f e d by  continually  cannot  articulate,  has  of  Whereas a l l t h r e e b r o t h e r s f a i l  literally  crisis  to uphold  change of  remembrances o f a  The  renunciation  literal  image o f  them.  inability  i n Jason's  i n Benjy's  obsessed  Benjy  c o n f r o n t s a l l of  this  i n the  failure passage  t h e Compson g a t e s barriers  that  of  in his  confine  61 "I'm s c a r e d . " "He w o n ' t h u r t y o u . I p a s s h e r e e v e r y day. He j u s t r u n s a l o n g t h e f e n c e . " T h e y came o n . I opened t h e gate and they stopped, turning. I was t r y i n g t o s a y , a n d I caught h e r , t r y i n g t o s a y , and she screamed and 1 was t r y i n g t o s a y a n d t r y i n g a n d t h e b r i g h t s h a p e s began t o s t o p and I t r i e d t o g e t o u t . I t r i e d t o g e t i t o f f my f a c e , b u t t h e b r i g h t s h a p e s w e r e going again. They were g o i n g up t h e h i l l t o where i t f e l l away a n d I t r i e d t o c r y . B u t when I breathed i n , I c o u l d n ' t breathe o u t a g a i n t oc r y , and I t r i e d t o keep f r o m f a l l i n g o f f t h e h i l l and I f e l l o f f the h i l l into the bright, whirling shapes.  Here, loony, Hush your slobbering Benjy's intensely say."  failure  rendered  incompleteness  the  sexual level  actually  does  through  comfort  as w e l l  is  sciousness By of  view,  malice from a  The  as t h e v e r b a l  one.  sexual.  he once  found  on h e r r e t u r n since  He  standing  through  operates  from  the section  on  Benjy doubt  i s seeking the  i n Caddy,who u s e d  r e n d e r i n g t h e scene Faulkner  from  to  school.  His action  reflects  the con-  the idiot-child's  i s a b l e t o convey of the g i r l  both  who  symbol o f t h e f a i l u r e p o r t r a y s the urgency and t h e i n a b i l i t y  Benjy's  screamed.  the perspective of the i d i o t - c h i l d  scene  What  to  o f B e n j y , w h o h a s no k n o w l e d g e o f s e x .  and t h e t e r r o r  central  i s conveyed  The f a i l u r e  i s  "trying  a m b i g u o u s , b u t t h e r e c a n be no  and warmth t h a t  n o t made e x p l i c i t ,  some. (72)  fragment  of h i s effort  i s basically  meet him a t t h e gate  come  a t communication  the sentence  of the sentence.  i s left  h i s response  Here now.  i n h i s attempt  The i n c o m p l e t e n e s s  the  that  Luster said. and moaning  o f t h e need  t o achieve  lack of Presented  the episode  of humanity  it.  point  becomes  t o communicate. f o r human  under-  I t i s interesting  62  to  note  fully uses  that  i ndiscussing h i s  his vision  theexpression Benjy's  he  breathed respect tion and  flow  from  t o avoid  t o t h egelding,  Benjy  of a situation  which  outward  than  he  out again again  but of  for.  The three  beyond  fail  brothers  The and This  part  to cry.  loss o f sexual  like  In  brothers  i nsexual  relations thefact  powers  Being  does  Lorraine, what  sterile, a victim  a n d c o n t r o l , he c a n do no undressed  Luster They're  i sboth  and I  said. gone."  crucial  of dispossession  s o many o t h e r s ,  that  Jason  i n w h i c h he gets  castrated.  to do no good.  of thelarger pattern  motif,  (72).  a r ea l l i ne f f e c t  Hush,  going  when I  a p r o s t i t u t e named  at  them aint  to cry"  h e , who i s n o t a v i r g i n .  his understanding  and I began  . . .But  a c e l i b a t e , lamenting  " J got  for  for the  t o t h e Compson  m o r e t h a n moan a b o u t t h e l o s s .  myself,  i n which  a condition o f Twentieth  i t i s B e n j y who i s l i t e r a l l y forces  itself  becomes t h e o b j e c t i f i c a -  keeps i t on a b u s i n e s s - l i k e b a s i s pays  again  3 7  theanesthetic  have a r e l a t i o n s h i p o f s o r t s w i t h but  Faulkner  c a s t r a t i o n where he c a n  A l l o f thebrothers  rather  Fury,  the episode  applies  t o imply  Quentin dies  i sCaddy,  t o communicate  t o g e t i t o f f my f a c e . breathe  women.  the  to say."  in,I couldn't  C e n t u r y man.  it  and  t o t h e subsequent  " Itried  resonates  with  "trying  remember t r y i n g  operation.  Sound  thoughts  "caught her"  only  i n The  own f a i l u r e  i sinitiated  scene where t h eg o l f e r s , a f t e r h i t t i n g  looked  Looking (92) i n itself  and l o s s .  i nthe f i r s t  theball,  "went  away  63  across  the  pasture"  disappearing I  cite  two  from  (23).  Benjy,  instances  picked cry.  People  and  seemingly  which  of  objects their  r e i n f o r c e the  are  own  constantly  volition.  sense of  loss:  I t r i e d t o p i c k up t h e f l o w e r s . Luster t h e m up, a n d t h e y w e n t a w a y . I. b e g a n t o (73)  A l o n g p i e c e o f w i r e c a m e a c r o s s my shoulder. I t w e n t t o t h e d o o r , and t h e n t h e f i r e w e n t away. I began t o c r y . (76) The  room, t h e  Caddy,  the  pasture  moaning or refrain the  fire,  and  i n Part  a wedding Roskus)  sense of  he  One,  loss Is  felt  objects  are  movement t h u s flow  of  loss. in  The  feeling  Benjy's  pleasant literal  way  lost  Sound  emerge  and  the  the  the  pain  pleasure  pain  does not  he  relives things  their  into  full  Fury.  33  Mr.  of  an  sudden  negate  as  lives  of  out  that  a  sudden way  people The  uninhibited inexplicable  the  fulfillment  i t ; in reliving loss,  of  Compson,  Benjy.  well.  seem t o d i s a p p e a r  o p p o r t u n i t i e s i n the  Compsons.  of  the  from  of  pointed  The  suggest  His  sense  s e c t i o n and  disappearing  co-exists with  i n which  a l l the  will  of  but  memories  sense of and  life  and  kind  Cowan has  3 8  sister  Benjy.  forms a  events.  to another  both  from  idiot-child's  first  in a l l five  reflects  his  (Damuddy, Q u e n t i n ,  i n the  constantly  consciousness  the  Michael  deaths  scene  testicles,  his losses  expressing  rendered  movements f r o m one and  about  four  his  a l l disappear  his world.  and  are  flowers,  loves,  "bellering"  d i s r u p t i o n of  that  the  his The  conveys  Quentin,  the Jason  This  motif,  strongly felt  i n Part  focus  i n the  Quentin monologue of  One, The  64  The will The  be  whole Benjy  amplified  fact  and  section further  suggests  c l a r i f i e d throughout  t h a t so much i s i n f e r r e d  paradoxically  to heighten  both  distance  Benjy.  reader  the  from  idiot-child's  happening. the of  This  instinctive  serves  The  from  the  of  t o make us  the  author,  To  for  example,  part of  the  Fury  distance  i s to  the"pleasure distance  of  world  the  the  reader  Yet  from The  discovering significant artistic  Benjy's  of  artifact.  The  that the  with  what  author  and  the  sense of  Benjy  the  of  and away  patterns i n the  and  and  sense  respect of  S.L. the  Goldberg  reality  artifact."  novel  and  becomes more  i s not  eyes,  Sound  In t h i s  an  the  Benjy's  i n The  sense of  p o i n t of view  can  of  i s shifted  i s doing  i t as  act  who  devices  characters.  reader  of  i s performing  told.  our  is  limitations.  focus  sight  being  d e v i c e s , the  t h e work as  and  the very  sense  description  a r t i s t must b a l a n c e  fact  innocent.  c r e a t o r who  story  . . . a g a i n s t our  recognizing  to understand  t o him.  the motif  reader  serves  identify  deciphering" contributes to a  between the  suggests,"The  of  an  t h e more t h e  the  novel.  to appreciate the v a l i d i t y  emphasize what the  o n e s e l f from  the  involvement  becomes aware o f  interpret  that  stated  i s forced to  aware of  reader  c h a r a c t e r toward  as  reader's  does d i s t a n c e the  manipulations.  In  him  perceptions of  more t h e  techniques  his  the  comprehend what i s happening  distance  rather than  perspective i n order enables  understanding  not  The  implications  in  4  0  in aware  accordance  of  65  with  a  standard of  the reader despite  from  what  "strict  verisimilitude" * 1  the c h a r a c t e r .  seems t o be  Swiggart  a direct,  has  Benjy's  p e r c e p t i o n s , " F a u l k n e r a v o i d s any  of  h i s one  clearly  emotion by has  the word no  "love."  concept  of  understood  I t might  innocence  I t i s only after  consciousness burns  enough s i n c e  without having  itself.  of  d e f i n e d emotion,  i s "realistic"  i s able  h i s hand  strict  exclamation of p a i n such renders  the  scene I  would  the  concept  precisely  be  as  "ow"  as  follows:  p u t my  hand out  him or  understand as  has  argued  that is  been l o s t But  "ouch."  t o where the  the  Benjy  innocence  that  when  j u d g i n g by to utter  2  expressed  b e c a u s e he  might,  expect  statement 1  to conceptualize i t .  verisimilitude,  rendering  h i s l o v e f o r Caddy." *  plausibly  we  distances  that  direct  Benjy  innocence  i n the f i r e ,  noted  straightforward  of  This  further  1  a  the  Benjy  standard  some  direct  Instead Faulkner  fire  had  been. "Catch  him."  Dilsey  said.  "Catch  him  back." My h a n d j e r k e d b a c k a n d I p u t i t i n my m o u t h a n d D i l s e y c a u g h t me. I could s t i l l hear t h e c l o c k b e t w e e n my v o i c e . D i l s e y reached back and h i t L u s t e r on t h e head. My v o i c e w a s g o i n g loud every time. "Get  that  Faulkner's most a c c u r a t e l y "Benjy's mental  soda."  does not  John  g i v e an  Hunt,who s t a t e s actual  processes; rather,an i l l u s i o n  created interior  dramatically life." * 1  C78)  said.  technique of handling p o i n t of view  d e s c r i b e d by  section  Dilsey  3  by  the  Emotions  of v e r i s i m i l i t u d e  inferred  i n language  from  i s  that  reproduction of  objectification are  here  scenes  his  i s of h i s such.  66  as  t h e one  are  quoted  inferred,  through One  above.  including  statements  effect  of  such  this  In f a c t ,  a l l of  Benjy's  h i s l o v e f o r Caddy w h i c h as  "Caddy  technique  smelled l i k e  emotions i s  rendered  trees"  (26).  i s to achieve a detached  i m p e r s o n a l manner o f r e n d e r i n g B e n j y ' s  pain,  and  l o v e and  other  emotions. The in  sense of  P a r t One,  tion  of  the  extremely ness.  rendering the idiot-child's  helpful  Seeing  possibly  and  life  have a c l e a r  first  section  and  partially  the  complexities of i t , lost  wilderness, Having  but  a  reveals  e x p e r i e n c e one  thorough  limited  the nature In order  of  to  must f i r s t  t o emerge and  of  angle  situation.  understand  become in  immersed the  achieve  h i s perception of  as w e l l  step closer the  Like  truth.  as  cannot  experience  Faulkner  of v i s i o n .  contain i t s distortions  move t h e r e a d e r one be  innocence,  an  conscious-  clarity.  l o o k a t t h e Compsons from  view  t o a new  of  t h e Compson  struggle  then  i t will  will  reflector  intense distor  h i s eyes the reader  understanding of  partially  and  i s both  and  tives  which  through  Benjy  I s a a c M c C a s l i n becomes l o s t  t o move on  i t will  limited  both  validity  i n i t as  ready  But  distance are  perspective.  evokes bewilderment.  rendered  perceptive  and  simultaneous  a highly  solely  The  in  involvement  i s  the now  a l l perspeci t s validity.  to the  overview  CHAPTER 3  LONG C O R R I D O R OF GREY  HALFLIGHT  68  Having  p r e s e n t e d t h e v i r t u e s and  l i m i t a t i o n s of a  consciousness unable to c o n c e p t u a l i z e i n S e c t i o n  One,  F a u l k n e r d r a m a t i z e s i n P a r t Two  distortions  of  the v a l i d i t y  and  a consciousness given to i n t e l l e c t u a l i z i n g .  Quentin's  monologue, l i k e B e n j y ' s , b e g i n s w i t h a r e f e r e n c e t o which r e f l e c t s the nature of h i s p e r c e p t i o n of  sight  reality.  When t h e shadow o f t h e s a s h a p p e a r e d on t h e c u r t a i n s i t was b e t w e e n s e v e n a n d e i g h t o c l o c k and t h e n I was I n t i m e a g a i n , h e a r i n g t h e w a t c h . I t was G r a n d f a t h e r ' s and when F a t h e r g a v e i t t o me he s a i d , Q u e n t i n , I g i v e y o u t h e m a u s o l e u m o f a l l hope and d e s i r e ; i t ' s r a t h e r e x c r u c i a t i n g - l y a p t t h a t you w i l l use i t t o g a i n t h e r e d u c t o absurdum o f human e x p e r i e n c e w h i c h c a n f i t y o u r I n d i v i d u a l n e e d s no b e t t e r t h a n i t f i t t e d h i s o r h i s f a t h e r ' s . The  v a l i d i t y of Quentin s 1  p e r s p e c t i v e stems from h i s  i n t e l l i g e n c e , w h i c h e n a b l e s him t o r e f l e c t upon t h e cance of experience.  He  has a k n o w l e d g e o f f a m i l y  (95)  critical signifi-  history  and r e l e v a n t e v e n t s t h a t makes h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s f a r m o r e comprehensive  than Benjy's.  Q u e n t i n ' s more k n o w l e d g e a b l e  I n r e g a r d i n g t h e Compsons  from  p e r s p e c t i v e the reader undergoes  an e x p a n s i o n o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s , s i n c e he i s a b l e t o v i e w Compson d i l e m m a f r o m two and  s i n c e the second  a n a l y s i s which The  one,  angle of v i s i o n contains a p e n e t r a t i n g  i s lacking  chief  p o i n t s of view, rather than  the  i n the f i r s t  presentation.  l i m i t a t i o n of Quentin's p o i n t of view i s  t h a t he i s l o c k e d w i t h i n a w o r l d o f h i s own  concepts  hence c u t o f f from t h e immediacy o f e x p e r i e n c e . Benjy looks at l i f e  through c u r l i n g  and  Whereas  flower spaces,  Quentin  d o e s n o t s e e t h r o u g h t h e w i n d o w , b e h o l d i n g i n s t e a d t h e shadow of  the sash.  L i k e G a i l Hightower  o f Light  in  August  he i s  69  cut of  o f f from  t h e w o r l d o u t s i d e o f h i s own r o o m  h i s own c o n s c i o u s n e s s .  worlds  removed  Faulkner itself,  the light  characters live  o f the sun.  i s a feeling  unable  surprise  of claustrophobia objectified  directly  birds  that  we  suggested  Although i n The  shadow  object  itself.  reality  notes  enclosed  states  Fury,  stage  The entire  grass  s y m b o l w i t h many  one meaning  indirectly, than  i s clearly  I t reflects  responding to t o t h e sun and t h e  f o rQuentin  i s oblique,  and immediately  green  " t h e shadow o f  o f P a r t Two.  that  that  the consciousness of  i s a fluid  sentence  to look  of sunlight,  through  the  begins  l o o k e d a t t h e window"  by t h e s u n , r a t h e r  Hunt  failure  t h e shadow and  i t comes a s a  "External  shaded,and m i r r o r e d ,  experienced."  1  He  further  that  the  The  i nthe  S e c t i o n Two  eyes o n l y  Sound  i n the final  directly  within  i n h i s statement  I c o u l d have  perceives l i f e  caused  that  Quentin's  i n the f i r s t  t h e way Q u e n t i n  not  Quentin's  are presented  see through  sash."  a small,  that  a t experience i s suggested  resonances  the  to realize  Instead of the apprehension  Benjy, the  within  i s so i n d i r e c t  summer m o r n i n g .  i thad been c l o u d y  (96). and  response  f o rthe reader  on a b r i g h t  instances  t o see beyond i t .  Quentin's  "If  I n both  t o communicate w i t h t h e o u t s i d e w o r l d .  image o f t h e c h a r a c t e r d w e l l i n g room,  i n shadowy-  i s p r e s e n t i n g t h e image o f an ego l o c k e d unable  result  from  Both  and o u t s i d e  images o f o b l i q u i t y a r e f o r Quentin content o f h i s experience . . . . Only  70  by an o v e r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f r e a l i t y , t h e p r o d u c t o f a p r e c i o u s i n t e l l e c t u a l i z a t i o n w h e r e an o b j e c t i s l e s s r e a l t h a n i t s shadow, where e v e n t s r e f l e c t e d and r e f l e c t e d upon a r e more a c t u a l t h a n t h e y a r e i n t h e i r f u l l immediacy, i s Quentin able to m a i n t a i n a coherent experience at a l l . 2  I  suggest  symbolizes distance it  both  from  that the  the  i s a part of  the  landscapes  location  of of  shelves  and  business an  two  intellectual as  tradition  and  prestigious stature. of  of  The  son  of  of t h i s  hope o f  fact  S e c t i o n One  that  would  that  where Benjy  landscape  reflects  as  as  the  family  support  the  the  setting  the v a l i d i t y  the  of  his i s  been  to  States. affirm  expensive claim  by  the  expenses.  takes p l a c e i n Cambridge, n o v e l expands g e o g r a p h i c a l l y  literal  expansion  with  family's  i s confined within  The  white  Quentin  the United  H i s a t t e n d i n g an  S e c t i o n Two  Compson d o m a i n .  But  conducts  c o s t t o t h e Compsons i s e m p h a s i z e d  shrinking  place.  the  traditionally  the  respect  The  pattern.  center of  his  which  of mind.  where J a s o n  "gentility." university  book i n  enclosure cluttered  a t what has  the  and  In this  a t a d i s t a n c e from  (12).  and  the  inner states  intellectual  Massachusetts,indicates  well  experience.  "railed  residing  Harvard  his intelligence  the pasture to finance Quentin's The  from  of  o t h e r examples  the  i s the eldest  sale  reflect  pigeonholes"  are  residence at  pattern  the Negro church  its  of  larger  t o w n arid t h e  considered He  acuteness  immediacy of  external  section  Quentin's  of  P a r t Two  of Quentin's  the  expansion  consciousness reflects view,  the  which  of  everthe  that  takes  limitations i s both  an  71 expansion is  and a c o n t r a c t i o n  an u p r o o t e d  alien  England.  landscape  compared  from  h i s sense  Harvard  Quentin's from  ancestors. knowledge,  may  which  His loss  Of t h e f o u r  Caddy  thinks  in.  s t i l l  to the lives  of h i s  of the tree of  that  Quentin  i n Quentin's  i s first  said"  always  painful,  "White  folks  dwelling  i n a  i n the Benjy  dont  have  passage:  "Quentin  i ti s especially  well  This i s  and Versh  'What a r e y o u  the loss  came crying  of innocence i s  so i n Quentin's  i n the past.  when  funerals"  knowledge o f death.  (92). Although  to function  which  A t a time  he becomes aware o f t h e d i s i n t e g r a t i o n  seemed  of exile  i s t h e o n l y o n e who  has d i e d .  h a d h i s f a c e t u r n e d away.  Caddy  state of  suggested  Quentin  h i s grandmother  i n the following  for.'  which  of  h i s own p a s t a n d  of h i s feelings  children  he h a s a l r e a d y g a i n e d  because  as a symbol  home.  of innocence  that  implied  shrinks  distance  t o have been t h e happy  This i s the basis  understands  (52),  be r e g a r d e d  partaken of the f r u i t  dormitory f a r from  section.  o f him  The l i t e r a l  once gave meaning  given external manifestation  .  of t h e South  a part  He i s c u t o f f f r o m  o n what he i m a g i n e s  college  of the Massachusetts  he d w e l l s i n t h e w o r l d o f E x p e r i e n c e and l o o k s  Innocence. are  and J e f f e r s o n  Having  though  Quentin  aimlessly i n  growth  o f h i s homeland.  alienation.  a tradition  back  to the luxuriant even  section.  around  The v e r y m e a g e r n e s s  of loss,  the fecundity  between  Benjy's  Southerner wandering  New  conveys  from  case,  of h i s family  His longing f o r  72  innocence r e f l e c t s h i s d e s i r e f o r the s e c u r i t y t h a t stems from the u n q u e s t i o n i n g  f a i t h of childhood.  But Quentin's  n o s t a l g i c view o f h i s own youth i s a r e f u s a l t o accept the i n e v i t a b l e a l t e r a t i o n s brought about by time and change. i s no l e s s than a r e f u s a l t o accept  life  itself,  It  s i n c e the  l i f e - c y c l e i s not s t a s i s , but r e c u r r e n c e w i t h i n an everchanging movement.  The o n l y a l t e r n a t i v e s t o growing up a r e  e a r l y death o r to remain f o r e v e r l o c k e d i n c h i l d h o o d as Benjy does.  But F a u l k n e r has a l r e a d y shown i n S e c t i o n One t h a t to  remain an e t e r n a l c h i l d i s an u n s a t i s f a c t o r y s i t u a t i o n . i s one o f the n o v e l ' s pungent i r o n i e s t h a t Quentin and  i d e a l i z e s a s t a t e o f consciousness  It  desires  embodied by Benjy.  He  i s never a b l e t o acknowledge t o h i m s e l f the ambivalence o f innocence. Quentin  yearns f o r t h e u n i t y p e r c e i v e d i n the S t a t e o f  Innocence which c o n t r a s t s w i t h the d i s u n i t y t h a t takes a f t e r the F a l l .  place  E r i c h Neumann d i s c u s s e s t h i s change o f  p e r c e p t i o n i n terms o f the development o f the i n d i v i d u a l consciousness. G r a d u a l l y , w i t h the growth o f consciousness t h i n g s and p l a c e s were o r g a n i z e d i n t o an a b s t r a c t system and d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from one another; but o r i g i n a l l y t h i n g and p l a c e belonged t o g e t h e r i n a continuum and were f l u i d l y r e l a t e d t o an everchanging ego. In t h i s inchoate s t a t e t h e r e was no d i s t i n c t i o n between I and you , i n s i d e and outs i d e , o r between men and t h i n g s , j u s t as t h e r e was no c l e a r d i v i d i n g l i n e between man and the animals, man and man, man and the world. Everything p a r t i c i p a t e d i n everything else, l i v e d i n the same u n d i v i d e d and o v e r l a p p i n g s t a t e i n the world o f the unconscious.  73  This  passage  Innocence. movement  focusses  on t h e u n i t y p e r c e i v e d  In the following  from  excerpts  i n the State of  Neumann  describes the  the state of primal consciousness  to the next  stage: O n l y i n t h e l i g h t o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s c a n man know. And t h i s a c t o f c o g n i t i o n , o f c o n s c i o u s d i s c r i m i n a tion, sunders the world i n t o opposites, f o r experience of the world i s only p o s s i b l e through o p p o s i t e s . '* Not o n l y do day and n i g h t , back and f r o n t , upper a n d l o w e r , i n s i d e a n d o u t s i d e , I and you male and female, grow o u t o f t h i s development o f o p p o s i t e s . . . but . . . "sacred" and "profane","good"and " e v i l " , a r e now a s s i g n e d t h e i r p l a c e i n t h e w o r l d . /  5  The fact  fragmentation  t h a t h i s knowledge has sundered  opposites. longs  i n Quentin's  Trapped  i n a world  f o r t h e u n i t y he f e l t  Faulkner  i s able  to portray  growth o f consciousness. to  classify  taneously doing ness  both  i s evident  experience peoples white  lives  facts  microscope" Section  such  he  inherent  (189).  These  i t tends  p e r c e p t i o n and i s rendered  section.  The g r o w t h o f  as  conscious-  providing evaluations of  black  i n unarguable judgments,  the reader  i n the  Conceptualization can simul-  i n sudden sharp  f o r an i n s t a n t  polar  Quentin,  develops  a s h i s comment t h a t N e g r o e s  . . .  the  desperately  the dangers  As t h e i n t e l l e c t  i n Quentin's  One, h e l p  experience.  of duality  into  Through  and d i s t o r t  i n the Quentin  the world  as a c h i l d .  and c o n c e p t u a l i z e .  clarify  section reflects  "come i n t o  trickles truth  totally  i n the process  like  that  white isolate  under  lacking i n of evaluating  a  74  The  l i m i t a t i o n of the impulse  to classify  i s best  d e s c r i b e d by H e n r i B e r g s o n , w h o t e r m s i t " a n a l y s i s . " c o n t r a s t s i tt o t h e a c t of i n t u i t i o n which " t h e k i n d o f intellectual  sympathy  He  6  he d e f i n e s a s  by w h i c h  one p l a c e s o n e -  s e l f w i t h i n an o b j e c t i n o r d e r t o c o i n c i d e w i t h what i s unique  i n i t and c o n s e q u e n t l y  suggests which  that consciousness  inexpressible."  Bergson  7  i s a c o n s t a n t l y changing  c a n b e s t be apprehended t h r o u g h i n t u i t i o n .  He  a n a l y s i s as an a t t e m p t  t o apply f i x e d  is  The l i m i t a t i o n s o f a n a l y s i s ,  essentially  fluid.  apply remarkably  sees  concepts t o t h a t  by Thomas A. Goudge i n t h e i n t r o d u c t i o n t o B e r g s o n ' s Metaphysics  process  which  summarized Essay  on  w e l l t o Quentin.  (1) The i n t e l l e c t a p p r e h e n d s t h e w o r l d e x t e r n a l l y as a c o l l e c t i o n o f t h i n g s i n space . . . (2) The i n t e l l e c t d e a l s w i t h t h e w o r l d by means of d i s c r e t e u n i t s capable o f being counted o r m e a s u r e d . . . . (3) The i n t e l l e c t t r e a t s t h e w o r l d as though i t were f u n d a m e n t a l l y s t a t i c and i m m o b i l e . T h i s i s f o r Bergson t h e most s e r i o u s l i m i t a t i o n o f all. F o r i t means t h a t t h e i n t e l l e c t i s b o u n d t o m i s u n d e r s t a n d t h e f a c t o f m o t i o n and c h a n g e . 8  Quentin  can n o t a c c e p t t h e changes i n h i s s i s t e r  as she d e v e l o p s y o u n g woman.  from a c h i l d  t o an a d o l e s c e n t and i n t o a  D e s p i t e h i s s y m p a t h e t i c n a t u r e he i s u n a b l e t o  provide t h e compassionate time of t r o u b l e . concepts  Caddy  u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h a t she needs i n a  T h i s i s because Quentin  o f how a woman s h o u l d a c t .  the f a c t of motion  He d o e s  and change" i n i d e a l i z i n g  deprecating the present. i n apprehending  i s b o u n d by h i s "misunderstand t h e p a s t and  He a l s o m a n i f e s t s t h e d a n g e r t h a t  t h e w o r l d i n terms o f u n i t s one t e n d s t o l o s e  75  the  primal  sense  of unity.  Benjy  Quentin  i s the manifestation  minutes  and  hours  he  of  embodies t h i s  i t s loss.  i s c u t o f f from  unity  while  A c u t e l y aware  the c y c l e  of  of  life  itself. It  seems as  every minute he  of  constantly  ringing of  passing first and note  h i s day.  hears  of b e l l s  factory of  time  that  (.95)  place within Quentin  prison  the  that  time.  and  change and father's virginity  life  opinion will  between  by  being  that  He  this  last  the a  reflects  and  him.  feelings  awareness.  i n t i m e , as  i f i t were  I t i s a prison v a l u e s and  His tearing  i s most deeply over  the hands o f f present,  troubled  Caddy's  the passing of  in  feels  to accept time, the  his agitation  be m o d i f i e d by  of  eternal  his refusal 9  "The  ending  It  the  seven  not only  enclosure.  the  from  p a r a g r a p h when  suggests  restricting  itself.  sound  of  his section  Thus h i s t h o u g h t s  Quentin desires  suggests  the  the  a b l e to t r a n s c e n d h i s aware-  i n the temporal world.  watch  and  " i t was  enclosed limits  i s oppressed  confining  sense  trapped the  a metaphor of  chronological  f o r them  agonized awareness  to the f i n a l  i s never  throughout  watches,  F a u l k n e r ' s b e g i n n i n g and  Quentin  take  and  intervals  a reference to time  of  the  Quentin's  (197).  ness  a  of clocks  minute  time  i s listening  i s expressed throughout  recurrent motif but fact  he  o f h i s m o n o l o g u e when  monologue w i t h  the  Because  at fifteen  oclock"  sounded"  i s aware of  the t i c k i n g  whistles.  sentence  eight  i f Quentin  loss  time.  by of The  his  76 thought t h a t i t w i l l i s more u n b e a r a b l e s u i c i d e may  be  l o n g e r seem o f p a r a m o u n t  t o him t h a n t h e g r i e f  itself.  from  r e p r e s e n t e d v a r i o u s l y by t h e p l a c e o f  t h e Compson home, by C a d d y ' s v i r g i n i t y itself."  and  eventually  by  1 0  F a u l k n e r has d r a m a t i z e d i n S e c t i o n One t h a t c h r o n o l o g i c a l t i m e i s an i l l u s i o n on t h e d e e p e s t  His  Q u e n t i n i s , i n F r e d e r i c k Hoffman's words,  love with stasis,  death  importance  s e e n a s an a c t t o p r e v e n t t h i s c h a n g e  taking place. "in  no  level,  the perception  because c o n s c i o u s n e s s ,  does not apprehend  it.  Minutes,  hours,  d a y s and w e e k s a r e r a t i o n a l c o n c e p t s d e s i g n e d by t h e human i m a g i n a t i o n t o measure out t i m e .  The  very fact that  Quentin  f e e l s trapped w i t h i n c h r o n o l o g i c a l time suggests that h i s problems It  s t e m f r o m h i s c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n s and  i s the r e l a t i v i t y  i s unable to accept.  i m p l i e d by t i m e a n d This i s indicated  j e w e l l e r when he a s k s , " W o u l d  The  change t h a t  But they haven't  (.103).  to the  i f any The  b e e n r e g u l a t e d and  standard.  the j e w e l l e r .  But Q u e n t i n i s not r e a l l y  set yet."  f e s t s h i s d e s i r e t o h a v e h i s own than to openly  explore  to provide  which  opinions confirmed,  the nature of experience.  t h e j e w e l l e r ' s r e p l y , he n o t e s t h a t  "There  the  listening  H i s q u e s t i o n i s a r h e t o r i c a l one  of  man  i m p l i c a t i o n of the j e w e l l e r ' s r e p l y i s that  c l o c k s and w a t c h e s c a n be r e g u l a t e d s u f f i c i e n t l y a useful  Quentin  in his visit  y o u m i n d t e l l i n g me  t h o s e w a t c h e s i n t h e window a r e r i g h t ? " a n s w e r s "No.  intellectuality.  to  manirather  Ignoring  were about  a dozen  77 w a t c h e s i n t h e window, a d o z e n d i f f e r e n t h o u r s and e a c h the  with  same a s s e r t i v e a n d c o n t r a d i c t o r y a s s u r a n c e t h a t m i n e  had"  (104).  This  symbolizes t o Quentin the m u l t i p l i c i t y of  human p e r s p e c t i v e s , contradicting  e a c h a s s e r t i n g i t s own v a l i d i t y a n d  the others.  I h a v e s u g g e s t e d , i n my i n t r o d u c t o r y  chapter,  that the  relativity  of a l l perspectives  i s a concept a t t h e core o f  Faulkner's  view o f existence.  I t seems t o me t h a t  Compson e m b o d i e s t h e n e g a t i v e  reaction to this  Quentin  realization.  B e n j y d o e s n o t h a v e t h i s p r o b l e m , s i n c e he e x i s t s o n a of consciousness precluding the  unquestioning  his  imagination  intellectual  f a i t h of a c h i l d , perceives  as r e a l i t y  contrast, Quentin i s acutely human p e r s p e c t i v e s ,  awareness.  level  He h a s  n e v e r d o u b t i n g t h a t what i s the t r u t h .  In  aware o f t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f a l l  but i s u n w i l l i n g to accept  their  relativity. Although Faulkner are  believes that  l i m i t e d , he a l s o t h i n k s t h a t t h e r e  individual perspectives i s a " t r u t h " about  e x p e r i e n c e and t h a t a p e r s o n c a n a p p r o a c h an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of i t .  I n t h e a u t h o r ' s v i e w , t h i s c o m p r e h e n s i o n must  I n e v i t a b l y be t e n t a t i v e a n d i n c o m p l e t e . to accept t h i s tentativeness.  Quentin i s unable  He l o n g s f o r a b s o l u t e s ,  d e s i r i n g t h e c e r t a i n t i e s t h a t a l l men e x p e r i e n c e I n c h i l d hood.  H i s awareness o f l i m i t a t i o n s leads  a n c e o f common human f r a i l t y ,  him, not t o  accept-  but t o a state of p a r a l y s i s ,  based on t h e a s s u m p t i o n t h a t , because t h e y a r e r e l a t i v e , a l l  78  human e n d e a v o r s  are f u t i l e .  resultant inability  The l a c k o f f a i t h a n d t h e  t o a c t a r e d i a g n o s e d by F r i e d r i c h  N i e t z s c h e i n t h e f o l l o w i n g passage  f r o m Beyond  Good and  Evil:  F o r s k e p t i c i s m i s t h e most s p i r i t u a l expression of a certain . . . physiological temperament w h i c h , i n o r d i n a r y language i s c a l l e d nervous d e b i l i t y and s i c k l i n e s s . . . e v e r y t h i n g i s d i s q u i e t , derangement, doubt, and t e n t a t i v e ; t h e b e s t powers o p e r a t e r e s t r i c t i v e l y , t h e v e r y v i r t u e s p r e v e n t i n g each o t h e r growing and becoming s t r o n g , e q u i l i b r i u m , b a l l a s t , and p e r p e n d i c u l a r s t a b i l i t y a r e l a c k i n g i n body a n d soul. T h a t , however, w h i c h i s most d i s e a s e d and d e g e n e r a t e d i n s u c h n o n d e s c r i p t s i s t h e will . . . P a r a l y s i s o f w i l l ; w h e r e do we n o t f i n d t h i s c r i p p l e s i t t i n g nowdays! . . . i t i s w o r s t and most v a r i e d where c i v i l i z a t i o n has l o n g e s t prevailed. 1 1  The  i m a g e s o f s t a s i s t h r o u g h o u t S e c t i o n Two  strongly  contribute to rendering this condition of paralysis. conveyed,  It is  on t h e d e e p e s t l e v e l o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s , t h r o u g h  the rhythm o f Quentin's language.  The e f f e c t  by t h e i m p l i e d c o n t r a s t w i t h P a r t One.  i s heightened  The f a s t - m o v i n g  q u a l i t y o f Benjy's prose i s i n c o u n t e r p o i n t t o the long, slow-moving  sentences which r e f l e c t Quentin's brooding  sensibility.  The l a c k o f f l o w i n t h e r h y t h m o f Q u e n t i n ' s  language suggests t h e f a c t that h i s i s a b l o c k e d c o n s c i o u s ness.  Whereas t h e s p o n t a n e i t y o f B e n j y ' s r e s p o n s e t o  e x p e r i e n c e i s conveyed  through the flow of h i s prose, the  r e v e r s e i s t r u e o f Q u e n t i n ; h i s slow-moving  lines  suggest  d e l i b e r a t i o n and l a c k o f s p o n t a n e i t y . I would  like  t o examine an e x c e r p t f r o m  monologue t o d e m o n s t r a t e  Quentin's  how t h e t e x t u r e o f t h e l a n g u a g e  79 r e f l e c t s h i s tormented consciousness. Is a culminating expression  The f o l l o w i n g s e n t e n c e  o f h i s agony:  Sometimes I c o u l d p u t m y s e l f t o s l e e p s a y i n g t h a t o v e r and o v e r u n t i l a f t e r t h e h o n e y s u c k l e g o t a l l m i x e d up i n i t t h e w h o l e t h i n g came t o s y m b o l i z e n i g h t a n d u n r e s t I seemed t o be l y i n g n e i t h e r a s l e e p n o r awake l o o k i n g down a l o n g c o r r i d o r o f g r e y h a l f l i g h t w h e r e a l l s t a b l e t h i n g s h a d become shadowy p a r a d o x i c a l a l l I h a d done shadows a l l I had f e l t s u f f e r e d t a k i n g v i s i b l e f o r m a n t i c a n d p e r v e r s e m o c k i n g w i t h o u t r e l e v a n c e i n h e r e n t thems e l v e s w i t h t h e d e n i a l o f t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e they s h o u l d h a v e a f f i r m e d t h i n k i n g I was I was n o t who was n o t was n o t who. "Lying neither asleep and  l a c k of motion.  n o r awake" s u g g e s t s Q u e n t i n ' s This  impression  (188)  passivity  i s a u g m e n t e d by t h e  absence o f a c t i o n verbs throughout t h e passage.  The p h r a s e  i n d i c a t e s t h e n e r v o u s n e s s and d i s q u i e t o f a p e r s o n so a g i t a t e d t h a t he i s u n a b l e t o s l e e p . Quentin dwells  I t implies that  i n an In-between s t a t e o f n o t h i n g n e s s  is neither living  nor r e a l death.  which  The i m a g e r y o f t w i l i g h t ,  i n d i c a t i n g n e i t h e r darkness nor l i g h t but a confused of t h e two, r e i n f o r c e s t h e i m p r e s s i o n a state of  limbo.  active sensibility.  life,  Benjy's " t r y i n g  t o say" I s an attempt  down t h e b a r r i e r s t h a t e x i s t  But Quentin i s not t r y i n g  t o communicate w i t h  t h e same t h i n g o v e r a n d o v e r t o h i m s e l f .  as dramatized  between others. His  o n J u n e 2, c o n s i s t s l a r g e l y o f d i a l o g u e  with himself, external conversations uncommunicative.  in  o f S e c t i o n One, " s a y i n g " r e f l e c t s a n  to communicate, b r e a k i n g  He i s s a y i n g  of a consciousness  1 2  In t h e context  people.  mingling  being  f l a t and  The a b s e n c e o f e x t e r n a l d i a l o g u e  suggests  80  Quentin's  s e l f - a b s o r p t i o n and  feelings.  his inability  to express h i s  H i s s a y i n g t h e same t h i n g o v e r and o v e r i s an  o b v i o u s image o f n o n - p r o g r e s s i o n . Q u e n t i n i s n o t l o o k i n g down a r e a l c o r r i d o r . i n t h e day tunnel.  he has  seen a r a i l r o a d  In the passage  quoted  Earlier  t r a i n going through a  above t h i s  e x p e r i e n c e becomes  t r a n s l a t e d i n t o an i m a g e o f v i e w i n g h i s own  past,  "looking"  s u g g e s t i n g the a c t o f p e r c e p t i o n , as i t does t h r o u g h o u t novel.  I n s t e a d o f t h e a c t i v e movement o f t h e t r a i n  g r e s s i n g t h r o u g h t h e t u n n e l , Q u e n t i n r e n d e r s an i m p l y i n g p a s s i v i t y and vividly pictorial half light.  scene  lack of progress.  Instead of a  clarity  I t a l s o suggests h i s removal  immediacy o f c o n c r e t e e x p e r i e n c e . of removal  image  the f a c t that Quentin  i n a shadowy w o r l d i n w h i c h f o r m and significance.  pro-  t h e r e i s a murky p i c t u r e i n "grey  T h i s image r e f l e c t s  1 1  the  have l o s t from  their  the  V a r i a t i o n s o f t h e image  from the l i g h t r e c u r throughout  beginning w i t h the opening  exists  Section  Two,  sentence o f the monologue.  Q u e n t i n l a t e r v i s u a l i z e s h i s p a r e n t s i n "a d a r k p l a c e  into  w h i c h a s i n g l e weak r a y o f l i g h t came s l a n t i n g u p o n two lifted  o u t o f t h e shadow . . . a n d us l o s t  e v e n them w i t h o u t e v e n a r a y o f l i g h t " images suggest t h a t Q u e n t i n ' s  somewhere b e l o w  (191).  A l l these  c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n s c u t him o f f  from e x p e r i e n c e , d i s t a n c i n g him I f B e n j y had  faces  from t h e sun o f  s e e n t h e t r a i n he w o u l d  g r a p h i c p i c t u r e of i t s appearance  have rendered  and movement.  s c a r c e l y n o t i c e s t h e a c t u a l l o c o m o t i v e and  truth.  Quentin  tunnel.  When  a  81 the  image d o e s a p p e a r  internalized  i n h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s i t has  and a b s t r a c t e d .  experience i l l u s t r a t e s  This t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of  Cowan's p o i n t t h a t  k e e p h i s m i n d on t h e l i t e r a l i t y In  become  "Quentin  cannot  o f [ h i s own] s e n s a t i o n s . "  h i s consciousness substance i s c o n s t a n t l y being  formed  into  shadow.  The  f r a g r a n t smell of  tasting  trans-  honeysuckle  becomes c o n v e r t e d i n h i s m i n d i n t o a s y m b o l c o n s i d e r s t o be C a d d y ' s s e x u a l f a l l .  o f what  A beautiful,  he sweet  f l o w e r becomes f o r h i m n o t a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f  b u t a symbol  of death.  A l i v i n g sea g u l l  1 3  life,  a b l e t o p o i s e and  hover i n the c u r r e n t s of a i r l i k e w i s e suggests death to Quentin.  He t h i n k s o f e x i s t e n c e a s "A g u l l  w i r e a t t a c h e d through space dragged" of  on an  (12 3 ) .  The  invisible inversion  t h e w o r d s f r o m t h e more n a t u r a l o r d e r o f " d r a g g e d  space"  s l o w s t h e s e n t e n c e down t o a n a l m o s t  through  excruciating  crawl, rendering Quentin's endless brooding. N o t o n l y d o e s he t r a n s f o r m s u b s t a n c e i n t o shadow, b u t shadow i n t o s u b s t a n c e .  The  ticking  Quentin o f a "parade o f time" s t o r e t h a t "The September" terms  p l a c e was  (102).  (94).  full  of h i s watch He  says of the  of t i c k i n g ,  jewellry  like crickets in  A b s t r a c t i o n s become r e a l i z e d  f o r Quentin, i n d i c a t i n g  reminds  i n concrete  that concepts of people  o b j e c t s h a v e become more i m p o r t a n t t o h i m t h a n t h e  and  things  themselves. The have q u o t e d  sense of a b s t r a c t i o n  i s strong i n the sentence  to i l l u s t r a t e Quentin's consciousness.  It is  I  82  not  c e r t a i n e x a c t l y what t h e pronouns r e f e r t o .  s u g g e s t s what Q u e n t i n s a y s t o h i m s e l f it  "That"  t o induce sleep, but  i s n e v e r made c l e a r w h a t t h e w o r d s a r e .  Quentin's  s t a t e m e n t " a f t e r t h e h o n e y s u c k l e g o t m i x e d up i n i t " a l s o lacks c l a r i t y .  The r e f e r e n c e  suckle, associated  may be t o t h e s m e l l o f h o n e y -  i n Quentin's imagination  with  nature,  f e c u n d i t y and Caddy's s e x u a l i t y , becoming mixed i n w i t h t h e s m e l l o f water; o r t h e pronoun " i t " thoughts.  One m i g h t s p e c u l a t e  might r e f e r t o h i s  about the nature  of the  " s t a b l e t h i n g s " t h a t h a v e become shadowy p a r a d o x i c a l . not by  s p e c i f i e d e x a c t l y what t h e y a r e . " a l l I had done"?  a n t i c and p e r v e r s e " ?  What d o e s Q u e n t i n mean  What i s t h e s h a p e o f " v i s i b l e Leaving  t i o n can stimulate the reader  It is  this question  form  open t o s p e c u l a -  t o u s e h i s own p r o c e s s o f  perception,  imagining  f o r h i m s e l f what t h e s e a n t i c forms  look l i k e .  I t i s equally important  that the abstract q u a l i t y  of t h e passage suggests Quentin's d i s t a n c e p a r t i c u l a r i t y of experience.  from t h e concrete  The a b s t r a c t i o n r e s u l t s i n a  c e r t a i n vagueness i n d i c a t i n g Quentin's l o s s o f c l e a r  vision.  J u s t as t h e f l o w o f smooth, b r i g h t shapes i s a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of Benjy's consciousness, The  so t h e m u r k i n e s s r e f l e c t s  blurring of vision  i s emphasized by t h e c o n s t r u c -  t i o n o f the sentence, i n which l o o s e l y associated are  thrown together.  Quentin's.  fragments  The l a c k o f s y m m e t r y r e f l e c t s t h e  disorder of Quentin's perceptions.  The e f f e c t o f  many l o o s e l y - r e l a t e d e l e m e n t s t o g e t h e r  packing  i n a non-syntactical  83 r e l a t i o n s h i p i s t o r e n d e r an i m p r e s s i o n o f b e i n g which r e f l e c t s  the s p i r i t u a l  cluttered  claustrophobia of Quentin.  d i v e r s e elements  i n h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s a r e a l l crammed  together, unable  to d i s t i l  and c l a r i f y .  The  The s e n s e o f  f r a g m e n t a t i o n i s a u g m e n t e d by t h e i n c o m p l e t e n e s s o f t h e sentence which  ends as f o l l o w s :  who was n o t was n o t who." "was n o t " e m p h a s i z e s  "thinking  I was I was n o t  The r e p e t i t i o n o f t h e p h r a s e  the death o r i e n t a t i o n of Quentin.  By  e n d i n g w i t h "who" F a u l k n e r s t r e s s e s t h e s e n s e o f i n c o m p l e t e ness which r e f l e c t s  the f a c t that f o r Quentin everything i s  t e n t a t i v e and u n f u l f i l l e d . Swiggart suggests that "the t o r t u r e d q u a l i t y present i n the author's r h e t o r i c  often  i s related to the efforts  o f s u c h f i g u r e s a s Q u e n t i n Compson . . .  to find  meaning  . . . t h r o u g h a d e f i n i t i o n o f p a s t and p r e s e n t e x p e r i e n c e s . . . i n a s h i f t i n g temporal world." *  A s he becomes  i n c r e a s i n g l y overwhelmed i n h i s attempt  to find  1 1  i n a world of constant f l u x , Quentin's disjointed. a complete  language  stability becomes m o r e  The p r o s e n e a r t h e e n d o f h i s m o n o l o g u e breakdown o f o r d e r ;  this  suggests  i s i n d i c a t e d by t h e  o m i s s i o n o f p u n c t u a t i o n and o f c a p i t a l i z a t i o n o f a l l words i n c l u d i n g t h e pronoun " i . "  The ego l o s s a n d d i s i n t e g r a t i o n  of p e r s o n a l i t y are manifest i n the long, sentences which  suggest a consciousness out o f c o n t r o l .  confusion contrasts v i v i d l y implied  fragmented  with the unity of perception  i n Benjy's short c l e a r  lines.  The  84 The  c o u n t e r p o i n t between the s h o r t , l y r i c  of the i d i o t - c h i l d Quentin  and  makes a v a l i d  sentences  the complex, p h i l o s o p h i c a l ones of p a t t e r n , but  s t a t e d , s i n c e the l a t t e r  i t s h o u l d n o t be  i s a l s o capable  f o l l o w i n g passages i l l u s t r a t e  over-  of l y r i c i s m .  The  this point:  A t l a s t I c o u l d n ' t s e e t h e smoke s t a c k . The r o a d went b e s i d e a w a l l . Trees leaned over the w a l l , sprayed w i t h s u n l i g h t . The s t o n e was c o o l . W a l k i n g near i t you c o u l d f e e l the c o o l n e s s . Only o u r c o u n t r y was n o t l i k e t h i s c o u n t r y . . .  (132)  We w e n t on i n t h e d a p p l e d s h a d e . We came t o an o r c h a r d , p i n k and w h i t e . I t was f u l l o f b e e s ; a l r e a d y we c o u l d h e a r them. " L e t ' s go t o t h e m i l l and go s w i m m i n g , " t h e third said. A lane turned o f f beside the orchard. The t h i r d boy s l o w e d and h a l t e d . The f i r s t w e n t on, f l e c k s o f s u n l i g h t s l i p p i n g a l o n g t h e p o l e a c r o s s h i s s h o u l d e r and down t h e b a c k o f h i s s h i r t . (140-141) The  first  excerpt c o n t a i n s short e v o c a t i v e sentences  sense impressions. except his  I t m i g h t have been f r o m t h e Benjy  f o r the f i n a l  h o m e l a n d t o New  presents  line  i n which Quentin  England.  the d i r e c t ,  through  i s "more r i c h ,  presented  i n S e c t i o n One.  sentences  i n P a r t Two  Quentin  t o compare  But whereas Benjy  an u n c h a n g i n g a n g l e o f v i s i o n ,  w i t h i n Quentin's  section,  Quentin  sensuous r e n d e r i n g of a scene t h a t  p e r c e p t i o n s a r e f a r more v a r i e d . experience  begins  In the second passage  associate w i t h the i d i o t - c h i l d . life  recording  angle  As  The  Quentin's  various"  1 5  Quentin's  than  a l t e r n a t i o n o f l o n g and  i s a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the of  perceives  Hunt o b s e r v e s ,  c o m p l e x , and  we  that short  variety  vision.  i s , i n r a r e moments, a b l e t o r e s p o n d  directly  85  to  experience,  his  although  own c o n c e p t s  occasions,  h i s being  i s more p r e v a l e n t .  h o w e v e r , when Q u e n t i n  response  to the external world  observes  that  like  flecks  abstracting original and  "Yellow  him,  of color  and d i s t o r t i n g  shorter  but not entirely  functions.  along  He  t h e shade i snot  has been  lost.  The  overwhelmed  I t i s as i f ,  impulses  remain w i t h i n  themselves.  addition to reflecting  sentences  and s u n l i g h t .  instance Quentin  response  hisdeath-orientation, life  In  direct  h i s perception of nature.  capacity f o rdirect  continuing to assert  t o make a  flickered  In this  of  There a r e a few  i s able  butterflies  o f s u n " (.141) .  subordinated,  despite  locked within a world  i n P a r t Two  moments o f l y r i c i s m ,  serve  They a r e i l l u s t r a t e d  at least  three  i n the following  the  other brief  passage: The c a r s t o p p e d . I g o t o u t , w i t h them l o o k i n g a t my e y e . When t h e t r o l l e y c a m e i t w a s full. I stopped on t h e back p l a t f o r m . "Seats up f r o n t , " t h e c o n d u c t o r s a i d . I looked into the car. T h e r e w e r e no s e a t s o n t h e l e f t side. "I'm n o t g o i n g f a r , " I s a i d . " I ' l l just stand here." The  mechanical  activities with comes  nature  of Quentin's  i s i n evidence  the outside world shortly  after  here.  joyless  and r o u t i n e  The f l a t n e s s  i s also demonstrated.  the nightmarish  (189)  of h i s dialogue This  one i n w h i c h  passage Quentin  visualizes  himself  l o o k i n g down t h e " l o n g c o r r i d o r  of  halflight"  (188).  I t slack of intensity  not only  non-communication,  but the fact  suggests,  that Quentin's  energy  grey  lies  86  in the  reminiscence alone.  The f o c u s o f h i s p e r c e p t i o n  past t h a t haunts him r a t h e r  i s on  t h a n on t h e p r e s e n t .  Quentin  generally  displays  Harvard.  H i s boredom r e f l e c t s h i s l o s s o f p u r p o s e and h i s  joyless existence. incapable for  a l a c k o f i n t e r e s t i n p e o p l e and e v e n t s a t  Boredom i s t h e one e m o t i o n t h a t B e n j y i s  o f f e e l i n g , s i n c e he r e t a i n s t h e c h i l d ' s  wonder.  The l o s s o f t h i s c a p a c i t y  excerpt quoted The  capacity  i s rendered i nthe  above.  p a s s a g e a l s o i l l u s t r a t e s Cowan's p o i n t  that  Q u e n t i n ' s " f r e n e t i c m e n t a l pace" i s " b e l i e d by h i s d e l i b e r a t e external  actions  on June 2 . "  Quentin's outer actions  The d i s p a r i t y b e t w e e n  1 6  and i n n e r  thoughts manifests a  fragmented consciousness d i v i d e d against instead  o f b e i n g i n harmony w i t h  counterpoint tension"  1 7  t o them. that  h i s true  feelings,are i n  i n many o f  There i s a sense o f " f o r c e s  b e i n g b l o c k e d b y some k i n d o f r e s t r a i n t . " One way i n w h i c h t h i s  I could  forces be.  say Mother.  1 8  Mother"  the reader to speculate  (114).  sister  The f i r s t  had  h a d no (1) s i s t e r ,  on what i t s c o m p l e t i o n m i g h t  (2) v i r g i n i t y ,  little  (3) m o t h e r . "  second fragment, which i s r e l a t e d t o t h e f i r s t thought that  no.  fragment  Among t h e more p l a u s i b l e p o s s i b i l i t i e s a r e "My  sister  pushing  sense o f d i v i s i o n i s rendered i s  t h r o u g h f r a g m e n t e d p h r a s e s s u c h a s "My little If  His actions,  r e f l e c t s the "state of unreleased  S l a t o f f feels i s inherent  Faulkner's characters. and  This  itself.  The  by Q u e n t i n ' s  he a n d Caddy l a c k a n u n d e r s t a n d i n g m o t h e r , h a s  87 something  of the i n t e n s i t y of Benjy's  passage.  In both i n s t a n c e s the r e f l e c t o r  w h a t n e e d s t o be c o m m u n i c a t e d .  "trying  to  say"  i s unable  In both examples  to  the  l i n g u i s t i c m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the lack of f u l f i l l m e n t incomplete  i s the  sentence.  The  sentence  fragments  d i s j o i n t e d n e s s which r e f l e c t s B e n j y and  Quentin.  c o n t r i b u t e t o the sense  of  the consciousnesses of  both  I n P a r t One  the fragmentation  Humphrey's p o i n t t h a t " d i s c o n t i n u i t y consciousness"  1 9  itself.  The  illustrates  . . . i s a quality  to synthesize. continuity  that Quentin's  In Quentin's monologue the h e i g h t e n e d  s e c t i o n i s more d i s j o i n t e d  than  i n Quentin's  i n Benjy's.  He  suggests  manifest Quentin's  " f r e n e t i c mental  p a r t o f t h e n o v e l " i n one  understand" The  2 0  fragments  w h i c h makes t h e to  section.  shifting  nature of experience i s  dramatized w i t h i n the consciousness of Quentin.  and  hundred  Is f u n c t i o n a l because the s t r u g g l e to  c o m p r e h e n d t h e c o m p l e x and  o n l y one  fact  hundred  s e n s e more d i f f i c u l t  than the i n t r o d u c t o r y  difficulty  pace"  the  Benjy's.  c h a p t e r a s o p p o s e d t o one t h a t t h e s h i f t s and  disdivided  T h i s I n n e r d i v i s i o n i s i n d i c a t e d by  n o t e d t h a t t h e r e a r e a p p r o x i m a t e l y two  time s h i f t s  second  inability  i s a r e f l e c t i o n of a blocked s e n s i b i l i t y ,  against i t s e l f .  of  u n i t y of Benjy's p e r c e p t i o n i s  j u x t a p o s e d w i t h t h e f r a g m e n t a t i o n stemming from h i s  Cowan has  say  o f t h e t h r e e b r o t h e r s who  attempts  h e n c e c o n f r o n t t h e Compson d i l e m m a .  The  to  He  i s the  understand  reader's  88  s t r u g g l e i n P a r t One i s i n c o u n t e r p o i n t  t o B e n j y and i s t h u s  a f a c t o r d i s t a n c i n g the reader  from him.  different, effect  The d i f f i c u l t y  has  i n striving  the reader, Quentin,  f o r understanding  f i n d meaning i n a w o r l d  d i f f e r e n t from each other  tion,  Quentin  i s analogous to that of  confronted  dramatized  Like  must f a c e t h e p a i n f u l and b e w i l d e r i n g  o f a complex u n i v e r s e .  most f u l l y  that  t h u s e n c o u r a g i n g us t o i d e n t i f y w i t h him.  the reader  realities to  i s achieved.  I n P a r t Two a  here,  The d i l e m m a o f how one i s  w h e r e a l l human p e r s p e c t i v e s a r e and i n a s t a t e o f c o n s t a n t  i n S e c t i o n Two.  flux i s  The d a n g e r s o f r e f l e c -  are related to this  struggle.  man m u s t a t t e m p t t o c o m p r e h e n d h i s e x p e r i e n c e  Modern  i n order t o  cope w i t h i t , b u t t h e v e r y  a t t e m p t may r e s u l t i n a l i e n a t i o n  and  r a t h e r than c l a r i f i c a t i o n  estrangement from l i f e  and  immersion i n i t . In t h e sense t h a t he, o f a l l t h e c h a r a c t e r s n o v e l , most f u l l y  dramatizes  t h e p r o b l e m s o f modern e x i s t e n c e ,  Q u e n t i n i s t h e p r o t a g o n i s t o f The Sound Backman c o r r e c t l y o b s e r v e s t h a t centered section  i n Quentin Compson."  21  c o n t r a c t i o n and y e t an e x p a n s i o n ,  of e a r l i e r c r i t i c s century  and  hero"  2 3  the  "The a n g u i s h  of the novel i s  2 2  that i s a  He a v o i d s  who h a v e s e e n Q u e n t i n a s a  problem t h a t i s ' s p e c i a l '  Melvin  Backman a c k n o w l e d g e s t h e  rendering.  o r , at the other  Fury .  I n n o t i n g t h a t t h e second  "creates a narrow o b s e s s i o n a l w o r l d "  ambivalence of Faulkner's  i nthe  the errors "twentieth  e x t r e m e , a s a b o y w i t h "a  ina clinical  sense." * 2 1  These  89  viewpoints ignore the simultaneous v a l i d i t y which Faulkner v i s u a l i z e s i n c l u d i n g Quentin's.  i n a l l human p e r s p e c t i v e s ,  I suggest that the a u t h o r i a l  b o t h o f d i s t a n c e and i n v o l v e m e n t than w i t h Benjy. critical  and l i m i t a t i o n s  Visualizing  sense  i s stronger w i t h Quentin  Q u e n t i n as a hero  ignores the  detachment i n t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n , w h i l e s e e i n g him as  a clinical In  case overlooks t h e involvement. Chapter  Two I s u g g e s t e d  that Quentin's view of  C a d d y i s more d i s t o r t e d t h a n B e n j y ' s a n d l e s s d i s t o r t e d Jason's. treated  than  From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e t h e t h r e e b r o t h e r s a r e increasingly  ironically;  t h e more d i s t o r t e d t h e  character's perspective, the greater i s the distance of author and r e a d e r from him. Q u e n t i n was " t o o s e n s i t i v e "  F a u l k n e r h i m s e l f has s a i d 2 5  t o face r e a l i t y .  that  He a l s o  r e m a r k s t h a t " i n C a d d y ' s o p i n i o n he was s u c h a w e a k l i n g  that  e v e n i f t h e y h a d b e e n no k i n , s h e w o u l d n e v e r h a v e c h o s e n h i m f o r h e r s w e e t h e a r t . She w o u l d h a v e c h o s e n o n e l i k e soldier  she d i d .  But never anybody l i k e  theex-  Quentin."  2 6  A n a u t h o r ' s comments o n h i s own w o r k s a r e n o t n e c e s s a r i l y more v a l i d  t h a n anyone e l s e ' s .  Faulkner's c r i t i c a l intuitive The  that  statements r e f l e c t h i s extraordinary  sense and a l m o s t always  remark quoted  But I f e e l  contain acute perceptions.  a b o v e r e f l e c t s one p e r s p e c t i v e o f Q u e n t i n  t h a t i s i m p l i e d i n The Sound  and the  Fury.  This  statement,  l i k e h i s o t h e r comments i n l e c t u r e s a n d i n t e r v i e w s ,  should  be r e g a r d e d a s one i n t e r e s t i n g a n d u s e f u l way o f l o o k i n g a t  9 0  the work of a r t , r a t h e r knowledgeable author. o f Absalom, the  Absalom!  t h a n as  t r u t h " f r o m an  I n d i s c u s s i n g Q u e n t i n as Faulkner  makes an  i n The  Sound  and  same c h a r a c t e r  the  Fury,the  a  explicit  l i m i t a t i o n s of Quentin's p o i n t of view.  asked i f Quentin i s the was  "the  all-  narrator  statement  Having  been  i n that novel  writer  on  as  he  replies:  To me he's c o n s i s t e n t . T h a t he a p p r o a c h e d t h e S u t p e n f a m i l y w i t h t h e same o p h t h a l m i a t h a t he a p p r o a c h e d h i s own t r o u b l e s , t h a t he p r o b a b l y n e v e r saw a n y t h i n g v e r y c l e a r l y , t h a t h i s was j u s t one o f t h e t h i r t e e n ways t o l o o k a t S u t p e n , and h i s may h a v e b e e n t h e - - one o f t h e m o s t e r r o n e o u s . P r o b a b l y h i s f r i e n d McCannon [ S h r e v e J had a much truer picture o f S u t p e n f r o m what Q u e n t i n t o l d him t h a n Q u e n t i n h i m s e l f d i d . 2 7  O p h t h a l m i a i s an  inflammation  m e t a p h o r s u g g e s t s t h e way t i o n c o l o r s and  is fairly  overlook  this  The  a boy  eyeball.  Perhaps i t i s  t o see  not  only  him  as  not since  s e n s i t i v e hero i s to  a u t h o r has  a strong  Faulkner get  a healthy  sense of  critical  i n The  Sound  had  really close  has  observed that Faulkner,  mentions the  him.  matches r a t h e r c l o s e l y the p i c t u r e  who  four c h i l d r e n with  distance  involvement with  and  the  Fury  o b s e r v a n t , s e r i o u s , somewhat i n t r o v e r t e d and  He  agita-  f a c t of Quentin's d i s t o r t i o n  but  the  point.  Q u e n t i n t h a t we  no  I believe  i n which Quentin's personal  the  evident;  from Quentin but "As  the  distorts his vision.  necessary to belabor it  of  friends outside  the  ...  quiet,  thoughtful family."  l i k e Quentin,was the  a g r a n d m o t h e r r e f e r r e d t o as  sense of  a  of  2 8  eldest  child Cowan of  "Damuddy."  f a m i l y d e c l i n e f r o m a more  colorful  91  p a s t and t h e s i m i l a r i t y o f D i l s e y ' s c h a r a c t e r t o t h a t o f "Mammy" C a l l i e B a r r Go Down Moses) "Though s u c h Sound  as f u r t h e r p a r a l l e l s . fragments  and the  account  ( t h e woman t o whom F a u l k n e r  Fury  dedicates  Cowan s t a t e s t h a t  o f F a u l k n e r ' s y o u t h do n o t make The  a covert autobiography,  f o r part of i t s emotional  a g r e e m e n t w i t h Cowan a n d w i l l  t h e y do h e l p  strength."  2 9  I am i n  bring i n biographical informa-  t i o n a b o u t F a u l k n e r when I t seems t o me t h e r e i s a p l a u s i b l e connection, e f f e c t i n g the author's his  sense o f involvement  with  character. John F a u l k n e r ' s account  of his older brother's  d e p a r t u r e from M i s s i s s i p p i a t t h e time o f h i s c h i l d h o o d sweetheart's of  e n g a g e m e n t a n d w e d d i n g i s somewhat r e m i n i s c e n t  Quentin. see  B i l l l e f t town. He w o u l d n ' t s t a y a r o u n d t o someone e l s e c l a i m E s t e l l e .  P h i l g o t B i l l a j o b i n a b o o k s t o r e i n New Haven . . . . T h a t ' s w h e r e B i l l w e n t t o g e t a s f a r away a s p o s s i b l e when h e f o u n d h e ' d l o s t E s t e l l e . He m u s t h a v e gone t h r o u g h t o r m e n t i n t h a t s t r a n g e l a n d w i t h h i s w h o l e w o r l d gone t o p o t . He countedt h e d a y s a s E s t e l l e ' s w e d d i n g a p p r o a c h e d , a n d when t h a t d e e d was a c c o m p l i s h e d h e j o i n e d t h e R o y a l Flying Corps. 3  Quentin  0  a l s o goes t h r o u g h  w h o l e w o r l d gone t o p o t . " whelming evidence and  torment i n a strange land "with h i s Admittedly, this  I s not over-  o f a c o n n e c t i o n between t h e a u t h o r ' s  h i s a r t ; but i t i s Interesting  t o note  that  life  although  F a u l k n e r d i d n o t go t o C a m b r i d g e , h e d i d r e s i d e i n New Haven during this period of personal c r i s i s ,  working  at the Yale  92  bookstore, rather interesting  than attending  to note that Faulkner's  Force coincides with d e c i s i o n may  be  a patriotic  and  depicted  Harvard.  enlistment  E s t e l l e ' s wedding.  r e g a r d e d as  i n the  Although  fiction  as  i t is  "Mr.  one  one  S i d n e y H e r b e r t Head on  thousand nine  Mississippi"  (112).  I do  of h i s c h a r a c t e r s  ness of the  author flows  h u n d r e d and  (96).  dramatic impersonality. hood t h a t F a u l k n e r a d o l e s c e n c e and  has  "Mr.  since  but  been f u l l y  beyond h i s  achieving  with  conscious-  created  a kind  of  I would, however, suggest the projected  the d e s p a i r  of h i s  consciousness  likeli-  own of  I t i s i n h i s s e c t i o n t h a t the problems a r i s t o c r a c y are  whatever personal  turbulence  of  intensely  the  author  felt  transmuted i n t o h i s a r t .  Accordingly explainable  their  Jefferson  I b e l i e v e t h a t the  t h r o u g h and  d i s p l a c e d ' sons of a f a i l e d  confronted;  and  t w e n t y - f i f t h of  ten at  y o u n g manhood i n t o t h e  Q u e n t i n Compson.  the  two  Jason  not w i s h to equate Faulkner  p r o j e c t i o n s , m a k i n g them a l i v e and  is  Mrs.  J a s o n R i c h m o n d Compson a n n o u n c e t h e m a r r i a g e o f  April,  has  following  and  R i c h m o n d Compson a n n o u n c e t h e m a r r i a g e o f "  the  of  existence.  e x c l a m a t i o n s i n the Quentin s e c t i o n :  d a u g h t e r t o Mr.  of  frequently  There i s a s p e c i a l i n t e n s i t y about the  any  the  a reckless courting  death to escape from the problems of  Mrs.  Air  the p e r f e c t l y n a t u r a l c h o i c e  p h y s i c a l l y a c t i v e man,  i n Faulkner's  It i s also  the  i n t e n s i t y of the wedding  w i t h i n the  wedding r e p r e s e n t s  context  of the  to Quentin h i s f i n a l ,  novel.  announcement Caddy's  irrevocable  loss  93 o f t h e o n l y woman h e h a s e v e r b e e n a b l e t o c a r e f o r .  The  c o n t r a s t between t h e f o r m a l i t y o f t h e wedding announcement and  t h e a g i t a t i o n t h e event causes  evokes a s t a t e o f t e n s i o n .  i n Quentin's  This r e f l e c t s  consciousness  the difference  between t h e e x t e r n a l appearance o f e v e n t s and t h e i r i n n e r reality.  The c o n t r a s t i s p o i g n a n t b e c a u s e t h e f o r m a l  a n n o u n c e m e n t s u g g e s t s somehow t h a t a w e d d i n g s h o u l d be a fulfillment,  a n d t h a t t h e Compsons a r e t r y i n g  t h a t were t h e c a s e ; b u t i n t h i s  t o a c tas i f  i n s t a n c e i t i s an a c t o f  n e c e s s i t y f o r Caddy a n d a d e a t h w a r r a n t f o r Q u e n t i n . Shreve  When  s e e s Q u e n t i n d r e s s e d i n a s u i t he a s k s , " L a i t a  wedding o r a wake?"  ( 1 0 1 ) Though u n o b t r u s i v e , t h e q u e s t i o n  i s a resonant one.  I t suggests t h a t t h e wedding o f h i s  s i s t e r means d e a t h f o r Q u e n t i n . Quentin's only f u l f i l l m e n t w i l l  I talso implies  that  be t h e n e g a t i v e o n e o f h i s  own d e a t h , a s he p l u n g e s down i n t o t h e r i v e r b e d . Unable t o b e l i e v e i n t h e C h r i s t i a n f a i t h o f h i s a n c e s t o r s , Q u e n t i n c a n f i n d no s a t i s f a c t o r y a l t e r n a t i v e t o sustain himself.  The f o l l o w i n g  statement which occurs  near  t h e end o f h i s monologue i s t h e c u l m i n a t i n g e x p r e s s i o n o f h i s agony o f d i s b e l i e f : . . . b u t F a t h e r s a i d . . . he c e r t a i n l y c o u l d b o a r d a n d l o d g e U n c l e M a u r y now a n d t h e n a n d l e n d h i m a l i t t l e money who k e p t h i s F a t h e r ' s b e l i e f i n t h e c e l e s t i a l d e r i v a t i o n o f h i s own s p e c i e s a t s u c h a f i n e heat t h e n Mother would c r y and s a y t h a t F a t h e r b e l i e v e d h i s p e o p l e were b e t t e r t h a n h e r s t h a t he was r i d i c u l i n g U n c l e M a u r y t o t e a c h u s t h e same t h i n g s h e c o u l d n ' t s e e t h a t F a t h e r was t e a c h i n g u s t h a t a l l men a r e j u s t a c c u m u l a t i o n s d o l l s s t u f f e d w i t h s a w d u s t s w e p t up f r o m t h e t r a s h h e a p s w h e r e a l l  94  p r e v i o u s d o l l s had been t h r o w n away t h e s a w d u s t f l o w i n g f r o m what wound i n what s i d e t h a t n o t f o r me d i e d n o t . In t h i s father  passage Quentin is nihilistic  self-pitying,  and  one,  parasitic.  strength within himself.  reflecting  There i s a l a c k of b e l i e f  i n mankind  visualized  stuffed  a s mere " d o l l s  or progress Jesus. implies but  o f any  I n The  sort,  Sound  and  not only the  with  Compson. are  sawdust"),  the absence of  i n growth  resurrection,  and  Jesus  In the c o n c l u d i n g s e c t i o n of  Easter  i t s theme o f d e a t h  D i l s e y who  in  i n Christian doctrine,  implicitly  i t s f o c u s on  o f Mr.  the  l a c k of b e l i e f  that  p a s s a g e i s an  and  Fury  Quentin  (human b e i n g s  novel Faulkner w i l l  with  is  i n death  the absence of l o v e .  service with  nor  It is significant  tone  and  T h e r e i s no  i n the quoted  the mocking  His  h i s mother q u e r u l o u s  f a m i l y t o s u s t a i n him;  the only reference to b e l i e f ironic  a climax of negation.  embittered,  h i s u n c l e weak and  s t r e n g t h w i t h i n the able to f i n d  expresses  (194)  contrast this and  i s a believer  the  passage to  the  resurrection  and  and  i s able  to  love. The  intensity  of the passage quoted  that Quentin  has  vitality.  intellectual  resources  that  his potential  that  "Quentin's  its  technical  Quentin  are d i r e c t e d  of  and  self-destructively,  realized.  R i c h a r d Adams  i s t h e most i n t e n s e o f t h e  containment  i s t h e o n l y one  suggests  Unfortunately his energies  i s never  section  above  . . . energy."  3 2  so  suggests  four i n  T h i s i s because  o f t h e t h r e e b r o t h e r s who  has  the  95 potentiality Benjy will  i s physiologically later  Quentin to  to b r i n g order  alone  has  those  P a r t Two  o f h i s b r o t h e r s and that the  brother capable  despair  and  , The of and is  generates  a r o u n d him,  Holden C a u l f i e l d  from  J. Alfred  a r o u n d any  Prufrock are presented  Faulkner,  possibilities.  Quentin's second  section  section  Adams s a y s  takes when  i n keeping  the  by  Spoade's c o n f i d e n c e o r  of f o u r .  Prufrock,  Whereas M i s s  and  There  are  treatment  of  Lonelyhearts  as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f  i n the  as one fact  to  organize  o f a number that  Moreover, w i t h i n  flexibility  the  alternatives.  could successfully  Shreve's  sensitive  t o change i t ,  Faulkner's  t h e r e a r e a number o f  that " I f Quentin  too  with his r e f u s a l  This i s reflected  itself  but  aware  literature.  center, presents Quentin  i s b u t one  painfully  are n o t a b l e examples.  h i s contemporaries.  single  within  i s lost  effort  Lonelyhearts, E l i o t ' s  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which d i s t i n g u i s h  modern man,  of  the world  person,  i n twentieth century  West's M i s s  this motif and  intelligent  s e l f - c o n s c i o u s t o make a s i g n i f i c a n t  Salinger's  the energy  battle  and  section  s t r u g g l e f o r meaning The  I  suicide.  image o f an  a r e c u r r e n t one  experience  o f making a c h o i c e i s overwhelmed  what i s wrong w i t h  Nathanael  two  chooses  from  as  growth.  What d i s t i n g u i s h e s Q u e n t i n ' s  place within his consciousness. only  incapable of  the c a p a c i t y to l e a r n  i s the f a c t  world.  i n c a p a c i t a t e d , whereas J a s o n ,  show, i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y  act accordingly.  from  t o t h e c h a o t i c Compson  emulate  he m i g h t be  either able  96  to s u r v i v e . "  3 3  Adams i s c o r r e c t i n suggesting  students are o p p o s i t e s , "flexible"  t h a t the  though h i s terming of Shreve as  seems imprecise  to  me.  Spoade i s a Southerner i n h i s s e n i o r year who r e p u t a t i o n f o r remaining u n r u f f l e d . p r e t e n t i o u s Mrs. of a p r e s e n t  two  He  has  i s the envy of  a  the  Bland " f o r having f i v e names, i n c l u d i n g t h a t  E n g l i s h d u c a l house"  (110-111).  Although  Spoade i s a descendant of an a r i s t o c r a t i c f a m i l y , he appears t o be a b l e t o a d j u s t to d i v e r s e c i r c u m s t a n c e s . passage suggests h i s motion as he Shreve rushes to i t and  The  s t r o l l s to chapel,  following while  Quentin s t a y s behind: "Spoade was  the middle of them l i k e a t e r r a p i n i n a s t r e e t f u l l  in  of  s c u t t e r i n g dead l e a v e s , h i s c o l l a r about h i s e a r s , moving a t h i s customary u n h u r r i e d  walk"  (98).  Spoade always seems  to be i n c o n t r o l of a s i t u a t i o n .  His r e s t r a i n t and  wit are i n c o n t r a s t to Shreve who  i s a Canadian, a freshman  and  a frank straightforward  person.  The  sardonic  c o n t r a s t i s made  c l e a r i n the town c o u r t , when Shreve i n d i g n a n t l y  protests  the f i n e and  Spoade i n s i s t s t h a t Quentin p l a y the game and  pay  Southerner has  up.  The  behavior which enables him s a r d o n i c wit i s e v i d e n t  (185).  Bud,  you  a mode of  to f u n c t i o n s u c c e s s f u l l y .  His  i n h i s comment to Quentin a f t e r the  l a t t e r ' s f i g h t w i t h Bland. of dames.  s o c i a l grace and  "Oh,"  Spoade s a i d , "the  e x c i t e not o n l y admiration,  but  champion horror."  Shreve, though l a c k i n g the Southerner's s o c i a l grace  also functions s a t i s f a c t o r i l y .  Thus Spoade, through  97  r e s t r a i n t and d i s t a n c e from people, and Shreve, his  ingenuous  involvement,  whereas Quentin can not. of  seem a b l e to cope w i t h F a u l k n e r ' s sense of the  life range  human p o s s i b i l i t i e s d i s t i n g u i s h e s h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n  from E l i o t ' s i n "The Lovesong  of J . A l f r e d P r u f r o c k , "  where no a l t e r n a t i v e i s v i s u a l i z e d to  through  [ i n contemporary  life]  the s t e r i l i t y of the p r o t a g o n i s t . The o t h e r d i s t i n g u i s h i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i n  F a u l k n e r ' s treatment i s the i r r e s o l v a b l e ambivalence Quentin, conveyed  through the simultaneous sense of  involvement and detachment from him.  Whereas P r u f r o c k and  Miss L o n e l y h e a r t s u l t i m a t e l y become p a t h e t i c of  t h e i r own  and h o r r o r . "  caricatures  i d e a l s , Quentin does " e x c i t e both a d m i r a t i o n Adams suggests t h a t though Quentin's  comings are e v i d e n t we sensitive,  in  c a r e f o r him  "because  he i s so  so n a i v e l y innocent, so i n t e l l i g e n t , and  completely and i n e v i t a b l y doomed.  short-  so  He i s d r i v e n t o s u i c i d e  by h i s i n a b i l i t y to accept the i l l e g i t i m a t e pregnancy  of  his  from  s i s t e r Caddy, and more g e n e r a l l y by h i s r e v u l s i o n  any k i n d o f mature sexual a c t i v i t y . " * 3 1  Caddy's s e x u a l i t y i s as much a t h r e a t to Quentin as it  i s t o Benjy.  The  i d i o t - c h i l d p r o t e s t s a g a i n s t i t "because  it  t h r e a t e n e d to d e p r i v e him of Caddy's l o v e .  When Caddy  smelled l i k e t r e e s he c o u l d r e t u r n to the s e c u r i t y of t h e i r childhood y e a r s . "  3 5  Quentin's r e l a t i o n s h i p to Caddy i s  p a r a l l e l but more c o m p l i c a t e d .  He too p r o t e s t s a g a i n s t h i s  98  sister's  s e x u a l i t y , longing f o rthe c e r t a i n t i e s of childhood.  I h a v e s u g g e s t e d t h a t o n e r e a s o n f o r h i s l o n g i n g i s t h a t he yearns f o r the n a t u r a l f a i t h o f the innocent.  His desire to  return to a childhood  state i s also a manifestation of h i s  inability  sex, which "throughout t h e novel  to confront  t h r e a t t o s e c u r i t y and p e a c e . " idealists, McCaslin,  3 6  Like other  i sa  Faulknerian  i n c l u d i n g w i t h some v a r i a t i o n B y r o n B u n c h , and G a v i n Stephens, Q u e n t i n i s s a d l y  Isaac  celibate.  Adams s a y s t h a t " F a u l k n e r ' s m a l e c h a r a c t e r s g e n e r a l l y f e a r and  avoid the ' t e r r i b l e '  more s p e c i f i c a l l y Faulkner's difficult  commitment"  t o sex.  idealists  w h i c h i s t o l i f e , and  3 7  I t i s more a c c u r a t e  t o say that  f e a r making l o v e and u s u a l l y f i n d i t  t o a t t r a c t women; o f t e n t h e y w a t c h w i t h  chagrin  l e s s s e n s i t i v e r i v a l s who l a c k b o t h t h e i d e a l i s m a n d t h e difficulty novels  i n having  Faulkner  r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h women.  In several  p o r t r a y s a t r i a n g l e i n w h i c h two men c o m p e t e  f o r a woman whose n a t u r a l i n c l i n a t i o n s e n s i t i v e a n d more p h y s i c a l man.  i s to prefer the less  Q u e n t i n Compson-Caddy-  D a l t o n Ames, B y r o n B u n c h - L e n a G r o v e - L u c a s B u r c h , a n d G a v i n S t e p h e n s - E u l a V a r n e r - M a n f r e d De S p a i n this kind of interrelationship. is  a r e t h r e e examples o f  The p r o b l e m o f t h e i d e a l i s t  e x p l o r e d most f u l l y w i t h i n Q u e n t i n ' s  T o r m e n t e d by t h o u g h t s o f h i s v i r g i n i t y cuity,  he l o n g s  consciousness. and Caddy's p r o m i s -  f o r t h e d a y s when n e i t h e r was a p r o b l e m .  V o l p e ' s w o r d s , "He f i n d s c o m f o r t o n l y hood s e x l e s s n e s s . "  3 8  This  In  i n t h e thought of c h i l d -  e x p l a i n s why Q u e n t i n s a y s t o t h e  99 little The  Italian  child,"Poor  r e m a r k comes a f t e r  young  b o y s who by  who  been f r i e n d l y  had  the presence  fragility  of  child  Quentin's  of  and  the  grass  panting  being  have been  swimming of  a girl.  earlier  the  and  rain  Caddy  like  comment t o t h e  of  child  Caddy  has  done),  inevitably  nude and  three  are  hostility  from  boys the  vulnerability  sex  w i t h water  remind  "We  the  of  lay  on my  indicates  losing  the  The  shot  i n the unfortunate s i t u a t i o n  (157).  afternoon suggests  fought.  eold  a girl"  s p l a s h e d by  The  i n the  association  just  i n the  human r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  t i m e when he  Quentin's  they  have been  annoyed  k i d , you're  back"  that  having  her  in  he  of  the him  wet  (157). sees  her  t o g r o w up  innocence  and  as  (as  her  virginity. It  i s clear  rejecting  nothing less  is  after  to  adolescence  and  from  a l l t o be  losses.  and  But  this than  reaction life  Quentin  fails  irony  of  himself  sees  The  Benjy's  and  in  feeling  of  a  standing  and  the  t h e embodiment o f  than  To  be  His angle  the  i s the  ambivalence  necessary  fact  ambivalence  of v i s i o n  more comprehensive. isolation.  "just  Yet  girl"  gains the  distorted  the change. that  of  the  i s b o t h more  Quentin growth  i t could lead of  An i s of  distorted  His knowledge  t o cope w i t h the d e c l i n e  a  childhood  in  His perspective i s  Fury  i s  To m o v e f r o m  only the negative aspects of  Sound  consciousness.  Quentin  i s to experience both t o see  development of consciousness. b e c a u s e he  itself.  blessed with l i f e . to adulthood  that  results  to the the  under-  Compsons.  100  Quentin also  i s more c u t o f f from  capable of acting  people  such  with  as the l i t t l e  self-centeredness,  lacks  he,  himself,  this  that rium,  on t h e l e v e l  ballast,  imbalance states  moments" Caddy  failure  f o r the nervous,  H u n t who  4 0  3 9  There  that  notes  Quentin's  concept  Two.  that  leap.  4 1  down.  lies with  events  I n the Appendix honor  This suggests  symbol  at  of John  crucial  sex and t h e s t a i n  also  a l lthese  o f Compson  of Quentin's  physical  evident i n the episode  ( i n which Quentin  are lacking i n  prostration  symbol  seal that  said  "equilib-  I t i s commented on by  "Quentin's  on t h e nose o f a t r a i n e d  thought  which  N i e t z s c h e has  intellectual  i s a literal  B l a n d and t h e encounter  death  crashing  Strangely  of consciousness.  i n Section  Quentin's  arily  himself.  o f understanding l e a v e s him  i s a recurrent  perceptively  he«can n o t  and p e r p e n d i c u l a r s t a b i l i t y  a t t h e hog w a l l o w  with  i n his blind  since  over-sensitive  ment a r e a s s o c i a t e d ) . fight  capacity  Benjy,  toward  can not recognize.  body and s o u l . " this  and compassion  girl.  a p a r t from  b u t he i s  i s t h e embodiment o f an ambivalence  Quentin's unbalanced  than Benjy,  generosity  Italian  conceive of other people enough, Q u e n t i n  people  prostrate  with  of excreafter  Dalton Mes.  the  Hunt  are forerunners of Faulkner  to a ball  compares  resting  a n d doomed  t o come  i n 1945 t h e a u t h o r  c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n terms  tempor-  s t i l l  of a lack of  balance. His  lack  of physical  and p s y c h i c b a l a n c e  i s contrasted  .101  to  the e q u i l i b r i u m of the t r o u t i n the r i v e r  in  the c u r r e n t s of a i r (136).  and  This particular  the  mayflies  contrast i s  p a r t of a l a r g e r p a t t e r n of o p p o s i t i o n s i n the novel. t r o u t e m b o d i e s m o t i o n and  s t i l l n e s s , moving e a s i l y  The  i n the  c u r r e n t of the C h a r l e s R i v e r , which suggests the stream of life river  i n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h e book. that sustains the t r o u t .  Quentin i s watching the f i s h , burning i n e t e r n a l flames w i t h  Q u e n t i n d r o w n s i n t h e same In the f o l l o w i n g  passage  w h i l e he v i s u a l i z e s h i m s e l f Caddy:  t h e n I saw a shadow h a n g i n g l i k e a f a t a r r o w stemming i n t o t h e c u r r e n t . M a y f l i e s skimmed i n a n d o u t o f t h e shadow o f t h e b r i d g e j u s t a b o v e t h e surface. If it could just be a hell beyond that: the clean flame the two of us more than dead. Then you w i l l have only me then only me then the two of us amid the pointing and the horror beyond the clean flame. The a r r o w i n c r e a s e d w i t h o u t m o t i o n , then i n a quick s w i r l the t r o u t l i p p e d a f l y beneath the surface with that sort of g i g a n t i c d e l i c a c y of an e l e p h a n t p i c k i n g up a p e a n u t . The f a d i n g v o r t e x d r i f t e d away down s t r e a m and t h e n I saw t h e a r r o w a g a i n , nose i n t o the c u r r e n t , wavering d e l i c a t e l y to t h e m o t i o n o f t h e w a t e r above w h i c h t h e M a y f l i e s s l a n t e d a n d p o i s e d . Only you and me then amid the pointing and the horror walled by the clean flame The t r o u t h u n g , d e l i c a t e and m o t i o n l e s s among the w a v e r i n g shadows. (135-136) The is  trout,  i n i t s c o m b i n i n g o f m o t i o n and  an image o f l i f e .  So g r a c e f u l a n d e f f o r t l e s s  m o t i o n t h a t i t s c a r c e l y seems t o be m o v i n g .  tranquility, isits  Yet i t i s here  p i c t u r e d a s m a k i n g t h e movement n e c e s s a r y t o s u s t a i n Quentin i s e x a c t l y the o p p o s i t e .  A l t h o u g h he i s s o m e t i m e s  p o r t r a y e d t h r o u g h i m a g e s o f s t a g n a n c y he i s a l s o as w a l k i n g , r i d i n g  in a trolley,  itself.  and  sitting  rendered  i n t h e back  seat  102  of  a c a r d r i v e n by G e r a l d B l a n d .  m u l l i n g over experience.  H i s mind i s c o n s t a n t l y  Yet Q u e n t i n does not g e t anywhere  i n the sense o f making p r o g r e s s .  This i s indicated  by  the  r e p e t i t i o n of the thought i t a l i c i z e d i n the passage  cited  above.  t o move  Whereas t h e f i s h p r o g r e s s e s w i t h o u t seeming  Q u e n t i n seems t o move b u t f a i l s t o p r o g r e s s . I t i s a l s o p o s s i b l e t o draw a c o n t r a s t between the c i r c u l a r m o t i o n o f t h e t r o u t and o f Q u e n t i n . the  I n my  opinion,  v o r t e x - l i k e movement o f t h e t r o u t s u g g e s t s t h a t i t i s i n  harmony w i t h i t s e n v i r o n m e n t  and w i t h t h e l i f e - c y c l e  itself.  D u n c a n A s w e l l h a s n o t e d t h a t a l l t h e Compson b r o t h e r s t r a v e l in circles. wandering  He o b s e r v e s t h a t Q u e n t i n ' s  and  "aimless, compulsive  the scrupulous a t t e n t i o n to p e t t y d e t a i l  on  w h i c h h i s m o n o l o g u e c l o s e s mock h i s d e s i r e f o r a c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h e t e r n i t y , a way  out of the c i r c l e . " *  is  which  between t h e l i f e - c y c l e  1  c o n t i n u o u s movement f r o m one v i c i o u s c i r c l e w h i c h may  following  The  i n v o l v e s harmonious  contrast and  p h a s e t o a n o t h e r and. t h e  be t a k e n a s a m e t a p h o r o f b e i n g  i m p r i s o n e d w i t h i n o n e ' s own The  2  ego a n d  cut o f f from  life.  s t a t e m e n t by M e l v i n Backman h e l p s t o  e s t a b l i s h t h e c o n n e c t i o n between Q u e n t i n ' s o b s e s s i o n s and metaphor o f the v i c i o u s  circle:  A t t h e same t i m e t h a t he s t r u g g l e s a g a i n s t c e r t a i n m e m o r i e s , a s i f he w i s h e d t o o b l i t e r a t e them f r o m h i s c o n s c i o u s n e s s , he seems c o m p e l l e d t o r e l i v e them. The b r o k e n s e q u e n c e o f h i s m e m o r i e s and t h o u g h t s conveys a sense o f d i s i n t e g r a t i o n as w e l l as a r e l u c t a n c e t o r e c a l l p a i n f u l memories; their r e p e t i t i o n and c i r c l i n g movement s u g g e s t a c o m p u l s i v e r e t u r n to the source of a deep-rooted f r u s t r a t i o n . * 1  3  the  103  Quentin keeps c i r c l i n g b e c a u s e he he  has  back t o the  same m e m o r i e s o f  been u n a b l e t o s a t i s f a c t o r i l y  t h i n k s o f as her  a s t r e a m t h a t has  promiscuity.  cope w i t h  what  His consciousness i s  like  encountered a b a r r i e r i t cannot  Instead  of  pattern  i n ever c o n s t r i c t i n g c i r c l e s .  the  as  pleasure,  the  states that  "the  repeating  i n the  the  " o f an  activity  "Under c o n d i t i o n s  neurotic  imaginary world  etc.  of  i s the  1  him  alien-  to  the  Quentin's  5  to withdraw i n t o This  be  withdrawal to  further  r e g a r d e d as  consciousness.  nothingness of o b l i t e r a t i o n ,  a  Its  the  circle  zero. I n l a t e r w o r k s , s u c h as Light  Faulkner life  future." *  c i r c l e may  a death-oriented  4 1  which  to cope w h i c h l e a d s  vicious  pleasure." *  commits him  h i s problems leads  The  he  the r e p e t i t i o n -  past,  of i d e a l i z e d childhood.  metaphor r e f l e c t i n g culmination  to the  past i n the  results in a further failure withdrawal,  Brown t e r m s  original  of r e p r e s s i o n  f r o m t h e p r e s e n t and  f a i l u r e t o cope w i t h  same  t h a t once brought  hope o f d u p l i c a t i n g t h e  unconscious quest f o r the  an  Norman 0.  the  r e p e t i t i o n compulsion," which  compulsion e s t a b l i s h e s a f i x a t i o n ates  surmount.  i t w h i r l s around r e p e a t i n g  resultant behavior  defines  He  f l o w i n g on,  Caddy  that the  August  and  d e v e l o p s the c o n t r a s t i n g metaphor of the  that i s everything  nothing  in  more f u l l y pattern  and  and  the  The circle  c i r c l e of death t h a t  p e r h a p s more c o n s c i o u s l y .  becomes more e x p l i c i t  a f t e r h i s d e p t h e x p l o r a t i o n i n The  and  the  Fury  of  is  I t may  i n works t h a t  Sound  Bear,  be  come because  104  t h e a u t h o r h a s become more c o n s c i o u s o f t h e n a t u r e o f h i s own  perceptions.  The m e a n i n g l e s s c i r c l i n g  f o r example i s not as e x p l i c i t l y r e l a t e d  of the  clocks,  to Quentin's  c o n s c i o u s n e s s as t h e image o f t h e u r n i s t o Lena Grove. c i r c u l a r p a t t e r n of h i s meandering  The  i s n o t made as c l e a r i n  h i s s e c t i o n a s i t i s i n t h e c a s e o f J o e C h r i s t m a s i n Light August,  whose e x t e r n a l w a n d e r i n g s  also reflect  the c i r c l e  of of  d e a t h w i t h i n w h i c h he i s t r a p p e d . The m e t a p h o r i s t r a d i t i o n a l a n d i s f u l l y a w o r k s u c h a s King  Lear,where  the c i r c l e  developed i n  represents the  shape o f t h e u n i v e r s e , t h e sun, L e a r ' s g o l d e n crown, h i s head  ( r e f e r r e d t o as h i s " b a l d c r o w n " ) , the e y e - b a l l  t h e shape o f t h e t o r n a d o - l i k e s t o r m . of the metaphor d i f f e r s  Faulkner's treatment  i n two ways f r o m t h e more  t r e a t m e n t i n King  circle  as a symbol o f p e r f e c t i o n and n e g a t i o n i s based t h a t t h e m i c r o c o s m i c u n i t o f man  t h e macrocosm o f t h e u n i v e r s e . symbol  In Shakespeare's  tradi-  tional  society's belief  Lear.  and  It is,  works the on  reflects  i n o t h e r words,  a  b a s e d on a c o n c e p t t h a t members o f s o c i e t y s h a r e i n  common w i t h e a c h o t h e r a s an a s s u m e d t r u t h . t h e p l a n e t s i n t h e heavens  The movement o f  and t h e shape o f t h e I n f e r n o were  b o t h t h o u g h t t o be c i r c u l a r .  In contrast, Faulkner's novels  a r e an a t t e m p t t o d e a l w i t h t h e b a s i c human d i l e m m a t h a t a l l i n d i v i d u a l s p e r c e i v e t r u t h d i f f e r e n t l y , not s h a r i n g foundation of b e l i e f  i n common w i t h e a c h o t h e r .  any  There  c o n s e q u e n t l y no g i v e n s y m b o l s , b u t o n l y t h o s e w h i c h a r e  are  105  discovered circle  the p e r c e i v e r  i s not  unfolds The  by  a given  from the  i n t h e t e x t u r e o f the work.  s y m b o l as  i n the p l a y but  one  deepest l e v e l of the author's  consciousness.  second d i f f e r e n c e i n the treatment of the  from t r a d i t i o n a l works i s the d i s t i n g u i s h e s the Sound  and  the  e m p h a s i s on  f u n c t i o n i n g of the  Fury  and  Light  in  l i f e - c y c l e of  C o r d e l i a as  the  and  Regan.  In the play  the  characters.  existence.  The  consciousness  s u n s h i n e and  rain i s associated  storm i s w i t h the v i o l e n t passions  e m p h a s i s has  novels  characters  shifted  somewhat f r o m  how  f r o m what a n g l e o f v i s i o n a c h a r a c t e r  i n The  Sound  incest.  and  the  Fury  i s a manifestation  obsessed consciousness returns  burning  Goneril  to the  a breakthrough i n t o  of  perceive  sees b a d l y ,  As  with  the metaphor i s  w e l l or  ever achieving  of  character  Whereas i n  s i g h t suggests whether a c h a r a c t e r  book t h e v i c i o u s c i r c l e  Lear.  the metaphor r e f l e c t s the nature  In the F a u l k n e r i a n  of  The  f r o m t h a t o f King  p o r t r a y a l toward e x p l o r a t i o n of consciousness. the motif  in  that  i s i n degree r a t h e r than i n  more d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o t h e way  and  the  circle  c i r c u l a r motif  August  I believe that this distinction k i n d ; the  of  reader.  The  Lear  that  r e s u l t i s to emphasize the process of p e r c e p t i o n  a u t h o r and  The  sees  i t indicates sees.  o f t h e way  same t h o u g h t s  In  the  Quentin's without  self-insight.  Q u e n t i n w a t c h e s t h e t r o u t , he v i s u a l i z e s h i m s e l f  i n H e l l w i t h Caddy f o r h a v i n g The  imagined s t a s i s of the  committed the  Hell  fires  s i n of  i s in contrast  106  to  the flowing  and  y e t a constant.  associated  with  manifestation The symbolic  a  of the river Incest,  thing than  in  literal.  a knife  has remarked  better  than  t o Caddy's  both h e r and himself. fumbles h i spenknife n e v e r makes it  love  Like  Prufrock, of either  be an a s s e r t i o n o f  t o do a d e s t r u c t i v e at a l l .  contemplating  a c ti s ,  Quentin murdering  s h e o f f e r s no r e s i s t a n c e  at the crucial  moment  t o a woman, b r o o d i n g  (170-171).  instead  "Why  he  He  couldn't  h a v e b e e n me a n d n o t h e r who i s u n v i r g i n " ( 9 7 ) . As  Quentin.  Caddy  h a s grown up s h e h a s become  The f o c u s o f h e r l o v e  toward  a whole  Ames.  This  series of boyfriends  i n t o a woman.  Caddy's p r o m i s c u i t y strictures Caddy  i s also  of the frigid  finds a v i t a l i t y  lacking  has s h i f t e d  I would i n part  independent o f from  culminating  change c a n be seen a s p a r t  ment o f a g i r l  and  Although  of  The p e r f o r m a n c e  t o do n o t h i n g throat,  the incest i s  i s incapable  one would  that  4 6  hissister.  t o "murder o r c r e a t e . "  Eliot  I t i s the central  i s that  Quentin  the act of incest with  one sense,  holds  death.  t o be n o t e d  i n flux  consciousness, i s  development.  creative actor a destructive  himself.  i s always  i n Quentin's  of h i sthwarted  rather  i s unable  which  s u f f e r i n g and w i t h  first  committing he  waters  her  i n Dalton  of the natural like  brother  to suggest  developthat  a revolt against the  a n d s e l f - r i g h t e o u s M r s . Compson.  i n some o f t h e t o w n b o y s t h a t i s  i n h e r own f a m i l y  with  i t s Puritanic rigidities.  i t s aristocratic While  never  pretensions  losing her affec-  107  tion  for Quentin,  many w a y s i s t h e an  she does  His  direct and  belief  contrast  ease  friend  high  love flesh  sexual  idealization.  relations with  with  idealization  The impulse from  the. i d e a  the  association similar  to idealize  realities  where Q u e n t i n (155-156).  imagery  He o b s e r v e s  lies  He a l s o  with  Q u e n t i n v i s u a l i z e d Caddy  Ames'  i s i n  casualness  Caddy's  may b e s e e n  of existence.  arms, P r u f r o c k  o f swine  that  that  manifests  i t i s a t the  with  light  Quentin's  i sevidence  both  of a  hogwallow  herand himself  t h ef o l l o w i n g passage copulating  Being i n  Dalton  in  which  Ames:  "Did y o u e v e r d r i n k perfume?" Spoade s a i d . with, one hand he aould l i f t her to his shoulder and run with her running Running "No," Shreve s a i d . running the beast with two backs and she blurred in the winking oars running the swine of Euboeleus running coupled wit'hin how many Caddy " N e i t h e r d i d I , " Spoade s a i d . I dont know too many there was something terrible in me terrible in me Father I have committed Backman p o i n t s witnesses  outthat  boy-  asone  "downed w i t h  Caddy b e f o u l i n g  cites  (179)  women c o n t r a s t s t o  Backman a r g u e s c o n v i n c i n g l y  feeling.  than o f  o f women a n d h i s v i r g i n i t y a r e  o f bare white  o f sexwith  Ames i s  i scerebral.  r e v u l s i o n a t t h e t h o u g h t o f arms  brown h a i r . "  Dalton  and his v i r g i n i t y .  i sa s p h y s i c a l a s h e r b r o t h e r  o f escaping  a man who i n  women a r e " a l l b i t c h e s "  seriousness  interrelated.  with  a s a man o f a c t i o n r a t h e r  t o Quentin's  Quentin's  way  that  i nhaving  Quentin's  i nlove  a n t i t h e s i s of herbrother.  ex-soldier, portrayed  words.  fall  i t i st h eswineherd,  t h er a p e o f Persephone.  (167)  E u b o e l e u s , who  "The b e a s t w i t h two  108  backs" states and  i s Iago's c y n i c a l r e f e r e n c e to love making.  1 , 7  that  t h i s p a s s a g e r e f l e c t s "a  suggests that  revulsion  from  The  sex."  the  idea  love  with,  with  h i s own  of  not  incest.  the  act  I t i s the  His  idea  that  as  f e e l i n g s l e a d , not  expression of h i s p e c u l i a r  narcissism."  4 9  I t i s t h e o r e t i c a l sex  d r a w i n g him  further  and  further  death leap which i s h i s ultimate Walter Brylowski Andrew L y t l e t h a t withdrawal.  clarifies  A l t h o u g h the  b o o k , e n t i t l e d The and  the  has  Velvet  is in  that  be  s e l f - l o v e , or  away f r o m r e a l i t y  Quentin,  until  the  withdrawal. novelist  c o n n e c t i o n between i n c e s t  quotation Horn,  that  taken  c i t e d a passage from the the  into  in stating  fascinates  narcissistic  love  toward  to withdrawal  Thompson i s t h u s c o r r e c t  an  obsession  Quentin i s i n  Q u e n t i n ' s " i n c e s t u o u s a t t i t u d e t o w a r d Caddy can symbolically  nausea  deep-rooted  I n o t h e r w o r d s , he  Caddy o r a n y o n e e l s e , b u t  fantasies.  a  i s manifest i n Quentin's  itself.  concepts.  relations with  experiencing  sexual  4 8  flesh revulsion  with  h i s own  Q u e n t i n was  f e e l i n g of  Backman  r e f e r s to L y t l e " s  i t applies  w e l l t o The  own Sound  Fury.  The b r o t h e r s and s i s t e r , u n d e r t h e g u i d a n c e of the e l d e s t , withdrew from the s t r e s s e s of f o r m a l s o c i e t y i n an e f f o r t t o r e t u r n t o t h e e q u i l i b r i u m o f i n n o c e n c e and w h o l e n e s s . T h i s i s an h a b i t u a l i m p u l s e , t h e r e f u s a l t o engage i n t h e c o o p e r a t i n g o p p o s i t e s t h a t make l i f e . I t i s a l s o as i l l u s o r y as any G o l d e n Age, and f o r b i d d e n by d i v i n e and human l a w . . . . The s y m b o l f o r t h i s i s i n c e s t . I t n e e d n o t be f a c t , b u t i t i s s y m b o l . . . 5 0  E r i c h Neumann i n The  Origins  and  History  of  and  Consciousness  109  also suggests  t h e c o n n e c t i o n b e t w e e n i n c e s t and  B e c a u s e h i s s t u d y f o c u s s e s more on b e t w e e n t h e s o n and t o The  Sound  and  the  daughter  relations  the mother f i g u r e i t a p p l i e s l e s s Fury  than the passage c i t e d  i s nontheless pertinent. wife,and  incestuous  withdrawal.  above.  It  Neumann s t a t e s t h a t " M o t h e r ,  are the f o u r n a t u r a l elements  r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n men  directly  and  women . . . .  in  sister,  any  e a c h has i t s  l e g i t i m a t e place i n the development—and misdevelopment— the i n d i v i d u a l . "  5 1  Man  must p r o g r e s s  through  the f i r s t  of two  s t a g e s i f he i s t o s u c c e s s f u l l y a c h i e v e t h e t h i r d .  Neumann  sees t h e s i s t e r  and  the  r e l a t i o n s h i p as a t r a n s i t i o n between t h e son-mother  and  f i g u r e as a p o t e n t i a l  husband-wife r e l a t i o n s h i p .  He  soul-mate  suggests  that adolescence  a p r e c a r i o u s t i m e b e c a u s e t h e a d o l e s c e n t ' s ego developed.  He  asserts that there i s a temptation at  t i m e t o r e g r e s s t o a s t a g e where t h e female complete  domination  ness.  He  5 2  being death  masochistic  s t r a i n and  without r e a l l y  this  conscious-  i n t e g r a l part of  a d o l e s c e n t ' s s e x u a l d r i v e i s t h e d e s i r e t o be Critics,  the  overwhelmed  s u c h a s Thompson, h a v e n o t e d  his "erotic  e x p l a i n i n g them.  lust  f o r h i s own  I f i n d the  Quentin's death"  consciousness,  what d i f f e r e n t  5 3  following  comments o f Neumann o f g r e a t h e l p i n e x p l a i n i n g t h i s of Quentin's  fully  i s dominant,  f o r the i n d i v i d u a l  f u r t h e r a s s e r t s t h a t an  by t h e f e m a l e .  i s not  is  aspect  e v e n t h o u g h t h e c o n t e x t i s some-  f r o m t h a t o f The  Sound  and  the  Fury.  F o r t h e y o u t h f u l god, w i t h h i s f e e b l y d e v e l o p e d e g o , t h e p o s i t i v e and n e g a t i v e a s p e c t s  110  of s e x u a l i t y a r e d a n g e r o u s l y c l o s e t o one a n o t h e r . When i n t o x i c a t e d , he s u r r e n d e r s h i s ego a n d r e t u r n s t o t h e womb o f t h e G r e a t M o t h e r , r e g r e s s i n g t o t h e p r e e g o s t a t e . . . . S e x u a l i t y h e r e means l o s i n g t h e e g o a n d b e i n g o v e r p o w e r e d by t h e f e m a l e , w h i c h i s a t y p i c a l , o r rather archetypal, experience i n puberty. 5 4  M o t h e r , womb, t h e p i t , a n d h e l l a r e a l l identical. T h e womb o f t h e f e m a l e i s t h e p l a c e o f o r i g i n f r o m whence o n e came, a n d s o e v e r y f e m a l e i s , a s a womb, t h e p r i m o r d i a l womb o f t h e G r e a t M o t h e r o f a l l o r i g i n a t i o n , t h e womb o f t h e u n c o n s c i o u s . She t h r e a t e n s t h e ego w i t h t h e d a n g e r o f s e l f noughting, o f s e l f - l o s s - - i n o t h e r words, w i t h death and c a s t r a t i o n . We h a v e s e e n t h a t t h e n a r c i s s i s t i c nature of t h e phallus-obsessed adolescent c o n s t e l l a t e s a c o n n e c t i o n between s e x u a l i t y and t h e f e a r o f c a s t r a t i o n . The d e a t h o f t h e p h a l l u s i n t h e f e m a l e i s s y m b o l i c a l l y e q u a t e d w i t h c a s t r a t i o n by t h e G r e a t M o t h e r , and i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l t e r m s t h i s means t h e e g o ' s d i s s o l u t i o n in the unconscious. 5 5  Neumann i s s u g g e s t i n g life,  since theunderlying  to a stronger  being.  that  incest i s a withdrawal  impulse i s t o surrender  He s u g g e s t s t h a t t h i s  masochism and t h a t t h e u l t i m a t e  from  o n e ' s ego  i st h e core o f  giving i nto this drive i s  s y m b o l i c c a s t r a t i o n and death. Q u e n t i n ' s d e s i r e f o r c a s t r a t i o n i s made q u i t e at thepoint mutilated razor.  i nt h enovel  himself,  not  i t .  them" way  w h e r e he t h i n k s a b o u t t h e man who  c u t t i n g o f f h i s own t e s t i c l e s w i t h a  The c o n n e c t i o n  escapism i s evident  between t h i s d e s i r e and s e x u a l  i n Quentin's saying  I t ' s n o t n o t h a v i n g them.  (135).  t o himself  "But t h a t ' s  I t ' s never t o have had  Quentin's masochism i s a l s o r e f l e c t e d i n t h e  h i sconsciousness i s constantly  circling  memories t h a t b r i n g h i m t h e most p a i n . strated  explicit  i nh i s losing fights against  back t o t h e  I t i s f u r t h e r demon-  Dalton  Ames a n d G e r a l d  Ill Bland.  In both i n s t a n c e s Quentin provokes  p e r s o n he has  no c h a n c e o f b e a t i n g .  s a t i o n between Shreve, is  following  i s Shreve  who  conver-  S p o a d e , and Q u e n t i n h i n t s t h a t  a w a r e t h a t he c a n o n l y l o s e a g a i n s t B l a n d .  speaker by  The  a fight with a  i s referring  to Bland.  The He  Quentin  first  i s answered  Spoade. "Do y o u h a v e t o be d r u n k t o w a n t t o h i t t h a l t s o n of a b i t c h ? " " W e l l , I t h i n k I ' d h a v e t o be p r e t t y d r u n k t o t r y i t , a f t e r s e e i n g how Q u e n t i n came o u t . Where'd he l e a r n t o b o x ? " "He's b e e n g o i n g t o M i k e ' s e v e r y d a y , o v e r i n town," I s a i d . "He h a s ? " Spoade s a i d . " D i d y o u know t h a t when y o u h i t h i m ? " "I  The  d o n t know," I s a i d .  c u l m i n a t i o n of Quentin's  " I guess so.  Yes."  (184)  s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s i s of  c o u r s e t h e l e a p t h a t submerges him b e n e a t h  the waters.  Just  p r i o r t o t h i s a c t i o n he c l e a n s h i m s e l f up and p u t s on h i s best s u i t , find  fulfillment  death. The  a s i f he w e r e g o i n g t o m e e t a l o v e r .  He t h i n k s  in life,  Fui .  Non  reflects  sum  (192).  to  he l o o k s f o r w a r d t o t h e r e l e a s e  "A q u a r t e r h o u r y e t .  p e a c e f u l l e s t words.  Unable  And  then I ' l l not  P e a c e f u l l e s t words.  Non  H i s d e a t h i n t h e r i v e r bed  t h e s u r r e n d e r and  d i s s o l u t i o n o f h i s ego  fui.  able to comfort Quentin. r o l e of mother-comforter  symbolically into  the  s i n c e Mrs.  Caddy  was  A t t i m e s she seems t o assume t h e t o him.  T h i s i s not  Compson i s i n c a p a b l e o f f u l f i l l i n g  Caddy i s t h e s o u r c e o f w h a t e v e r  surprising the  be.  Sum..  dark f o r c e s of the unconscious. When t h e Compson c h i l d r e n w e r e y o u n g e r ,  of  role.  feminine strength exists  112  within  t h e Compson f a m i l y .  aggressive,  whereas Quentin  In  the childhood  of  queen n o t being  follows,  a  tends  good  recalling  enough  f o rher.  to  that  or a giant  Shreve  he " p a s s e d  as Quentin's  novel.  But i t i s evident  Caddy's part  (97).  the subtlety that  "You  know  (191).  Quentin (181) .  what  There i s  says o f himSpoade  To o v e r s t a t e  says  the reverse This  refers  this  and complexity  when Q u e n t i n  makes h e r d o m i n a n t .  ofthe  t o Caddy  i s true.  i s an e s s e n t i a l  t o Q u e n t i n who i s u n a b l e  exploration  to find  of the psychological  r e l a t i o n s h i p t o Caddy  the complexity portrayal Faulkner  tive  i s a t once  psychological  o f Quentin's  of Quentin  that  strength  achieves  consciousness.  i n a l l h i s works.  o f him tends seriousness  The  Sound  there  the Fury  the seriousness  I n my  Quentin's  and r a d i c a l l y  t o assume t h e h i g h and  because opinion  i s t h e most complex c h a r a c t e r  intensely valid  study  implications of  i sespecially useful  and  points  the role  himself.  Quentin's  the  a girl"  t h a n y o u " (181) t h a t  strength  The  of  be t o l o s e  of her appeal  within  roles.  husband  would  stronger  king,  Q u e n t i n muses a s  or a general"  out like  pattern  "I'm  and a l o o f .  s h e n e v e r was a q u e e n o r a f a i r y s h e  hint of a reversal of sexual  self  upon b e i n g  t h e words o f h i s s i s t e r :  King?  always a king  she i s a c t i v e and  t o be p a s s i v e  games s h e i n s i s t s  I'd do i f I were was  As a c h i l d  study perspec-  distorted.  The  t o emphasize h i s d i s t o r t i o n s of a case  i s a comic  and works a g a i n s t  study.  element  that  B u ti n counter-  the assumption o f  113 any  single  perspective that precludes i t .  t h i s element  i n the f o l l o w i n g  Faulkner discusses  interchange with a student:  Q. Mr. F a u l k n e r , t h e f i g h t t h a t G a v i n has w i t h D e S p a i n i n The Town r e m i n d e d me i n some ways w i t h t h e f i g h t t h a t Q u e n t i n h a d when he was i n Cambridge. They b o t h seemed a l i t t l e b i t l i k e Don Quixote— A.  Yes.  Q. - - f i g h t i n g f o r t h e h o n o r o f a l a d y . Is t h e r e any s u c h s i m i l a r i t y t h e r e , i n c h a r a c t e r , b e t w e e n t h e two men a t t h a t t i m e ? A. No, t h a t ' s a c o n s t a n t s a d and f u n n y p i c t u r e too. I t i s t h e k n i g h t t h a t g o e s o u t t o d e f e n d someb o d y who d o n ' t w a n t t o be d e f e n d e d a n d d o n ' t n e e d i t . B u t i t ' s a v e r y f i n e q u a l i t y i n human n a t u r e . I hope i t w i l l always endure. I t i s c o m i c a l and a l i t t l e s a d . And Q u e n t i n a n d S t e p h e n s w e r e t h a t much a l i k e . 5 6  The  Q u i x o t i c nature of Quentin i s f i r s t  from Benjy's  section.  The  suggested  in a  e p i s o d e , l i k e many i n P a r t  passage One,  s e r v e s a s a p r e l u d e o f a m o t i f t o be e x p a n d e d l a t e r i n t h e novel. about  I t i s a c o n v e r s a t i o n between Q u e n t i n and a f i g h t t h a t Q u e n t i n had  i s Mr.  i n school.  The  his father  first  speaker  Compson.  Rello, he said. Who won. "Nobody." Q u e n t i n s a i d . "They s t o p p e d u s . Teachers." "Who was i t . " F a t h e r s a i d . " W i l l you t e l l . " " I t was a l l r i g h t . " Quentin said. "He was a s b i g a s me." "That's good." Father said. "Can y o u t e l l w h a t i t was a b o u t . " " I t wasn't a n y t h i n g . " Quentin s a i d . "He s a i d he w o u l d p u t a f r o g i n h e r d e s k and s h e w o u l d n ' t d a r e t o whip him." "Oh." Father said. "She. And t h e n w h a t . " "Yes, s i r . " Q u e n t i n s a i d . "And t h e n I k i n d of h i t him." We c o u l d h e a r t h e r o o f a n d t h e f i r e , and a s n u f f l i n g o u t s i d e the door.  114 "Where was he g o i n g t o g e t a f r o g i n November." F a t h e r s a i d . The  e c h o e s o f Don  ambivalence  of Quentin's  serio-comic perspective.  Quixote  c h a r a c t e r which His very real  i n s e p a r a b l e from h i s i d e a l i s m . t h a t . h e has  i n S e c t i o n Two  duty to r e s t o r e the golden a g e .  suggest  i s reflected shortcomings  L i k e Don  b e e n b o r n i n t o a n i r o n age  (86-87)  in a are  Q u i x o t e , he  and  feels  that i t i s his  Both c h a r a c t e r s l i v e f o r  5 7  c o n c e p t s w h i c h t e n d t o i s o l a t e them f r o m t h e w o r l d o f The  s e p a r a t i o n of the s p i r i t u a l  i n t h e f a c t t h a t b o t h men  from the p h y s i c a l  are c e l i b a t e .  reality.  i s reflected  Both lament  the  i n c o n s t a n c y o f women, c o n s t a n c y b e i n g a p a r t o f t h e i r zation.  5 8  I n h i s p r e f a c e t o Don  on t h e l i m i t a t i o n o f a i m and have i t s c o u r s e . "  i s the q u a l i t y  shadowed when one of Quentin's  Mr.  of wonderful f o l l y  interpretations  the v i r t u e s of  Sancho P a n z a ,  t h e r e a l and  idealism  Through the  Cervantes  f r a g m e n t a t i o n o f human e x i s t e n c e .  most o b v i o u s d i c h o t o m i e s drawn a r e between body  spirit,  (135) i s  I b e l i e v e t h a t F a u l k n e r found i n  Q u i x o t e and  portrayed the i n e v i t a b l e  this  t h a t becomes o v e r -  human w e a k n e s s a r e i n e x t r i c a b l y c o n n e c t e d .  c h a r a c t e r s o f Don  The  n o t Caddy"  emphasizes the p s y c h o l o g i c a l  character.  will  statement.  C e r v a n t e s a r i c h u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f how and  comments  Compson's r e m a r k t o  n a t u r e i s h u r t i n g you  reminiscent of Cervantes' It  Cervantes  ideali-  a m b i t i o n , because "nature  t r u t h as t h e Q u i x o t i c Q u e n t i n . Quentin that " i t ' s  Quixote  H i s p r o t a g o n i s t i s as unaware o f  5 9  the  the i d e a l .  Cervantes  and  suggests that  the  115  idealist  i s separated  the r e a l world ironically, perfection  from r e a l i t y  i s separated  a s t h e man who l i v e s i n  from t h e i d e a l .  Thus,  t h e p e r s o n who i s m o s t a b l e t o c o n c e i v e o f i s least able t o achieve  it.  The i d e a l i s t s  fare poorly i n the p h y s i c a l world.  I n a Shakespearian  it  superior  i s a convention  wins the f i g h t . i n Cervantes battles.  that the morally  play  individual  U n l i k e Shakespeare's c h a r a c t e r s , t h e ones  who a r e m o r a l l y  superior usually lose  In a Faulknerian novel the i d e a l i s t  l o s e s i n p h y s i c a l combat.  Gavin  their  inevitably  S t e p h e n s i s d e f e a t e d by  De S p a i n i n The Town, B y r o n B u n c h i s k n o c k e d down b y L u c a s Burch,  w h i l e Quentin  i s f l o o r e d on t h e l a s t day o f h i s  e x i s t e n c e by J u l i o and G e r a l d B l a n d . about Bland  asks,"Did  may h a v e h i t h i m .  Quentin Dalton M e s . The  I h u r t him any?"  I may h a v e l o o k e d  b l i n k e d o r something"  episode.  inquiring  S h r e v e r e p l i e s "You  away j u s t t h e n o r  (183).  i s equally unsuccessful  i n his battle  with  A f t e r i s s u i n g a g r a n d c h a l l e n g e he f a i n t s .  " c o m i c a l and a l i t t l e  i n Don Quixote  When Q u e n t i n ,  sad" q u a l i t y  i sespecially  that Faulkner  finds  s t r o n g i n t h e D a l t o n Ames  The s a d n e s s i s p e r h a p s s e l f - e v i d e n t .  Quentin i s  a s u n s u c c e s s f u l i n p h y s i c a l c o m b a t w i t h men a s he i s i n l o v e r e l a t i o n s w i t h women. f o r Quentin.  This incident i s a climax of i n t e n s i t y  I t shows h i m l o s i n g  the struggle t o Dalton  Ames  a s he i s l o s i n g h i s b a t t l e t o i m p o s e o r d e r o n e x i s t e n c e .  His  d e f e a t may be r e g a r d e d  as symbolic  of his'whole  life  which  116  ends  in failure. Yet  the  overlooked. as  This  i s more  u n d e r l y i n g humor o f  Quentin  has  "Young L o c h i n v a r "  earlier  (112)  "half-baked  Galahad"  the  that American  role  Western grade the  of  hero.  The  Dalton  of  Ive you Im In give  you  problem it  right  characters Melissa Sydney The  to  see  often verge  and  dull  Head a r e the  rate  we  are  i t might  informed  can  roll  a cigarette  and  even puts  on  a  two  he  Head as appears  knight, taken  or  in  a  playing  of  Approaching  three  days  who  of  the  "was  "111  only  the  role, Western  names o f F a u l k n e r ' s The and  timid  minor  librarian  the r a t h e r h e a r t l e s s this  tendency  in  a p p r o p r i a t e name f o r  an  have been p i c k e d  suggest  quickly  The  assumes the  attributes  Ames i s a n  he  to Dalton  (178).  instances of  may  a  the  from  girl.  says  town"  Bland,  other  shooting  Shreve  (177)  The  Gerald  that  the  he  be  conversation:  caricature.  e x c e l l e n t marksman; D a l t o n sound, though  episode  wronged  a l l the  name.  Fury.  by  you  leave  on  to  melodramatic  encounter  has  down t o t h e  Meek, t h e  Sound  the  must not  Herbert  w h i c h m i g h t be  i t i s Quentin  A m e s who  Herbert  this  following  sundown t o  i s that while  i s Dalton  hero,  the  sad."  situation  Sidney  Quentin's  h i s subsequent until  the  been l o o k i n g f o r you wanted t o see me going  little  equivalent of  avenges  begins  "a  been r e f e r r e d  by  In  dialogue  h e r o who  Ames he  and  (129).  B Western r e f l e c t s  role  than  Dalton made o u t  brothers. of  " w i t h a b o u t two exhibition,  simply At  for any  bronze"  (177),  motions"  (177),  holding  Quentin's  117  w r i s t w i t h one h a n d w h i l e he s h o o t s b a r k f l o a t i n g river with the other. f o l l o w i n g passage.  i n the  This incident i s rendered i n the  Quentin  i s the f i r s t  speaker.  y o u c a n t h i t i t now no » i t f l o a t e d on i t was q u i t e s t i l l i n t h e woods I heard t h e b i r d a g a i n and t h e water a f t e r w a r d t h e p i s t o l came up he d i d n t a i m a t a l l t h e b a r k d i s a p p e a r e d t h e n p i e c e s o f i t f l o a t e d up s p r e a d i n g he h i t t w o more o f them p i e c e s o f b a r k no b i g g e r t h a n silver dollars (179) The  c o n f r o n t a t i o n ends w i t h Q u e n t i n f a i n t i n g and D a l t o n  r a t h e r c h i v a l r o u s l y p r e t e n d i n g t h a t he h i t h i m ; t h e p r e t e n c e is  i n o r d e r t o make Q u e n t i n f e e l b e t t e r .  Although  Quentin  a s s u m e s t h e p o s e o f t h e W e s t e r n h e r o who c o n f r o n t s t h e v i l l a i n m e n a c i n g t h e m a i d e n , i t i s D a l t o n Ames who i n h i s self-control,  h i s s t r e n g t h , h i s marksmanship, and h i s r e f u s a l  to  take advantage  o f a weaker f o e , f u l f i l l s  is  n o t a m a i d e n , D a l t o n no v i l l a i n ,  the role.  and Q u e n t i n  Caddy  certainly  not a hero. The  p o r t r a y a l o f Q u e n t i n a s a m o c k - h e r o a n d mock-  knight i s especially  interesting  p r e t a t i o n o f t h e dragon of  consciousness.  i n v i e w o f Neumann's  inter-  s l a y i n g myths i n terms o f t h e growth  I n d i s c u s s i n g the hero's v i c t o r y over the  f o r c e s o f d a r k n e s s and h i s r e s c u e o f t h e c a p t i v e maiden is  f r e q u e n t l y d i s g o r g e d from w i t h i n t h e dragon  cave)  he makes t h e f o l l o w i n g  (who  or within a  comments:  s u f f i c e t o say t h a t t h e hero u n i t e s h i m s e l f w i t h t h e woman he h a s s e t f r e e , a n d f o u n d s h i s k i n g d o m w i t h her. 6 0  Thus, t h e hero's r e s c u e o f t h e c a p t i v e c o r r e s p o n d s t o  118  the discovery of a psychic world . . . . a portion a l i e n , h o s t i l e f e m i n i n e w o r l d of the unconscious e n t e r s i n t o f r i e n d l y a l l i a n c e w i t h t h e man's p e r s o n a l i t y , i f not a c t u a l l y w i t h h i s consciousness .  of  6 1  Quentin's  fainting  a t t h e moment o f c o n f r o n t a t i o n  implies  t h a t he i s a k i n d o f p a r o d y o f t h e c o n q u e r i n g h e r o .  In  the  l i g h t o f Neumann's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n h i s d e f e a t may  be  as a f a i l u r e  integrating  t o t r a n s c e n d h i s own  l i m i t a t i o n s by  t h e c o n s c i o u s and u n c o n s c i o u s p a r t o f h i m s e l f . i n d i c a t e d i n Quentin's  l e v e l , may  r e g a r d e d as the symbol o f t h e u n c o n s c i o u s . merge w i t h i t u n t i l his  shadow.  This i s  f e e l i n g o f b e i n g y o k e d and  s e p a r a t e f r o m h i s shadow w h i c h , o n one  viewed  yet be  Q u e n t i n does  h i s d e a t h l e a p when he i s a b s o r b e d  not  in  I f the triumph over the foe r e p r e s e n t s r e b i r t h  ( s y m b o l i z e d by t h e f r e e i n g o f t h e m a i d e n f r o m h e r d u n g e o n ) and  the a s s i m i l a t i o n of a p a r t of the unconscious,  d e f e a t may  be t a k e n t o r e p r e s e n t t h e o p p o s i t e .  The like  humor o f t h e D a l t o n Ames - Q u e n t i n  confrontation,  that of Cervantes, i s sympathetic rather than  To a n e x t e n t i t m a n i f e s t s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and Quentin's  the  human f r a i l t y .  emphasizing  caustic.  involvement w i t h  But i t a l s o tends t o evoke  the absurdity of Quentin's  role.  distance,  I believe  that  t h e i n t e n s i t y o f i n v o l v e m e n t and d i s t a n c e r e f l e c t s  the  c o n c i l a b l e ambivalence  Compson.  i n the c h a r a c t e r of Quentin  I d e a l i s m i s shown as b e i n g a t o n c e n o b l e and r e f l e c t s both concern  absurd.  irre-  It  f o r o t h e r s and s e l f - c e n t e r e d n e s s ,  s i n c e the i d e a l i s t wants to b e n e f i t o t h e r s , but tends t o  fall  119  i n l o v e w i t h h i s own C a d d y and concerns  Q u e n t i n does g e n u i n e l y c a r e f o r  y e t i s too e g o t i s t i c a l and  l o v e anyone.  seem i n e x t r i c a b l y I t was  ideas.  In Quentin  suggested  c o m p a s s i o n and  masculine v i r t u e s of courage c o n q u e r i n g Romans.  He  termed these  and  honor,  the  In Nietzsche's r a t h e r c y n i c a l view,  a s s e r t i o n on t h e b a t t l e f i e l d  and  the  F o r him J e s u s embodies lead to  i n bed.  the  masculine  In p l a c e of  t h w a r t e d d r i v e s , t h e v i r t u e s o f s u f f e r i n g and  these  sympathy f o r  extolled.  Faulkner's sensitive i d e a l i s t s sexually celibate.  I t seems t o me  t e n d t o be p a s s i v e  that Faulkner's  s t a n d i n g o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n p a s s i v i t y and have been c l a r i f i e d  compassionate  man.  i s masochistic, sexually thwarted,  and o f t e n i n e f f e c t u a l . sexual drive  compassion Leopold  He,  like  well-intentioned,  I t i s as i f t h e d i v e r s i o n o f  the  i s r e l a t e d t o k i n d n e s s i n some s t r a n g e way.  e x p l a n a t i o n i s t h a t c o m p a s s i o n stems f r o m  t i o n w i t h t h e weak and c o m p a s s i o n and  the s u f f e r i n g .  Volpe's  self-sacrifice in relation  and  under-  i n h i s r e a d i n g o f Ulysses.  B l o o m i s a l s o a p a s s i v e and  partial  the  active,  d e r i v e d from  r e n u n c i a t i o n of the a c t i v e v i r t u e s which  of  qualities  he c o n t r a s t e d t o t h e  J e w s made a v i r t u e o f n e c e s s i t y .  Quentin,  folly.  t h a t the C h r i s t i a n v i r t u e s  people.  passive feminine v i r t u e s which  may  weakness  and m e e k n e s s e x p r e s s e d t h e e t h o s o f  Jews,who w e r e a c o n q u e r e d  others are  self  bound t o g e t h e r , a s a r e i d e a l i s m and  N i e t z s c h e who  l o v e , compassion,  to transcend h i s  A  identifica-  comment a b o u t  t o Caddy p r o v i d e s  120 further c l a r i f i c a t i o n . she m u s t s a c r i f i c e  He  h e r own  says t h a t response  "Caddy's dilemma i s t h a t to l i f e  i f she i s t o keep  h e r b r o t h e r s happy; b u t she i s t o o p a s s i o n a t e , t o o alive, the  too v i t a l  t o immolate  need f o r s e l f - f u l f i l l m e n t ,  sexual drive,  In t h i s  6 2  From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e  s e l f - f u l f i l l m e n t may  instance  as e x p r e s s e d t h r o u g h t h e  i s i n c o n f l i c t w i t h the compassion  toward her b r o t h e r s . and  herself."  vibrantly  she  feels  self-sacrifice  be r e g a r d e d a s o p p o s i t e s .  Yet  the  v i s i o n o f F a u l k n e r i s t o o c o m p l e x t o be r e d u c e d t o a s i m p l i f i e d v i e w of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between compassion weakness.  The  tenderness of feminine c h a r a c t e r s such  Caddy and D i l s e y their ability  seems t o r e f l e c t  t o c a r e f o r and  s e n s i t i v e , male i d e a l i s t s , t h a t compassion and  the  Fury  their  sustain others.  is critical  nothing but a d m i r a t i o n f o r t h i s because  scene.  Bunch,  I n The  is illustrated  episode i n which Quentin befriends the l i t t l e E v e n I r v i n g Howe who  I t i s i n the  s u c h as Q u e n t i n and B y r o n  interrelationship  The  Sound  i n the  Italian  girl.  o f S e c t i o n Two,  has  I t i s successful  i t i s a n a r r a t i v e amidst the sea of Quentin's  sciousness.  as  strength, which i s  and weakness a r e complementary.  this  and  o t h e r e v e n t s t h a t o c c u r on Q u e n t i n ' s  last  day o f e x i s t e n c e a r e n o t d r a m a t i z e d .  We  with Bland a f t e r  Faulkner's technique  i t has t a k e n p l a c e .  l e a r n of the  con-  in  r e n d e r i n g t h i s e p i s o d e r e f l e c t s t h e way  is  real  i n which  f o r Q u e n t i n i s t h e p a s t as i n t e r p r e t e d  while the present i t s e l f  fight  "what  i n the present,  c a n become r e a l o n l y when  later  121  interpreted."  The e x p e r i e n c e w i t h B l a n d  6 3  directly,  but i s f i l t e r e d  Likewise,  the suicide  mentioned. reflects  problems without of  events  which with is  the l i t t l e  Italian  of Quentin's  i s similar  breath  of fresh Quentin's  poor  constantly circles This  experience.  The  t o opening  a i r into  death  incident  from  day capable him.  a l o c k e d door  i s aroused  Then he t r i e s  The l i t t l e  Julie,"  girl  have been h e l p f u l  equally plain  of arousing  from  thea i r -  and l e t t i n g  English  a  room.  forthe l i t t l e  Because  girl  as a  s h e seems  to help her find  h e r way  with the outside  d o e s n o t s p e a k when he of her address, t o him.  English.  The  h e r a b u n a n d some i c e c r e a m  communication  the mention  (157) i n p l a i n  (145).  She  For the reader the  a c l o s e d and s t u f f y  compassion  as u s u a l , Quentin's  t o , although  t h e way i n  claustrophobic consciousness.  t o h i m , he b u y s  limited.  filtering  conveys  i s a welcome r e l i e f  and hungry  name, w o u l d  in  response  and a f o r e i g n e r  store.  t o do  i s the exception to this.  wretch"  a drug  But,  her  which  i s l o o k e d down u p o n by t h e l a d y i n t h e b a k e r y  "little  is  girl  o f t h e event  effect  in  direct  directly  what he i s g o i n g  consciousness  on Quentin's  a mechanical  concreteness lessness  from  consciousness.  c o n f r o n t i n g them.  Quentin's  the only person  who  consciousness  he i s removed  Quentin's  o f f s t a g e and i s never  to state  directly  through  more t h a n  occurs  The f a i l u r e  Quentin's  through  i s not presented  o r even  She l a t e r  world  coaxes just her  says,"There's  When h e r b r o t h e r t e l l s  t o " G i t o n home,"  home.  (161) she  her  under-  122  stands p e r f e c t l y  well  and a p p a r e n t l y does r e t u r n  house.  When Q u e n t i n  inquires  Italian  neighborhood  t h e woman s a y s  this  i n s t a n c e the phrase  c a t i o n which and  this  t o h e r own  a t one o f t h e h o u s e s i n t h e "no s p i k a "  exemplifies  i s evident throughout  (150).  In  t h e l a c k o f communi-  the novel i n general  episode i n p a r t i c u l a r .  N e i t h e r Q u e n t i n n o r t h e r e a d e r knows t h e g i r l ' s name.  She i s r e f e r r e d  clearly  associated  t o by Quentin as " s i s t e r "  i n h i s m i n d w i t h Caddy.  has gone away f r o m Q u e n t i n — " S h e out  of the banked  refuses failed  scent"  ran right  t o l e a v e him, f o l l o w i n g  concern f o r her.  benevolence,  Being only  the only kind  i n relationships to a l i t t l e  adult  little  girl The  is  i s related  reflect  and a c t s  securei n .  safely with The r o l e  females o f bene-  a v o i d s t h e n e c e s s a r y g i v e and take compassion  t o h i s weakness and s e x u a l  b o t h c o m i c a l and sad.  (158)  he c a n f e e l  Thus Q u e n t i n ' s  whole e p i s o d e ,  Quentin  sense Q u e n t i n i s  that preclude sex.  relationships.  sister,  He shows warmth a n d  But i n another  he c a n f u n c t i o n  child  Having  6 4  c a n e x p e c t no b e n e f i t  of relationship  blocked sexually  factor of  kindness.  girl.  mirror,  girl  I n one s e n s e h i s a c t i o n s  since Quentin  o f genuine  having  Italian  i n h i srole of benefactor to h i sreal  genuine  out  B u t w h e r e a s Caddy  him e v e r y w h e r e .  assumes t h a t p o s e w i t h t h e l i t t l e  and i s  out of the  (96)—* t h e l i t t l e  real  like  t h e one i n v o l v i n g  Julio's  cry,"You  f o r the passivity.  Dalton M e s ,  s t e a l a my  i s p a r t o f t h e comedy o f m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g .  seester,"  Quentin's  123  reaction  i s to burst  into  the  joyless  laughter which i s a  r e c u r r e n t symbol of a b s u r d i t y i n F a u l k n e r i a n Instead  of being  the e x p r e s s i o n  nervous, almost h y s t e r i c a l  of j o y , i t i s a k i n d  reaction to f u t i l i t y .  healthy  laughter  s u g g e s t s f u l f i l l m e n t and  kind of  laughter  i m p l i e s the reverse.  b e c a u s e he girl is  and  as  they  justly feels  he  has  disinterested  little  is  t h i s much t r u t h  false, he  i t has has  big brother.  brother  girl,  in treating The  girl  a t t a c k s Quentin.  i s as  o f t h e two  big brothers  equally misguided.  his  s i s t e r , making her  the  by  so r a r e  to i t :  the  and  accusation  t h a t Quentin^who  girl  as  As  an  avenging o l d e r  to protect their  i f he  Julio cry.  succeeds only His e f f o r t s  The  provide  automobile.  waves "but  He  own  efforts  sisters  i n upsetting  court  The  were  brother,  youngest  is riding  (165).  for a  becomes f r i g h t e n e d when h e r  c o n t r a s t to Quentin's endeavors.  i n the Bland  that  friendly  sister, finds,  a little  It  reasonable  though J u l i o ' s  l a s t t i m e as he  of  little  i t seems  s e e s t h e c h i l d one  reply"  this  laughs  i m p u l s i v e as Q u e n t i n i s r e f l e c t i v e .  are  parallel  and  b e e n r o b b e d o f h i s own  few m i n u t e s , s o l a c e  Julio  Yet  to suggest that Quentin i s f l a t t e r e d  a t t e n t i o n of the  her  Quentin  a c t i o n s are  a r e b o u n d t o be m i s u n d e r s t o o d .  feels  of  Whereas  happiness  t r i e d to help  6 5  i s v i r t u a l l y accused of being a c h i l d molester.  i f benevolent,  t o me  novels.  a  comic  Quentin away f r o m she made  f i n a l moment o f t h i s e p i s o d e  no  i s thus  one  non-communication. The  entire  episode  may  be  regarded  as a m i c r o c o s m  of  124  Quentin's  efforts  t o cope w i t h e x i s t e n c e .  s i n c e r e and m i s g u i d e d , i d e a l i s t i c h i s compassion  of  and f o o l i s h .  They r e f l e c t  f o r o t h e r s a n d h i s own e g o t i s m .  t o do w h a t he f e e l s endeavors  His actions are  Quentin  i s right; y e t ,i n the f i n a l  tries  analysis, h i s  c o n t r i b u t e t o chaos r a t h e r than t o t h e r e s t o r a t i o n  o r d e r ; a n d a l t h o u g h he c o r r e c t l y  as a v i c t i m  regards himself i n court  o f a misunderstanding w o r l d , Quentin i s never  a b l e t o a c k n o w l e d g e t h a t h i s own a c t i o n s h a v e c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e outcome.  Likewise, i n the larger  context of the novel,  Q u e n t i n i s u n a b l e t o r e c o g n i z e h i s own s h a r e o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for  t h e Compson s i t u a t i o n .  A l t h o u g h he i s a w a r e how p o o r l y  t h e r o l e o f b e i n g an a r i s t o c r a t  i s p l a y e d by t h e B l a n d s a n d  h i s U n c l e M a u r y , he i s n e v e r a b l e t o a p p l y h i s k n o w l e d g e t o h i s own c o n d u c t  and a c t i o n s .  As an a v e n g i n g  Western hero, Quentin i s as poor Southern a r i s t o c r a t s mentioned  b r o t h e r and  a p l a y e r a s t h e mock  above.  But being unable t o  a c k n o w l e d g e t h i s , he n e v e r a c h i e v e s s e l f - i n s i g h t a n d e x p a n s i o n of  consciousness. Q u e n t i n c a n n o t comprehend t h e d i s t o r t i o n s  v i e w o f Caddy.  As a r e s u l t h i s e f f o r t s h i n d e r h i s s i s t e r ,  r a t h e r than h e l p i n g her i n a time of c r i s i s . standing o f h i m s e l f might  1  A clearer  under-  have e n a b l e d Q u e n t i n t o a v o i d t h e  self-righteousness evident i n the following his  i n h i s own  two comments t o  sister: Why wont you bring him to the house, Caddy? Why must you do like nigger women do in the pasture the ditches the dark woods hot hidden furious in the dark woods (111)  12 5  Are  Father  The the better Caddy  In the f i r s t  you  going  to  look  less you say about when have you ever  passage  after  Benjy  Benjy and considered  and Father them  (125)  Quentin u n w i t t i n g l y reveals h i s f l e s h  r e v u l s i o n as w e l l as r a c i a l p r e j u d i c e .  I n the second  he  a c c u s e s t h e o n l y c o n s i d e r a t e member o f t h e Compson f a m i l y the l a c k of c o n s i d e r a t i o n which  he h i m s e l f m a n i f e s t s .  of  Quentin  i d e a l i z e s C a d d y and t h e n becomes u p s e t when she d i v e r g e s f r o m h i s concept of her.  The  idealization  i s unfair,  not only to  his  s i s t e r , but to h i m s e l f .  and  s t a b i l i t y u p o n h e r he a v o i d s s e l f - c o n f r o n t a t i o n ,  acknowledging  In p r o j e c t i n g h i s i d e a s of honor  t h a t s u c h v a l u e s a r e p r i m a r i l y dependent upon  h i m s e l f , not upon t h e a c t i o n s o f o t h e r s . wasted  never  because h i s i n t e l l e c t u a l i t y  fails  H i s powers a r e to lead to  thus  self-  insight. I b e l i e v e i t i s the combination of h i s s e n s i t i v e p e r c e p t i o n s a n d h i s s h o r t - s i g h t e d n e s s t h a t makes Q u e n t i n of Faulkner's f a v o r i t e r e f l e c t o r s . c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n "That E v e n i n g o f Absalom, Fury.  The  Absalom!  He  Sun",  i s the  narrative  "A J u s t i c e " ,  a s w e l l a s P a r t Two  o f The  a  and  author i s able to dramatize through Quentin  inherent i n the attempt.  the  through  i n c r e a s e s h i s under-  Yet, the l i m i t a t i o n s of h i s acute but  p e r s p e c t i v e are evident.  the  the  Seeing experience  h i s s e n s i t i v e eyes, the reader g r e a t l y standing.  section  Sound  p r o c e s s o f a t t e m p t i n g t o c o m p r e h e n d e x p e r i e n c e and dangers  one  narrow  126 The  tension  t i v e s o f him  generated from these c o n f l i c t i n g  i s the most i n t e n s e  i n The  Sound  A l t h o u g h h i s e f f o r t s a r e m i s g u i d e d and t r y to better things. three  brothers  r e a d e r can  His  s u f f e r i n g i s the  his suffering, his  his struggle  problems of e x i s t e n c e . him  futile,  i s mitigated  by  t o u n d e r s t a n d and  But  Fury.  Q u e n t i n does  greatest  of  the  Q u e n t i n ' s s e l f - p i t y and  cope w i t h  the  has  for  self-righteousness.  h i s severe  and  accusing  s i d e r a t i o n f o r B e n j y and  Mr.  Compson, Q u e n t i n d o e s p r o m i s e  a f t e r them.  he  s e a l s the  His  only  novel  relinquishes  In y i e l d i n g to h i s s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e f a t e of the  was  helpless Benjy.  his conception  As  of  impulses,  I indicated in  initial  impulse  of  the  idiot-child  w o n d e r i n g where B e n j y would get  the  t e n d e r n e s s needed  s u s t a i n him. in not  the  The  character  sustain others resources gives  author found the  and  answer t o h i s  c o m p a s s i o n a t e n a t u r e s o f Caddy Compson and  i n the  up  as  of Quentin.  long  as  to s u r v i v e but the  con-  s i g n i f i c a n t a c t i s one  C h a p t e r Two, F a u l k n e r o n c e s a i d t h a t t h e the  l a c k of  I n l e a p i n g t o h i s d e a t h he  that responsibility. renunciation.  Caddy o f  short-  After taunting  to look  The  they can. f i n d s the  two  his to  speculations Dilsey--  women s t r i v e  Q u e n t i n has  of  to  the  burden unbearable  and  s t r u g g l e , r e l i n q u i s h i n g t h e p o s i t i o n o f head  the  f a m i l y to Jason.  the  l a s t hope o f  As  he  leaps  downward i n t o t h e  t h e Compson f a m i l y  The  benevolent  w h a t e v e r s y m p a t h y one  C o - e x i s t i n g with h i s v i r t u e s are comings.  the  because of h i s deeper l e v e l of awareness.  identify with  i m p u l s e s and  and  perspec-  vanishes.  river,  of  CHAPTER  4  T H I S THE PROMTS'D END  128  Jason i s "the l a s t " Compsons.  (16) and m o r a l l y l e a s t o f  H i s emergence as head o f t h e f a m i l y ,  symbolized  by h i s s e i z i n g o f t h e r e i n s o f t h e f a m i l y c h a r i o t , m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the f i n a l household. line,  and  the  is a  i r r e v o c a b l e d e c l i n e of  S i n c e J a s o n i s v i s u a l i z e d a s t h e end o f  the  the  i t i s s y m b o l i c a l l y a p p r o p r i a t e t h a t h i s s e c t i o n be  l a s t r e n d e r e d t h r o u g h t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f one Compsons. toward  The  of  the  concluding s e c t i o n of the novel w i l l  proceed  a l a r g e r , cosmic p e r s p e c t i v e rendered through  consciousness of a t h i r d person  the  the  narrator.  J a s o n seems t o h a v e t h e q u a l i t i e s o f h i s p a r e n t s i n a n e v e n more u n f o r t u n a t e c o m b i n a t i o n t h a n h i s o l d e r b r o t h e r . Whereas Q u e n t i n combines t h e s e l f - r i g h t e o u s of  inflexibility  h i s mother w i t h the s k e p t i c i s m of h i s f a t h e r , Jason  has  t h e s e l f - c e n t e r e d c o l d n e s s o f h i s m o t h e r and an a c e r b i c w i t somewhat r e m i n i s c e n t o f Mr. -Compson.  The  b e t w e e n C a ' r o l i n e Compson and h e r f a v o r i t e  resemblances son a r e e v i d e n t  t h r o u g h o u t t h e n o v e l and h a v e b e e n n o t e d by a number o f critics.  1  Both are i n c a p a b l e , not o n l y of l o v e , but  tenderness toward  another person.  c o n t r a s t s w i t h Q u e n t i n who, the deepest The  them i n t e r m s o f t h e i r own to  the needs o f t h e i r  sympathy f o r o t h e r p e o p l e .  Compson a n d  identifying with others.  tenderness  though i n c a p a b l e of l o v e i n  sense, does f e e l  s e l f - p i t y of Mrs.  This lack of  of  J a s o n p r e v e n t s them  from  E v e r y o c c u r r e n c e i s p e r c e i v e d by i n t e r e s t s , m a k i n g them  family.  Self-pity  oblivious  i s p o r t r a y e d as  being the o p p o s i t e of compassion, of one's own  emotions  r e s u l t i n g i n indulgence  and i s o l a t i o n from o t h e r s .  T h e i r l a c k o f f u l f i l l m e n t i s i n d i c a t e d by the f a c t t h a t both Jason and h i s mother s u f f e r from a form o f nervous prostration.  Swiggart observes of Jason t h a t "His headaches  and the use of camphor r e l a t e him to h i s mother, who her i l l n e s s as a f o c a l p o i n t f o r s e l f - p i t y .  1 , 2  uses  When C a r o l i n e  Compson says t o her son "you are a Bascomb, d e s p i t e your name" (200), the reader tends t o concur w i t h her o p i n i o n . Both c h a r a c t e r s have a shallow, s u p e r f i c i a l  perspective  which i s e s p e c i a l l y e v i d e n t i n t h e i r a t t i t u d e s toward  Caddy.  But whereas Mrs. Compson has a l a c k o f l o v e f o r Caddy, Jason f e e l s h a t r e d towards her.  The mother's s e l f - p i t y l e a d s t o  p a s s i v e r e n u n c i a t i o n , w h i l e Jason's m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f i n active maliciousness.  H i s s e c t i o n may  be regarded as the  r e n d e r i n g of a c o n s c i o u s n e s s obsessed and dominated  by  hatred. The h a t r e d i s p r i m a r i l y m a n i f e s t through the c r u e l w i t o f Jason,which  i s both s i m i l a r t o and d i f f e r e n t  t h a t of Mr. Compson.  from  When Caddy says to her brother,"You  have F a t h e r ' s name," he r e p l i e s , "That' s so. . .,He d i d l e a v e me  something"  (227).  Though d i f f e r e n t from h i s f a t h e r i n  h i s l a c k of c o n s i d e r a t i o n and absence of benevolent impulses, Jason completes which was  the p r o c e s s of r e d u c i n g the f a m i l y domain  begun by General Jason Lycurgus Compson I I and  c o n t i n u e d by Jason I I I ; and a l t h o u g h he may  justly  be  130  c o n s i d e r e d as t h e a n t i t h e s i s o f h i s a n c e s t o r s i n many respects, Jason shares c e r t a i n q u a l i t i e s them, i n c l u d i n g changing  an a b i l i t y  conditions.  forbears i n this  t o compete w i t h t h e w o r l d under  Ironically,  sense  i n common w i t h  he  i s more l i k e h i s  than h i s older brother.  The  gambling  i n s t i n c t of t h e Compsons^which i s absent  i n Quentin,survives  i n Jason, though i n degraded  form.  A comparison  o f two  f r o m t h e end o f S e c t i o n Two Three, Mr.  illustrates  Compson a n d  and d e b a s e d  passages, and  taken  respectively  the beginning of S e c t i o n  the s i m i l a r i t y  and d i f f e r e n c e  between  Jason.  . . . b u t F a t h e r s a i d why s h o u l d U n c l e M a u r y w o r k i f he f a t h e r c o u l d s u p p o r t f i v e o r s i x n i g g e r s t h a t d i d nothing at a l l but s i t w i t h t h e i r f e e t i n the o v e n he c e r t a i n l y c o u l d b o a r d and l o d g e U n c l e M a u r y now a n d t h e n a n d l e n d h i m a l i t t l e money who k e p t h i s Father's b e l i e f i n the c e l e s t i a l d e r i v a t i o n of h i s own s p e c i e s a t s u c h a f i n e h e a t (194) I s a y s s h e o u g h t t o be down t h e r e i n t h a t k i t c h e n r i g h t now, i n s t e a d o f up t h e r e i n h e r room, g o b b i n g p a i n t o n h e r f a c e and w a i t i n g f o r s i x n i g g e r s t h a t c a n t e v e n s t a n d up o u t o f a c h a i r u n l e s s t h e y ' v e g o t a p a n f u l l o f b r e a d and m e a t t o b a l a n c e them, to f i x b r e a k f a s t f o r her. (198) There i s a b i t t e r n e s s their wit.  i n b o t h men  In both quoted  that i s expressed  passages  t h e r e i s an  s u p e r i o r i t y on t h e p a r t o f t h e s p e a k e r s , and d e r o g a t i o n o f t h e Negro s e r v a n t s and Mr.  and  assumed implied  a member o f t h e  Compson's w i t i s more p h i l o s o p h i c a l  than t h a t o f h i s son.  an  through  and  family.  contemplative  I t i s an e x p r e s s i o n o f h i s s k e p t i c i s m  lacks the v i c i o u s , p e r s o n a l animosity i m p l i c i t  i n the  131  utterances of Jason  I V .  But i n both  i n s t a n c e s a sense o f  i r o n i c d i s t a n c e and contempt i s e x p r e s s e d Jason  words.  i s t h e o n l y one o f t h e f o u r Compson  who h a s a s e n s e lectual  through  sense  of wit,  children  Q u e n t i n has a r a t h e r d r y i n t e l -  o f humor, a s shown by h i s r e m a r k t h a t "God  i s n o t o n l y a g e n t l e m a n a n d a s p o r t ; he i s a K e n t u c k i a n too"  (110).  and  I t i s not a prominent  i s generally unobtrusive.  teristic  aspect of h i s s e n s i b i l i t y ,  W i t i s an e s s e n t i a l  o f J a s o n a n d i s t h u s one o f t h e d i s t i n c t i v e  features i n h i s section of the novel, s e l e c t i o n s t o demonstrate consciousness. and  charac-  h i s boss,  I h a v e c h o s e n two  how J a s o n ' s w i t r e f l e c t s h i s  The f i r s t i s a c o n v e r s a t i o n b e t w e e n  Jason  Earl.  "You'd be a g o o d b u s i n e s s man i f y o u ' d l e t y o u r s e l f , J a s o n , " he s a y s . " A t l e a s t I c a n t e n d t o my own b u s i n e s s a n d l e t other peoples' alone," I says. " I d o n t know why y o u a r e t r y i n g t o make me f i r e y o u , " he s a y s . "You know y o u c o u l d q u i t a n y t i m e a n d t h e r e w o u l d n ' t be any h a r d f e e l i n g s between u s . " "Maybe t h a t ' s why I d o n t q u i t , " In  I says.  t h i s passage Jason r e v e a l s h i s h o s t i l i t y  destructiveness.  and  (263)  self-  He i s d e l i b e r a t e l y p r o v o k i n g h i s own  boss,  who h a s b e e n a s r e a s o n a b l e a n d u n d e r s t a n d i n g a s p o s s i b l e . Earl  i s c o r r e c t i n assuming t h a t Jason  himself  fired.  i s trying  to get  I f t h i s were t o happen, Jason c o u l d f e e l a l l  t h e more s o r r y  f o r h i m s e l f as a v i c t i m o f an u n j u s t w o r l d .  His  i n a c t i n g a g a i n s t h i s own b e s t i n t e r e s t s i s  perversity  evident  here.  132  The  second  selection  i s an e x c e r p t from a conver-  s a t i o n between Jason and h i s mother about M i s s  Quentin.  "Remember s h e ' s y o u r own f l e s h a n d b l o o d , " says. " S u r e , " I s a y s , " t h a t ' s j u s t w h a t I'm t h i n k i n g o f — f l e s h . A n d a l i t t l e b l o o d t o o , i f I h a d my way. When p e o p l e a c t l i k e n i g g e r s , no m a t t e r who t h e y a r e t h e o n l y t h i n g t o do i s t r e a t them l i k e a nigger," (199) she  F r e u d s t a t e s t h a t w i t "makes p o s s i b l e t h e g r a t i f i cation of a craving which  (lewd o r h o s t i l e )  s t a n d s i n t h e way.  despite a hindrance  In the Freudian context  Jason's  wit  may be s e e n a s a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f h i s t h w a r t e d  desires  for  s e x u a l f u l f i l l m e n t and f o r p h y s i c a l vengeance upon  1,3  whom he f e e l s h a v e w r o n g e d h i m .  A list  c a t e g o r y would  no o n e .  exclude v i r t u a l l y  of people  those  i n that  H i s remarks  r e f l e c t a barely suppressed incestuous d e s i r e f o r h i s niece and is  an a s s o c i a t i o n o f s e x and v i o l e n c e i n h i s mind.  His wit  a form o f v e r b a l v i o l e n c e , a s u b s t i t u t e f o r t h e p h y s i c a l  v i o l e n c e t h a t he i s u n a b l e  to inflict  upon h i s a c q u a i n t a n c e s .  D e s p i t e h i s i m a g e o f h i m s e l f a s a man o f a c t i o n , J a s o n i s a s incompetent The in  first  and i n e f f e c t u a l as h i s f a t h e r and o l d e r b r o t h e r .  indication of h i sineffectuality  his section.  i s rendered  Being thwarted i n attacking h i s niece,  r e s o r t s t o c h i l d i s h name c a l l i n g ,  Jason  s a y i n g "dont t h i n k y o u c a n  r u n i t o v e r me.  I'm n o t a n o l d woman, n o r a n o l d h a l f  nigger, either.  Y o u damn l i t t l e  t h e i r o n i e s o f The Sound  early  slut"  and the Fury  (203).  I t i s one o f  that Jason  a man o f w o r d s a s Q u e n t i n a n d Mr. Compson.  dead  i s a s much  Although  i t i s  133  less explicit  i n the novel,  Faulkner  makes i t c l e a r i n t h e  A p p e n d i x t h a t Mr. Compson a l s o f i n d s a n i m p e r f e c t  release  f o r h i s f r u s t r a t i o n s by v e r b a l l y a t t a c k i n g h i s a c q u a i n t a n c e s . J a s o n I I I , t h e l a w y e r , t h e man o f w o r d s , " s a t a l l d a y with  a litter  composing  o f dogeared Horaces and L i v y s and C a t u l l u s e s ,  ( i t was s a i d )  c a u s t i c and s a t i r i c  b o t h h i s dead and h i s l i v i n g  himself  c a r i c a t u r e h i s f e l l o w human b e i n g s .  Hunt i s c o r r e c t i n n o t i n g  t o others  " J a s o n ' s humor. . . I p r e f e r t o use t h e  4  t e r m " w i t " r a t h e r t h a n humor, m a k i n g a d i s t i n c t i o n  humor r e f l e c t s  or  when no one e l s e i s  that  i s a c a m o u f l a g e f o r an a c u t e a n x i e t y . "  mental recognition.  to  H a v i n g no u s e f o r  remarks t o h i m s e l f ,  humor a s t h e l a u g h t e r  on  i n the temptation  e n d e a v o r s , he comments c a u s t i c a l l y  mumbles n e g a t i v e around.  eulogies  fellowtownsmen" ( 8 ) .  Jason IV a l s o indulges  literary  long  between  o f j o y and w i t as t h e s m i l e o f I n t h e sense t h a t  the pleasure  I use t h e terms here  o f t h e f l e s h and m a n i f e s t s  a  complex c o m b i n a t i o n o f i n v o l v e m e n t and detachment, whereas wit  i s cerebral, reflecting  the  speaker and h i s t a r g e t s . This  distance  and d e r o g a t i o n  Hence w i t f r e q u e n t l y  an  element o f c r u e l t y .  is  symptomatic o f h i s f r u s t r a t i o n ,  between contains  q u a l i t y i n the w i t of Jason stemming from  blocked  desires. J a s o n ' s w i t i s a r e f l e c t i o n o f what M i c h a e l has  Cowan  c a l l e d "a c l e v e r a n d v i t a l m i n d c a u g h t i n t h e p r e j u d i c e s  o f h i s day and t h e c o n v e n t i o n s o f a b i t t e r  and n a r r o w  134 materialism."  Unfortunately f o r Jason, h i s cleverness i s  5  not d i r e c t e d toward all  h i s t i m e and  intelligent  energy  self-scrutiny.  He  scheming, but i s never  spends  able to  q u e s t i o n t h e v a l u e o f t h e schemes o r , i n t h e l a r g e r c o n t e x t , the d i r e c t i o n h i s l i f e  has  taken.  He  uses h i s mind  t o implement h i s aims,  r a t h e r t h a n t o q u e s t i o n them.  shown t h e d a n g e r o f e x c e s s i v e i n t r o s p e c t i o n and consciousness  i n Quentin's  introspection. on t h e p a r t o f  The  result  is a total  dramatizes  i s incapable of  l a c k of  self-awareness  Jason.  A l t h o u g h he a p p e a r s  t o be  immersed i n t h e  c a l i t i e s o f e x i s t e n c e , J a s o n i s as removed from as h i s b r o t h e r , Q u e n t i n .  practiexperience  Colin Wilson states that  " I n t e l l e c t u a l s cut themselves themselves  Having  self-  s e c t i o n , F a u l k n e r now  the l i m i t a t i o n s of a consciousness which  solely  o f f f r o m r e a l i t y by t r a p p i n g  i n a w o r l d o f c o n c e p t s ; o r d i n a r y men  are  cut  o f f f r o m r e a l i t y b e c a u s e t h e y a r e s o s e l f - a b s o r b e d , so i n v o l v e d i n t h e p e t t i n e s s o f e v e r y day e x i s t e n c e . " Wilson's  comment i l l u m i n a t e s t h e n o v e l ' s d e p i c t i o n o f  l i m i t a t i o n s of the consciousness of the intellectual Jason extraordinary the sense  and  the  "ordinary  i s an o r d i n a r y man  the  sensitive  man." f r o m one  s c o u n d r e l from another.  He  p e r s p e c t i v e and  an  i s ordinary i n  o f b e i n g commonplace, r e p r e s e n t i n g t h e p r e v a l e n t  values of h i s s o c i e t y . within  5  I n V o l p e ' s words "Jason can  s o c i e t y o n l y because t h e v a l u e s of modern  live  society  135  m i r r o r h i s own."' J a s o n may  From t h i s p o i n t o f v i e w t h e f l a w s  be t a k e n t o r e p r e s e n t t h e v a l u e s t h a t h a v e come  to predominate  i n the contemporary  i n contemporary aristocracy.  America)  South  (and by e x t e n s i o n  w i t h the f a i l u r e of the o l d  The movement f r o m S e c t i o n Two  to  Section  T h r e e r e p r e s e n t s t h e t r a n s i t i o n f r o m t h e o l d way t o t h e new. South t o o . "  F a u l k n e r has 8  There  said that  is validity  "Section I I I i s a b i t t e r its  of  "Jason i s the  life  new  i n Volpe's statement  i n v e c t i v e a g a i n s t modern  these q u a l i t i e s are r e f l e c t e d  that  society,  commercialism, i t s inhumanity, i t s s u p e r f i c i a l  and m o r a l c o d e s , i t s d e v o t i o n t o m e c h a n i c a l All  of  social  contrivances."  i n the character  of  J a s o n Compson. A l t h o u g h he i s o r d i n a r y i n t h i s r e p r e s e n t s an e x t r e m e .  sense, Jason  also  Duncan A s w e l l w r y l y o b s e r v e s  that  " J a s o n w o u l d n o t be a Compson i f he d i d n o t t u r n h i s c o d e o f b e h a v i o u r i n t o an i n f l e x i b l e  and u n m a n a g e a b l e  A l t h o u g h t h e v a l u e s he e m b r a c e s a r e common, t h e mindedness of h i s p u r s u i t of h i s aims, the  rule." single-  abundant,  f r a n t i c a l l y m i s p l a c e d e n e r g y , and t h e " c l e v e r a n d mind"  1 1  a l l mark J a s o n a s e x t r a o r d i n a r y .  The  vital  characters  i n the n o v e l a c q u a i n t e d w i t h J a s o n t e n d t o r e g a r d him e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y bad.  1 0  as  D i l s e y associates Jason's behavior  w i t h t h e S a t a n i c , on one o c c a s i o n r e m a r k i n g t o h i m " I d o n t p u t no d e v i l m e n t b e y o n d y o u "  that  (203).  After his  a t t e m p t t o p r e v e n t Caddy f r o m s e e i n g h e r own  daughter,  9  136  Dilsey  s a y s , "You's a c o l d man,  J a s o n , i f man  you  i s " (225) .  C a d d y s a y s t o h i m , " Y o u n e v e r had a d r o p o f warm b l o o d i n you" at  (226) .  Miss Quentin, a f t e r being m e r c i l e s s l y  the d i n n e r t a b l e whether  asked  s h e g o t "a g o o d p i e c e o f meat,"  c a n c o n t a i n h e r s e l f no l o n g e r a n d asks,"Why d o e s he  treat  me  (276) .  like  t h i s Grandmother?  . . . .  The q u e s t i o n i s a c r u c i a l one It let  I never h u r t him"  t h a t a d m i t s o f no e a s y  answer.  i s r e m i n i s c e n t o f L e a r ' s q u e s t i o n o u t u p o n t h e h e a t h : "Then them a n a t o m i z e R e g a n .  See w h a t b r e e d s a b o u t h e r  heart.  Is  t h e r e any c a u s e i n n a t u r e t h a t makes t h e s e h a r d  In  b o t h t h e n o v e l and t h e p l a y b e w i l d e r m e n t i s e x p r e s s e d  the  n a t u r e o f e v i l w h i c h seems t o be d e s t r u c t i v e b e y o n d  b o u n d s o f human c o m p r e h e n s i o n . d e r i n g , because  The  1 2  about the  destructiveness i s bewil-  i t c a n n o t be e x p l a i n e d  self-seeking; ultimately  hearts?"  s i m p l y i n terms  i t b e n e f i t s no  of  one.  V o l p e a s s e r t s t h a t J a s o n i s so n e g a t i v e t h a t he makes his  mother l o o k b e n e v o l e n t i n c o m p a r i s o n .  mean a c h i e v e m e n t .  T h i s i s no  1 3  F a u l k n e r h i m s e l f has s a i d i n an  t h a t Jason r e p r e s e n t s "complete e v i l . "  1 1  *  When a s k e d  J a s o n were a b a s t a r d o r n o t , t h e a u t h o r r e p l i e d actual one—only  i n behavior."  1 5  Despite the  evidence of Jason's negative q u a l i t i e s , his  interview whether  "No.  Not  an  overwhelming  such as h i s p e t t i n e s s ,  c a l l o u s n e s s , h i s m a t e r i a l i s m , and h i s m a l i c i o u s n e s s , t h e r e  i s an a m b i v a l e n c e i n t h e a u t h o r ' s a t t i t u d e t o w a r d  him.  The  Richard  a m b i v a l e n c e h a s b e e n n o t e d by c r i t i c s  s u c h as  C h a s e and J o h n H u n t , b u t h a s n o t b e e n f u l l y  explained.  1 6  137  I b e l i e v e t h a t i t c a n b e s t be u n d e r s t o o d combined i n v o l v e m e n t and d i s t a n c e w h i c h toward  i n terras o f t h e t h e a u t h o r has  h i s character. As  I mentioned  i n my i n t r o d u c t o r y c h a p t e r , t h e  fact that Faulkner i s able to i d e n t i f y Jason t o present l i f e  sufficiently  with  f r o m J a s o n ' s own p o i n t o f v i e w  enables  us t o h a v e u n d e r s t a n d i n g a n d h e n c e s y m p a t h y f o r h i m . F a u l k n e r c o n s i s t e n t l y p o r t r a y s h a t r e d as stemming f r o m t h e f a i l u r e o f one human b e i n g t o i d e n t i f y w i t h a n o t h e r .  His  understanding of hatred i s i n t h i s respect reminiscent of Jonathan  S w i f t ' s comment t h a t  " t h e y a h o o s w e r e known t o  h a t e o n e a n o t h e r more t h a n t h e y d i d a n y d i f f e r e n t s p e c i e s of  a n i m a l s ; a n d t h e r e a s o n u s u a l l y a s s i g n e d was t h e  o d i o u s n e s s o f t h e i r own s h a p e s w h i c h a l l c o u l d s e e i n t h e r e s t , but not i n themselves." ? 1  of  human i d e n t i f i c a t i o n  The r e s u l t o f t h i s  failure  i s a feeling of self-righteousness  m a n i f e s t by a p r o j e c t i o n o f t h e f a u l t s one i s u n a b l e t o acknowledge w i t h i n h i m s e l f i n t o o t h e r s . Jason's  This i s evident i n  treatment of h i s niece, Miss Quentin.  her, s a y i n g , " I w a n t t o know w h a t y o u mean. grandmother l i e s  He r a i l s a t  . .telling  a n d f o r g i n g h e r name o n y o u r r e p o r t "  Yet Jason i s a l i a r  your (202).  and a f o r g e r h i m s e l f , d e c e i v i n g Mrs.  Compson i n t o b u r n i n g t h e c h e c k s t h a t he h a s f o r g e d , w h i l e he c a s h e s  t h e ones Caddy has s e n t f o r h e r d a u g h t e r .  There and  a r e a number o f r e s e m b l a n c e s  between  Jason  h i s n i e c e w h i c h c o u l d f o r m a b a s i s f o r an u n d e r s t a n d i n g  138  between them; b u t , u n f o r t u n a t e l y , share  i sa self-preoccupation  Both r e j e c t a  one o f t h e t r a i t s  t h a t p r e c l u d e s human  the benevolent e f f o r t s  of Dilsey,  " n i g g e r " a n d p u s h i n g h e r away f r o m  of  sympathy  i s e v e n more e v i d e n t i n t h e i r  B e n j y , whom M i s s Q u e n t i n r e f e r s (67). child his  N e i t h e r o f them h a s  n i e c e a r e concerned  appointed a nickel  c a l l i n g her  (203).  The l a c k  attitudes  toward  any compassion  loon"  f o r the i d i o t Both Jason and  with material values rather  than  A s a y o u n g b o y J a s o n manages t o g e t h i m s e l f  treasurer  among a g r o u p  (193-194).  o f boys s e l l i n g  Whereas B e n j y  he was t o s e e i t "  "wouldn't  (34), Jason hoards  room, c o u n t i n g i t o v e r tation  sympathy.  t o a s a n "old crazy  whom t h e y r e g a r d a s a n e n c u m b r a n c e .  human o n e s .  if  them  they  i n secrecy.  hands i n h i s p o c k e t s .  know a q u a r t e r  h i s money i n h i s  An e x t e r n a l  o f h i s a v a r i c i o u s n e s s i s Jason's  kites for  manifes-  habit o f keeping h i s  F a u l k n e r h a s commented upon i t a s  follows: . . . T h a t was a m a n n e r i s m , k e e p i n g h i s hands i n h i s p o c k e t s , t o me -that p r e s a g e d h i s f u t u r e , s o m e t h i n g o f g r e e d i n e s s and g r a s p i n g , s e l f i s h n e s s . T h a t he may have k e p t h i s hands i n h i s p o c k e t s t o g u a r d w h a t e v e r c o l o r e d r o c k t h a t he h a d f o u n d t h a t was t o him, r e p r e s e n t e d t h e m i l l i o n d o l l a r s he w o u l d l i k e t o h a v e some d a y . 1 8  The  m a n n e r i s m may a l s o  repression,  b e i n g an u n n a t u r a l p o s e  Miss Quentin first Benjy,  be a n i n d i c a t i o n  depicted fighting  o f t e n s i o n and  i n childhood.  i s a l s o g r a s p i n g and greedy.  i n the novel through with Luster over  t a k e s away f r o m h i m (49) .  She i s  the consciousness of  some s p o o l s w h i c h s h e  T h i s o c c u r s when t h e y a r e b o t h  139  children, When s h e works, which  Miss  Quentin  comes t o t h e  she  reveals  i s similar  with  t h e money  from  her mother;  it  on  the  this.  bear  the  may  she  merchant's  of her  reads  last  regarded male  name.  Miss  the  offspring  of  characters  the  absent,  i f these  the  sense  time both  Compsons' the  fact  the  speech  by  by  curse.  section.  of  the  with the and  i s  letter then  drops  well  "the  Benjy)  Jason's  the  has  are  section always  and  Miss  excerpts Jason  are  expended  of  In  this  the of  dry.  his niece i s characwhich  begins  a bitch"  i s  i s r e c u r r e n t throughout prominent  both  family  embodiments  run quite  and  being  In  birth.  refutations  to  19),  a l r e a d y been  Quentin's  line.  uncle, i s  (16,  of  than  Compson  her  last"  impulses  had  Jason  "Once a b i t c h  two  the  like  p r e t e n c e s , and  between Jason  following  as  of  i n common  exception of  living  of both  Profanity  end  Quentin,  Miss  I t i s especially  conversations  concern  f o u r Compson c h i l d r e n .  and  family  cursing.  the phrase  Jason  chief  e v e n more  the  qualities  aristocratic that  than  the  idealistic  of Jason's  with a  the  characters are  The terized  finer  as  (with  to i n the Appendix  by  Her  i t perfunctorily  referred  as  Luster.  of her c h a r a c t e r  uncle.  h i s niece share be  family  sole  than  shop where  side  get, rather  older  (230-231).  and  i s the  three years  a materialistic  she  E a c h may  Jason  seed  to. t h a t  floor  Jason  being  in real  or  Quentin. imagines  and  framed  the  Jason  imagined In the  he  ends  i s  first  telling  140  off Miss Quentin.  I n t h e s e c o n d o n e t h e two a r e a c t u a l l y  conversing: T h e s e damn l i t t l e s l i c k h a i r e d s q u i r t s , t h i n k i n g t h e y a r e r a i s i n g s o much h e l l , I ' l l show them something about h e l l I s a y s , and you t o o . I ' l l make h i m t h i n k t h a t damn r e d t i e i s t h e l a t c h s t r i n g t o h e l l , i f he t h i n k s he c a n r u n t h e woods w i t h my n i e c e . (258-259) " A r e y o u h i d i n g o u t i n t h e woods w i t h o n e o f t h o s e damn s l i c k - h e a d e d j e l l y b e a n s ? I s t h a t where you g o ? " " Y o u — y o u o l d goddamn!" s h e s a y s . She f o u g h t , but I held her. "You damn o l d goddamn!" s h e s a y s . (202) The  c u r s i n g i s on t h e most b a s i c l e v e l a n a t u r a l i s t i c  rendering  o f speech.  speech p a t t e r n s  Faulkner  and i s a b l e  has an e x c e l l e n t e a r f o r  t o render convincing  dialogue.  H i s c a p a c i t y f o r empathy e n a b l e s h i m t o c o n v e y t h e l a n g u a g e and  rhythms o f speech p e c u l i a r t o each c h a r a c t e r .  p r o f a n i t y may a l s o be r e g a r d e d a s a k i n d o f v e r b a l an e x t e r n a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n turbulence.  incestuous  Because o f  d e s i r e , Jason would l i k e  M i s s Q u e n t i n a n d t h e men s h e r u n s a r o u n d w i t h . u n a b l e t o do s o he c u r s e s  motif,  of a consciousness i n a state of  I t i s a form o f v e r b a l v i o l e n c e .  his repressed  The  them  t o whip  Being  instead.  J a s o n ' s p r o f a n i t y may be u n d e r s t o o d i n c o m p a r i s o n to.the The  foremost curser  utterances  in their the  i n Light  in August,  of both characters  respective novels.  Christmas.  form l i n g u i s t i c  Standing  motifs  i n t h e nude o u t o n  s t r e e t , Joe shouts,"White bastards.  first  Joe  . . That's not the  o f y o u r b i t c h e s t h a t e v e r saw. . . '.'  19  Joe's  language  141  is  the verbal equivalent  violence.  of h i s explosive,  B o t h h i s words and a c t i o n s  dynamic energy.  Jason's cursing,  substitute f o raction.  express h i s pent-up,  i n contrast,  isa  Though he p u s h e s D i l s e y a n d h i s  mother, g r a b s and t h r e a t e n s a little  physical  t o whip h i s n i e c e ,  and a t t a c k s  o l d man, J a s o n i s i n e f f e c t i v e i n a l l t h e s e  endeavors.  His cursing  i s petty  explosive.  I t reflects  t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f a man o f  words, r a t h e r  and n i g g l i n g , r a t h e r  t h a n a man o f a c t i o n .  than  I t i s another mani-  f e s t a t i o n o f t h e f a c t t h a t when J a s o n i s t h w a r t e d he becomes a name The  caller.  p r o f a n i t y of both novels  violent renunciation Joe  of l i f e .  This  becomes a s y m b o l o f a i s equally  true of  C h r i s t m a s , J a s o n Compson a n d M i s s Q u e n t i n , a l t h o u g h t h e  clearest expression  o f i t o c c u r s when J o e r u s h e s i n t o t h e N e g r o  c h u r c h , c u r s i n g God a n d e x i s t e n c e .  A l l three  are  of giving or receiving  death o r i e n t e d , being  love.  The c u r s e r s  incapable  are the cursed.  T h o s e who a r e c o n s t a n t l y  u t t e r i n g w o r d s s u c h a s "damn" a n d " h e l l " of H e l l , in  are i n the state  i n Dostoyevsky's sense o f t h e term:  The Brothers  Karamazov  that h e l l  characters  he s u g g e s t s  i s t h e s t a t e o f mind  of one u n a b l e t o l o v e . Jason f a i l s he  to identify with  s h a r e s a s much i n common w i t h  other  character  i n the novel.  h i s niece,  even though  h e r a s he d o e s w i t h a n y  B e c a u s e he p r o j e c t s h i s ov/n  inadequacies outward t o a scapegoat f i g u r e , i n s t e a d o f  142  accepting all  them w i t h i n h i m s e l f , t h e i r  s i m i l a r i t i e s make i t  the e a s i e r f o r Jason to hate h i s niece.  the p r o p o s i t i o n t h a t Jason's hatred  I f one  accepts  is ultimately a  r e f l e c t i o n o f h i s s e l f - h a t r e d , i t f o l l o w s t h a t he  would  have a s p e c i a l a n t i p a t h y  his  own  tendencies.  her  shallow  Her  f o r a p e r s o n who  r e j e c t i o n o f t h e Compson h o u s e h o l d ,  self-centeredness,  of compassion are a l l t r a i t s and  although  Jason's hatred  towards a l l , Quentin.  h e r m a t e r i a l i s m , and  t h a t he p a r t a k e s  of  lack  himself;  i s directed indiscriminatingly  i t i s e s p e c i a l l y intense i n r e l a t i o n to  The  promiscuity  t h a t he p r o f e s s e s  i s t h e p r o j e c t i o n o f h i s own which are manifest occasional,  mirrors  repressed  and  Miss  to hate i n thwarted  her  desires,  i n v i o l e n t emotions, v i o l e n t words,  and  ineffective, violent actions.  T h r o u g h empathy F a u l k n e r  i s able to  identify  s u f f i c i e n t l y with Jason to render  a sustained version  life  achievement precludes  from h i s p o i n t of view.  hatred failure  that Jason himself  provide  i s s u b j e c t t o , stemming  to r e l a t e to others.  which Faulkner an  The  The  from  f o l l o w i n g passage i n  t a l k s about scoundrels  e x p l a n a t i o n f o r the  of  helps  sense of  to  identification:  " W e l l , I t h i n k t h a t p o s s i b l y t h e O l d Adam i n man s u g g e s t s t o him t o be a b l a c k g u a r d i f he c a n g e t away w i t h i t , and when t h e r e ' s a g r e a t d e a l o f p r e s s u r e t o be r e s p e c t a b l e , i f t h e r e i s g r e a t e n o u g h r e w a r d f o r t h e r e s p e c t a b i l i t y , he w i l l choose t h a t i n p r e f e r e n c e to the p l e a s u r e o f b e i n g a s c o u n d r e l and a b l a c k g u a r d . . . . t h e r e ' s t o o much p r e s s u r e a g a i n s t b e i n g an i n d i v i d u a l i s t , and a g o o d f i r s t - r a t e s c o u n d r e l  the  i s an i n d i v i d u a l i s t . He d o n ' t r e a l l y b e l o n g t o a gang. Once h e ' s g o t t o j o i n a g a n g , he becomes a s e c o n d - r a t e s c o u n d r e l . But a f i r s t - r a t e scoundrel, like a f i r s t - r a t e a r t i s t , he's an i n d i v i d u a l i s t . . ." I feel  that Jason q u a l i f i e s  as a f i r s t - r a t e s c o u n d r e l ,  despite h i s pretence to r e s p e c t a b i l i t y . danger o f him of  ever j o i n i n g  a g a n g s i n c e he  g e t t i n g a l o n g w i t h anyone e l s e .  hundred  dollars  There  i s incapable  His i d e a of t a k i n g  f r o m Caddy i n r e t u r n f o r a  glimpse of her daughter  i s no  tantalizing  t h r o u g h t h e c a r r i a g e w i n d o w shows  a perverse kind of o r i g i n a l i t y .  A l t h o u g h many o f  Jason's  remarks,  s u c h a s h i s comments u p o n w o r t h l e s s B l a c k s and  big-city  J e w s , a r e c o m m o n p l a c e , he d o e s show  of  He  wit.  originality  says t h a t Benjy runs along the fence of  g o l f c o u r s e so much t h a t t h e y ' r e g o i n g t o s t a r t him dues i n t h e c o u n t r y c l u b sardonically that  " I never  (205).  had  He  n i g h t w i t h o u t k n o w i n g how  through w i t .  charging  advantages  t o go f o r a swim a t  (213).  In both  s e n s e o f b e i n g an o u t s i d e r i s m a s k e d  Jason's  energy,  t o m a n i p u l a t e r e a l i t y , and of  t o swim"  the  also proclaims  university  b e c a u s e a t H a r v a r d t h e y t e a c h y o u how  instances Jason's  a  words a r e analogous  his originality,  his desire  e v e n h i s s k i l l e d and  to the q u a l i t i e s  of a  clever  use  "first-rate  artist." J a s o n i s one whose i n f l e x i b i l i t y  o f a number o f F a u l k n e r i a n c h a r a c t e r s reflects  t h a t has become m i s d i r e c t e d .  a s t r o n g sense of l i f e Ab  Snopes o f "Barn  and E m i l y G r i e r s o n o f "A Rose f o r E m i l y " embody  energy  Burning" similar  144  tendencies.  A l l three c h a r a c t e r s , though d i f f e r e n t  e a c h o t h e r , a r e i n d i v i d u a l i s t s who and  are impervious  They a r e a l m o s t others.  to pressures  completely  Although  Jason  from  f o l l o w t h e i r own  from the o u t s i d e  desires  world.  o b l i v i o u s to the wishes  is different  of  from the o t h e r  two,  i n t h a t h i s values c l o s e l y m i r r o r those p r e v a l e n t i n s o c i e t y , he  i s u l t i m a t e l y a s h o s t i l e t o s o c i e t y and  a n a r c h i s t i c as t h e y a r e . the  There i s a grotesque  i s o l a t i o n of a l l t h r e e .  They a r e p e r v e r s e  as  quality and  d e s t r u c t i v e , a c t i n g i n ways t h a t i n f l i c t p a i n u p o n and  u l t i m a t e l y upon t h e m s e l v e s .  admirable  indomitable.  individuality.  spirits,  A l l three c h a r a c t e r s are  self-destructive, They l i v e  t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e l i v e s w i t h a k i n d of negative and  out  endurance.  E m i l y manage t o s u r v i v e a s t h e l a s t remain-'.ng  members o f o n c e p r o m i n e n t f a m i l i e s .  The  the impression t h a t they are v i r t u a l l y Faulkner i n h i s treatment following  in  They a r e a l l  b u t t o o t o u g h minded t o commit s u i c i d e .  Jason  others  Yet t h e r e i s something  i n the implacable nature of t h e i r  the s t r e n g t h of t h e i r  in  attempts  author  unkillable.  2 1  to e x p l a i n the ambivalence  o f c h a r a c t e r s such as J a s o n  statement  renders  about the  i n the  writer:  He's i n t e r e s t e d i n a l l man's b e h a v i o r w i t h no j u d g m e n t w h a t s o e v e r . That i t ' s motion, i t ' s l i f e , the only a l t e r n a t i v e i s nothingness, death. And so t o t h e w r i t e r a n y t h i n g man d o e s i s f i n e because i t ' s motion. I f he w e r e n o t d o i n g t h a t he w o u l d do n o t h i n g i n s t e a d . Maybe t h e w r i t e r h a s no c o n c e p t o f m o r a l i t y a t a l l ,  evident  o n l y an i n t e g r i t y t o h o l d a l w a y s t o w h a t he b e l i e v e s t o be t h e f a c t s a n d t r u t h s o f human behaviour, not moral standards a t a l l . But t h a t man i n h i s b o o k s d o e s w h a t man w i l l d o , n o t w h a t man s h o u l d do b u t what he w i l l d o , maybe w h a t he c a n ' t h e l p b u t d o . 2 2  I would l i k e t o emphasize t h e statement has  no c o n c e p t  Faulkner  says  of morality at a l l . "  Faulkner's  "was a g o o d human b e i n g "  2 3  though inadequate  2 4  I believe that  "maybe" b e c a u s e o n one l e v e l  make m o r a l j u d g m e n t s .  bastard,  "Maybe t h e w r i t e r  the author  statements  and t h a t J a s o n  that Dilsey  acted l i k e  as comprehensive  does  a  criticisms,  a r e n o t i n c o n s i s t e n t w i t h h i s p o r t r a y a l s o f them i n t h e novel.  Yet there i s a t r u t h which c o n t r a d i c t s these  statements. the a r t i s t  On a n o t h e r transcends  level,  and perhaps a deeper one,  m o r a l judgment and r e s p o n d s t o  a n y t h i n g t h a t moves h i s i m a g i n a t i o n . When a s t u d e n t a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f V i r g i n i a to  Joe Christmas  follows: can't  a s a "bad m a n "  2 5  "Well, Joe C h r i s t m a s — I  the author  refers  r e p l i e s as  t h i n k t h a t you r e a l l y  s a y t h a t a n y man i s g o o d o r b a d .  I grant you there  a r e some e x c e p t i o n s , b u t man i s t h e v i c t i m o f h i m s e l f , o r his  f e l l o w s , o r h i s own n a t u r e , o r h i s e n v i r o n m e n t b u t  no man i s g o o d o r b a d e i t h e r . " is  crystal  suggests  clear,  a counter  f i c a t i o n precludes ambiguity  2 5  Although  there i s a q u a l i f y i n g perspective.  the  statement  comment w h i c h  The s y m p a t h e t i c  identi-  s i m p l e m o r a l judgments and c o n v e y s t h e  of experience;  y e t the counter  a f a c t o r e f f e c t i n g our judgment.  p e r s p e c t i v e remains  To s a y t h a t D i l s e y  146  responds p o s i t i v e l y  to l i f e  whereas  Jason responds  n e g a t i v e l y i s n o t e x a c t l y t h e same a s s a y i n g t h e f o r m e r i s "good" w h i l e t h e l a t t e r i s " b a d , " b u t s o m e t i m e s t o be s a y i n g t h e same t h i n g way.  i t seems  i n a s l i g h t l y more  sophisticated  I s u g g e s t t h a t F a u l k n e r ' s s e n s i b i l i t y m i g h t be  termed a " m o d i f i e d Manichaean"  one.  The A m e r i c a n s e n s e o f  p e r c e i v i n g e x i s t e n c e i n terms o f moral extremes remains a p a r t o f i t , b u t i s g r e a t l y m o d i f i e d by a mature of  the complexities of existence which r e s i s t  D e s p i t e t h e awareness  awareness  categorization.  t h a t p e o p l e c a n n o t be c l a s s i f i e d a s  "good" o r " b a d " t h e M a n i c h a e a n  tendency remains,  subordinate perhaps, but not e n t i r e l y  absent.  J a s o n may  be r e g a r d e d a s t h e e m b o d i m e n t o f t h e n e g a t i v e r e s u l t s o f t h i s t e n d e n c y , when i t i s c a r r i e d t o a n e x t r e m e .  Lacking  an a w a r e n e s s o f t h e c o m p l e x i t i e s o f e x i s t e n c e , he c a n t o o easily the  categorize people.  The " p i g e o n h o l e s "  r a i l e d e n c l o s u r e where J a s o n works  characteristic  (12) w i t h i n  suggest t h i s  of h i s .  F a u l k n e r has t h e a b i l i t y  t o i d e n t i f y w i t h h i s main  c h a r a c t e r s on so i n t e n s e a l e v e l t h a t m o r a l judgment o f them i s s u s p e n d e d . capability  Not a l l w r i t e r s possess the negative  t h a t makes t h i s a c h i e v e m e n t p o s s i b l e .  c a n c o n v e y a P a r d o n e r who i s f u l l y Knight  Chaucer  as memorable as h i s  (and some p e o p l e m i g h t a r g u e e v e n more s o ) .  i s as f u l l y  lago  r e n d e r e d as O t h e l l o because Shakespeare i s  able to i d e n t i f y  imaginatively with both characters.  In  147  c o n t r a s t , w r i t e r s s u c h as Hemingway and negative capability, who  f o c u s s i n g most f u l l y  e m b o d i e s t h e i r own  never g e t s a f u l l  moral standards.  Salinger.  The  character  reader  a d o l e s c e n t i n the works of  But J a s o n i s as f u l l y  other r e f l e c t o r  on a  lack  i m a g i n a t i v e p o r t r a y a l o f a Hemingway  a n t i - h e r o o r an i n s e n s i t i v e J.D.  Salinger  i n The  Sound  represents the a n t i t h e s i s  and  the  r e n d e r e d as Fury,  any  even though  of the author's implied  he  moral  standards. I n one traditional.  respect Faulkner's treatment of Jason i s A number o f a u t h o r s h a v e b e e n a b l e t o  c o n v i n c i n g l y r e n d e r con-men Chaucer's  P a r d o n e r and Becky  (and con-women) s u c h S h a r p , and  m a n i p u l a t o r s such as S h a k e s p e a r e s 1  Lear,  developed c r e a t i o n s .  two r e a s o n s f o r t h e a r t i s t i c  is  I t might  I would  success of these  their  suggest  portrayals.  analogous to these c h a r a c t e r ' s m a n i p u l a t i o n s of the  as a s t a g e manager), Becky  The  P a r d o n e r , Edmund  Sharp, are a l l commercial a r t i s t s ,  performance  (who  i s portrayed  and t h a t e x c e l l e n t a c t r e s s and  t o g a i n t h e i r own  mimic,  using t h e i r  s e l f i s h ends.  their v i v i d imaginations for u t i l i t a r i a n the  King  the author's m a n i p u l a t i o n of the world of h i s a r t  m a t e r i a l s of l i f e .  of  Ahab.  be a r g u e d t h a t t h e s e c h a r a c t e r s a r e among  a u t