Reading good books could be the best thing to do for many people in their free time, and if you are among the book enthusiasts, stick close and read on about William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. The first thing you need to know is that this book falls in the category of Southern Gothic genre. The novel was released in 1929 and its story line follows different narrative styles, among which the stream of consciousness seems to be the most frequently used technique. The book didn’t gain an immediate success, and it was the year of 1931 that made this novel successful, when the author published the sixth book in number.
The Sound and the Fury’s action takes place in an imaginary place, which is the Yoknapatawpha County. The story line follows the life of the Compson family, which is part of the Southern aristocratic class. The author aims to reflect these people’s thoughts and personal fears regarding the time contexts they were living. The action is set after the Civil War, when most aristocrats lost property and, implicitly, social status.
The novel is divided in four sections which present the thoughts of the three Compson brothers which are Benjamin Compson, Quentin Compson and Jason Campson; the last section brings to attention Dilsey, who is the devoted “negro” of the family and the one raising the kids. The story presents the life of the Compons following the four different voices of the characters that depict events from their personal point of view. Benjy represents the severely retarded man, Quentin is the young intellectual who attends Harvard and Jason is the farmer worker. They all are concerned with their sister’s attitude and behavior, as she gives them affection when they are little, but shifts to behave promiscuously later on. Caddy gets pregnant and gives birth to a child, whom she names Quentin. As she doesn’t want to reveal the identity of the baby’s father, her brother Quentin tells everyone in the family that he is the father of his sister’s child. Caddy marries a banker, whom she lies that he is the father of her baby, and when Herbert Head finds out that Caddy’s child is not his, he divorces her and takes back his promise to Jason to hire him in the bank. Quentin comes to commit suicide after being accepted to Harvard and Caddy is disowned by the family.
To conclude with, The Sound and the Fury presents the decline of a wealthy family which tell their stories separately and including the thoughts of the author.