Sound And The Fury

William Faulkner\'s background influenced him to write the unconventional novel

The Sound and the Fury. One important influence on the story is that Faulkner
grew up in the South. The Economist magazine states that the main source of his
inspiration was the passionate history of the American South, centered for him
in the town of Oxford, Mississippi, where he lived most of his life. Similarly,

Faulkner turns Oxford and its environs, "my own little postage stamp of
native soil," into Yoknapatawpha County, the mythical region in which he
sets the novel (76). In addition to setting, another influence on the story is

Faulkner\'s own family. He had three brothers, black servants, a mother whose
family was not as distinguished as her husband\'s, a father who drank a lot, and
a grandmother called Damuddy who died while he was young. In comparison, the
novel is told from the point of view of the three Compson brothers, shows the
black servant Dilsey as a main character, has Mrs.! Compson complain about how
her family is beneath her husband\'s, portrays Mr. Compson as a alcoholic, and
names the children\'s grandmother Damuddy who also dies while they are young.

Perhaps the most important influence on the story is Faulkner\'s education, or
lack thereof. He never graduated from high school, let alone college, and in
later life wryly described himself as "the world\'s oldest sixth
grader." He took insistent pride in the pre-intellectual character of his
creativity, and once declined to meet a delegation of distinguished foreign
authors because "they\'d want to talk about ideas. I\'m a writer, not a
literary man" (76). In writing The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner pays no
attention to normal literary work. He often uses incoherent and irrational
phrases to bring the reader into the minds of the characters. This background,
together with a believable plot, convincing characterization and important
literary devices enables William Faulkner in The Sound and the! Fury to develop
the theme of the regression of the family. The structure of The Sound and the

Fury leaves much to be desired. First of all, the time sequence is chaotic and
only leads to confusion. The first section is told from the point of view of a
thirty three year old idiot, Benjy Compson, who can tell no difference between
the past or present. The Benjy section is very difficult to understand because
the slightest incident can trigger a memory from him and completely replace what
is happening in the immediate time frame. For instance, the first jump in time
occurs on just the second page of the book when Luster says, "Cant you
never crawl through here without snagging on that nail." Benjy
automatically thinks back to when he went with Caddy to deliver a letter to Mrs.

Patterson and got stuck on the fence near Christmas. When Caddy says in the same
memory, "You don\'t want your hands froze on Christmas, do you," Benjy
thinks of an earlier incident when Caddy tried to convince Mrs. Compson to let
him come outside with her (F! aulkner 4). The next section, told from Quentin

Compson\'s perspective, is as equally puzzling. Since Quentin has decided to end
his life, he reminisces about his past and the reason he chose to die. The
reason is his sister\'s act of adultery. Whenever he is reminded of events that
have to do with his sister\'s sin, he also goes back in time. When Quentin is
thinking about how good the weather will be for the Harvard boat race in June,
the month of brides, he thinks of Caddy\'s wedding day. He then thinks of the
roses at her wedding and of trying to convince his father that he committed
incest with his sister (77). Another uncertainty in this novel is the lack of
rising action or climax. The book is told on Easter weekend, 1928, and gives the
whole history of the family by retelling the events that occurred in the minds
of the characters. To begin, the first section tells what will happen in the
rest of the novel in the form of Benjy\'s memories. It informs the reader th! at

Mr. Compson and Damuddy dies, Uncle Maury is having an affair with a married
woman, Benjy gets castrated, and that Caddy gets pregnant, married, and then
denounced by her family when she is left by her husband. Since the first part
already tells what happens to the family, there is no suspense. The rest of the
novel is just the same events retold from a different view. There is nothing