Annotated Bibliography

Bloom, Harold. Modern Critical Interpretations: William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. New York: Chelsea, 1988. In this interpretation of The Sound and the Fury, John Irwin, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, examines Quentin’s narrative. According to Irwin, Quentin feels a tremendous amount of pressure to live up to his family’s past prominence. While Quentin is guided by the Southern code of manners and of morality, he desires to exact revenge against Dalton Ames, the man he believes is responsible for Caddy’s loss of innocence.  Also, Thadious Davis, a professor at the University of North Carolina, notes of how the characters regard their own black race as well as the white race. Jason thinks that white people are “people” and that a nigger is not a person. However, Quentin is fully aware of other black people. In addition, Quentin is too preoccupied with blacks and he is not completely aware of whites so he is constantly living in a divided world.

Fargnoli, Nicholas A., and Michael Golay. William Faulkner A to Z. New York: Checkmark, 2002.  In this book there is a section exclusively dedicated to The Sound and the Fury. According to Fargnoli and to Golay, Jason Compson feels that he is entitled to something. Jason feels burdened because he has to take care of Caddy’s daughter, he works, and he takes care of the family’s finances. Jason believes that every other Compson is dysfunctional while he is the only sane one. In addition, Jason wants Benjy committed to an asylum so that he will not have to take care of him anymore

Faulkner, William. The Portable Faulkner. Ed. Malcolm Cowley. Revised & Expanded edition ed.    Penguin Classics, 2003.  The author of this selection attempts to draw attention to Faulkner instead of shedding light on the stories that Faulkner created.  The book takes a look into Faulkner’s mind and critiques his writing style in an attempt to better explain Faulkner’s rather bizarre and sporadic writing style.  In Faulkner’s piece, The Sound and the Fury, the carefully chosen dialect and the painstakingly created timeline were both impressive feats of literary genius, but both were lost on the lay person.  Due to Faulkner’s choice of words and confusing timeline, the story doesn’t translate well.  The Portable Faulkner explains Faulkner and his writings and sheds light on The Sound and the Fury, among other stories, which makes it easier for the reader to understand the story line.

Freud, Sigmund. The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud (Psychopathology of Everyday Life, the Interpretation of Dreams, and Three Contributions To the Theory of Sex). Trans. A. A. Brill. 1st ed. Modern Library, 1995.  Faulkner’s use of psychology in The Sound and the Fury seems to mirror the research and teachings of the famous Sigmund Freud.  Faulkner touches on the  subconscious in his book, primarily in the Quentin section with his repeated mention of time and the audible ticking of a clock.  Freud extensively explored the idea of subconscious; his interest in the human mind is artfully described in this book.  In addition to the human mind, both Faulkner and Freud reveled in sex, especially more taboo aspects of intimate human interaction.  Faulkner’s mention of incestuous thoughts plays directly into Freud’s interest in human sexuality.  Freud thoroughly explored human sexual instincts and his findings are discussed in this book.

Gwin, Minrose C. “Hearing Caddy’s Voice.” The Sound and the Fury. 2nd ed. A Norton Critical Edition.      New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1994. 405-12.  Since the whole novel revolves around Caddy, it only makes sense to select a source dedicated primarily to the discussion of Caddy Compson.  According to the author of this piece, Faulkner’s beloved character Caddy is as mysterious as she is discussed.  “There is probably no major character in literature about whom we know so little in proportion to the amount of attention that she receives” (407).  The entire novel revolves around Caddy’s character; her actions shape the direction of the story, and the novel is completely told by her brothers.  Caddy technically has no voice in this piece, and yet the reader is privy to a large amount of information about her life and her fall from grace.  This short critique of Faulkner’s piece discusses Caddy’s place in the story, and how her actions affected the psyche of her beloved brothers.

Hoffman, Frederick J. William Faulkner. Boston: Twayne, 1961. In chapter three of William Faulkner, Hoffman reports that Faulkner said The Sound and the Fury was his favorite among all his novels. Faulkner reportedly wrote the novel five different times. In particular, the novel focuses on the consciousness of Benjy, Quentin, and Jason and each of their perspectives on the dysfunctional behavior of the Compson family. Benjy, the youngest sibling and the “idiot” has a childlike view of the events in the family. Benjy does not understand the concept of time and he relies on his sister Caddy for affection. Mrs. Compson, the hypochondriac mother, feels as though she is responsible for Benjy’s affliction and she regards him as just another responsibility.

Irwin, John T. “Doubling and Incest in The Sound and the Fury.” The Sound and the Fury. 2nd ed. A Norton Critical Edition. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1994. 310-16.  The author of this critique discusses Faulkner’s view on religion and abnormal psychology.  The concept of incest is incredibly deviant behavior, and considered wrong in many cultures.  Faulkner repeatedly discusses the incestuous feelings that Quentin harbors for his younger sister.  Irwin    discusses this subject and compares Faulkner’s character’s deviant feelings with that of  significant religious moments.  This piece focuses primarily on the religious aspect of Faulkner’s piece, but is still apropos to the psychology of the novel.  Irwin discusses the relationship between Quentin and Caddy.

Jehlin, Myra. “Faulkner’s Fiction and Southern Society.” The Sound and the Fury. William Faulkner. New York: Norton, 1994. 317-24. This article by Jehlin emphasizes that the characters in The Sound and the Fury try to escape real life by creating a world for only themselves. Benjy’s world is confused, childish, and it relies on Caddy. Conversely, Quentin’s world relies on time and a code of manners.

Kartiganer, Donald M., and Ann J. Abadie, eds. Faulkner and Psychology. University of Mississippi, 1994.  Kartiganer and Abadie discuss, at length, Faulkner’s view and use of psychology in his novels.  Faulkner’s unabashed handling of deviant behavior made his novels edgy and fascinating.  The authors of Faulkner and Psychology remark on the parallel between Faulkner’s creations and Freud’s view on the human mind.  Both distinguished men focused on the abnormal    aspect of the human condition and seemed to enjoy exploring and discussing the abnormal psychology that plagues mankind.  There is also mention of the psychological impact of illness in this piece.  Faulkner created a few hypochondriacs in the Compson family.  Caroline, the matriarch of the fictional family, is always ill.  This weakness leads her to become a rather absent mother, who relies on her servants to care for her children.

Parini, Jay. One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner. New York: Harper, 2004. In this book, Parini notes that Caddy was the inspiration for The Sound and the Fury. Before Faulkner began writing the novel, he visualized a little girl wearing muddy drawers and climbing a tree. Therefore, Caddy was the inspiration for the novel. Faulkner said that he never had a sister and that he lost his daughter in infancy, so his creation of Caddy was his attempt to make a beautiful and a tragic little girl. However, the only way the reader gets to know about Caddy is through the perception of her brothers.

Ross, Stephen, and Noel Polk. Reading Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury (Reading Faulkner Series).  3-8. University of Mississippi, 1996.  The authors of this novel discuss the timeline of The Sound and the Fury at length.  This breakdown helps the reader to better understand the progression of the story, and also explains the characters’ position in the family.  Granted, this selection doesn’t discuss the psychology of the piece, but it can be used as a jumping off point for the project.     Reading Faulkner can be used as a basis for all of the research that will be required to complete the website.  Understanding the dynamics of the family is pinnacle when starting any sort of project.  If the basic idea behind the novel is lost, then none of the subsequent research is null and   void.

Singal, Daniel J. William Faulkner: The Making of a Modernist. The University of North Carolina P, 1999.  The author of this piece reveals Faulkner’s struggle to disassociate himself from the suppressive Victorian culture that still existed around the turn of the century.  Faulkner no longer believed in the teachings of the old culture, and that was reflected in his writings.  His use of   taboo concepts, which most Victorian writers would only allude to and not discuss in length, tells of his desire to be liberated from such ideals.  “Indeed, it is in the clash between these two selves that one finds the key to making sense of Faulkner” (Singal).  This clash describes the struggle that Faulkner felt within himself, and this is transferred into his writings.  Quentin suffers from a similar struggle.

Wadlington, Warwick. “The Sound and the Fury: A Logic of Tragedy.” The Sound and the Fury. 2nd ed.     A Norton Critical Edition. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1994. 358-70.  The author of this critique discusses the psychology of Faulkner’s piece as it relates to the tragedy that the  Compton family had to endure.  Wadlington touches on the effect that this tragedy has on each individual.  Specifically mentioned in this critique is the idea of “heroic temper and ‘unheroism’ in tone and mood” (Wadlington).  In the novel, Quentin exemplifies this concept; he plays the     part of the fallen hero.  He tries to save Caddy from being labeled a fallen woman by telling his father that he had been the one to deflower her; he felt that incest was less of a sin than sex outside marriage.  This attempt at heroism is futile, however, and Quentin ends up committing suicide before the illegitimate child is born.  The desire to commit suicide is an unnatural psychological trait in some humans.  The primary instinct in all animals is to survive, to commit suicide goes against nature.

Published on May 4, 2009 at 7:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

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