AMST 246 - Lecture 6 - Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury

Lecture 6 - Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury

Overview

Professor Wai Chee Dimock begins her discussion of The Sound and the Fury by presenting Faulkner’s main sources for the novel, including Act V, Scene 5 of Macbeth and theories of mental deficiency elaborated by John Locke and Henry Goddard. Her main focus is on the experimental subjectivity of the novel’s first section which is narrated by Benjy Compson, a mentally retarded 33 year old who is completely innocent of his family’s decline and fall in 1920s Jefferson, Mississippi. Professor Dimock traces Benjy’s preoccupation with his sister Caddy and her sexual innocence through his sense of smell, and the repeated phrase “Caddy smelled like trees.” She concludes by observing that Faulkner protects Benjy from the loss of Caddy by allowing him to move seamlessly between the present and the past, shielding him in his own memories. 

Resources

Assignment

Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

Course Media

Transcript

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Audio

mp3

Low Bandwidth Video

mov [100MB]

High Bandwidth Video

mov [500MB]