The Sound and the Fury and as I Lay Dying – Two Works by William Faulkner

Essay details

Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

Download PDF

The author William Faulkner applies the notion of existential absurdity, authenticity and closeness to God as the major concepts. He argues that the existential epitome of authenticity is exhibited in the character Darl from the narrative As I lay Dying. In the novel As I lay Dying, Faulkner displays man’s endurance in an absurd, humiliating, ambiguous world; however man is capable of gallantry in a Sisyphean sense as exemplified by the character Cash. During his speech he says, “our misfortune today is a universal and general fear so long unrelenting by now that we can never cope with it, there are no longer spirit problems.” Though Faulkner concludes this famous speech in an erratic positive note, claiming man is immortal due to his desire to endure, he identifies the current state of humanity as spiritually debauched in light of the possibility of instant annihilation.

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price


The Sound and the Fury:

The title of the novel is extracted from a monologue vocalized by Shakespeare’s Macbeth, who has gained the thrown Scotland via murder and has controlled it through the cruelest violence and tyranny. In comparing the two stories by William Faulkner, I will address the question as to why William Faulkner picked a phrase from the passage for the Sound and the Fury title, the applicability of the passage to the novel and whether the novel is despairing and pessimistic as the speech itself (Roberts and Cliffs Notes).

In the novel Sound and the Fury, Faulkner uses a stream of consciousness method, which was used by James Joyce’s Ulysses in experimental works. The author further complicates the issue for readers by clambering, as it were, the referred time frames by the recounting consciousness of the beginning section of the novel.

All of the novel’s vital events are recorded in Benjy’s section and after that summarized expanded upon by the storytellers. For Benjy is in numerous ways the fundamental and most crucial narrating consciousness. Faulkner is unable to distinguish between what will be tomorrow and what was last year. He doesn’t seem to be aware whether he saw it or dreamed of it.

Each of the novel’s four sections contains a date as opposed to chapter number. The three of the narratives occurs on three consecutive days in April of 1928, though they are not presented in a consecutive sequence (Williamson). The second one out of the four, Quentin’s story is dated June 2, 1910 – the day he killed himself towards the final of his first year at Harvard. With every section, the story becomes more articulate, and we conclude in a fairly straight forward and customary third-person voice.

As I Lay Dying:

Faulkner drafted As I Lay Dying in six weeks while he was working the night shift at a power. Faulkner conscripted A I Lay Dying in six-week at the time he was working the night at a power firm. He clearly thrived in what he set out as undertake. This novel is a work in which the talent for Faulkner is fully within his control, and the outcome is one of the twentieth century most beloved and finest novel.

As I Lay Dying, unlike the Sound and the Furry contains a clearly defined plot line: it is the story of a journey, and regardless of the many delays in that journey, nothing hinders the straight frontward movement of the plot towards its endpoint. Nevertheless, the manner in which the story is presented exemplifies an experiment in story technique that is dazzlingly achieved. When the author completely eliminates himself totally as an author-narrator figure, he divides the narrative into fifty-nine distinct monologs, each though or spoken by one of the fifteen characters (Oatman and Faulkner). We can observe that there is no description, no exposition of action or character outside of the way the characters view themselves, one another, and the proceedings in which they take part.

Similar to The Sound and the Furry, As I Lay, Dying revolves around a single family. It is always comic, often the grotesque narrative of their single-minded attempt to carry out their father’s promise to his failing wife.

Comparing the two Novels:

In both novels, the family is essential to structure, meaning and plot. It’s the cause of identity and grief and also the locus of all persons psychic struggles. Faulkner’s characters are eternally within their family values and roles.

Faulkner attempts to make himself vanish in these works. As an alternative to using customary third-person relator, that majority of readers associate with the author, he leads a chorus of voices that complement, intertwine and contradict one another (Luce). As readers, we must depend on what we acquire from the characters themselves as to place, time, plot and matters of effects and cause.

All of the novels questions are our assumptions about time as regular, sequential, linear and predictable. Faulkner is involved in the effects and cause of extreme psychological pressures as we observe in Quentin and Benjy Compson and many other characters used in these novels.

Faulkner has often been accused of an exceptionally misogynistic women representation. Faulkner’s inability to attain moral depth in his painting of young women clearly indicates the main falling as a novelist.

Comparison between Jean Toomer’s Cane and Karintha

Cane is an unconventional book, unclassified and experimental in its poem combination and what are precisely prose pieces that are established as short narratives but rarely mere sketches, occasionally prose poems lacking plot, encompassing just a few pages and carrying the sense of an individual’s spirit impressionistically. Some of these pieces approach the drama, with a kind of conversation printed dialogue, setting defined precisely as for the stage designer, and actions offered in the current tense.

Whether verse, drama or prose all are infused with a poet sensibility: detailed depiction of the details of use of all of the senses gaudily, rhythmic quality devoid of slavish observance to metrics, word sensitivity phrasing theme variation, a fine sound ear, and an elegant sense of the organic structure (Fabre and Feith). Few books whether verse or prose contains less of prosaic compared to this one, which puts the reader in an almost persistent state of exaltation and intensity, drawing them in with sound, language, rhythm and form.

To establish a sense of closeness and vitality to the natural world and the land, Toomer make use of an immense array of references to nature i.e. cane fields, pines, sky at the dusk, red soil as imageries themselves as metaphors or smiles in relation to his character, or as a recurrent leitmotif in operatic progress of his drawings.

In Karintha, just like other book pieces, Toomer begins with an, a songlike abstain of 4 lines that reappear throughout the outline as a uniting device. The very first of four passage of varying length then presents Karintha as an infant, wrapping her up in the beginning sentence, which happens to be poetically accretive as opposed to prosaically structured; the last adjective cluster repeats words from epigraph’s desist. Two lines in corresponding construction follow, addressing the actions young men and old men undertakes with her, which are followed by 2 lines in reply to these, recounting their individual feelings concerning her (Jones). The end sentence concludes the paragraph and “this attention of the male,” with a symbolic elucidation of it & note of forbidding.

The third passage creates varied references to issue & phrasing of the previous paragraph. Repetition of actual phrases and sentences and the sentences structure induces the poetry sense, as does second half of the section, which through indirection, discloses Karina’s murder of her baby.

Get quality help now

Prof Saney

Verified writer

Proficient in: Books

4.9 (316 reviews)
“He was able to complete the assignment following all directions in an elaborate manner in a short period of time. ”

+75 relevant experts are online

More Essay Samples on Topic

banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.