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It’s Giveaway time! Get a free bonus entry into our weekly raffle and check out The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury

by William Faulkner
4.0 stars – 450 reviews
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Here’s the set-up:
The Sound and the Fury was written (and is set) in the postbellum American South, in the period after Reconstruction (1865–77). At this critical moment in American history, the South was in the process of redefining itself and its values in the absence of slavery. Certain Southern families (typically old landed families) refused to participate in this process. Instead, they turned inward; they clung to their traditions and values—to vague notions of honour, purity, and virginity. The Sound and the Fury documents the decline of these families. The Compsons, as Faulkner casts them, are direct descendants of the planter-aristocrats. They are the inheritors of their values and traditions, on whom the survival (or ultimate extinction) of this Southern aristocracy depends. The Compsons, for the most part, shirk this responsibility. Quentin, however, does not. The burden of the past falls heavily upon Quentin, who, as the eldest son, feels he must preserve and protect the Compson family honour. Quentin identifies his sister as the principal bearer of the honour he is to protect. When he fails to protect that honour—that is, when Caddy loses her virginity to Dalton Ames and becomes pregnant—Quentin elects to commit suicide. Quentin’s suicide, in conjunction with Caddy’s pregnancy, precipitates the fall of the Compson family. Still, for nearly two decades, the family survives. Its death knell is tolled on April 8, 1928, by Miss Quentin, who “swung herself by a rainpipe” to the locked window of her uncle’s bedroom, took her mother’s money, “climbed down the same rainpipe in the dusk,” and vanished, taking with her not only the money but the last semblance of the Compson family honour. At the end of the novel, the Compson family is in ruins and, on a larger scale, the Southern aristocracy is too.
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