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The Sound and the Fury, section 2, June 2, 1910 
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Post The Sound and the Fury, section 2, June 2, 1910
THE SOUND AND THE FURY, JUNE 2, 1910



Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:55 am
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I am liking the 2nd section better than the first. I think that I may go back and read the Benji section after I read the rest of the book. It will probably make more sense. I really like this quote from the 2nd part:

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The watch ticked on. I turned the face up, the blank dial with little wheels clicking and clicking behind it, not knowing any better. Jesus walking on Galilee and Washington not telling lies.


It's poetic and makes me wonder what the connection is between the clock "not knowing any better" and Jesus and Washington. Maybe it has to do with substance. These stories are told and believed even though there is no substance to them? The clock's wheels are continuing to rotate even though the substance of the clock is gone? Hmmmmm.



Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:27 pm
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Ok, I am having a hard time with this book. The 2nd chapter seemed like it would flow differently but it is still pretty choppy. Sentences are cut off a lot. What do people think?



Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:48 pm
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Looking at the cliff notes it looks like this chapter is a day in the life of Quentin. It is his thought process. It makes more sense now. I know when I think I do not always finish thoughts and sometimes have impressions or memories that appear. Actually there is a name for it. Stream-of-Conciousness writing.


http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/Lit ... um-71.html



Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:49 pm
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I am enjoying this book a lot more now that I have a context for it. I found out that Mrs. Dalloway is also a stream of conciousness book. I loved that book. It is written differently though. Mrs. Dalloway is from the 3rd person perspective whereas this is told from the 1st person. It is actually kind of cool to get inside the character's mind. Human thought is often all over the place. Now that I know what the author is trying to do, it makes much more sense.



Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:13 pm
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Post Re: The Sound and the Fury, section 2, June 2, 1910
Philip Roth also uses "stream of conciousness", some of his sentences can run on for a page or two. What is interesting in Quentin's section is the lack of periods, or any punctuation. I am finding that Quentin's thoughts, the tone of his thoughts change according to where he is and what he is doing. When he bumps into someone, or when he is trying to catch his train, his thoughts become even more fragmented. It's like he is having a conversation with himself, then gets interupted. But you are right, we are inside his head. His emotions come out, but the reasons for these emotions are not clear because the action is missing. We are so used to a cause and effect type of narration. Something happens, the character reacts, we are not getting this here in the second section.

I think we have lost a few posts here. DWILL posted an interesting question, and thoughts on stream of conciousness writing and I don't see it now.



Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:05 am
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Post Re: The Sound and the Fury, section 2, June 2, 1910
I found a "Portrait of the Artist" quality to this section, though Joyce wasn't in full "stream" mode there. I think we did lose some posts, and one of mine, but I guess posterity will not suffer for it. Joyce and Faulkner reacted against the artificiality of conventional fiction narration. They were more up on psychological realism than older writers. If there's going to be this device of presenting what's going on in people's heads--the god-like omniscience--then at least try to make it reflect the actual haphazardness of thoughts, they seemed to believe. Of course, it wasn't realism for its own sake they were after, but artistic opportunity. There is a richness to the writing--along with a difficulty--that isn't as present in the artificial linearity of conventional narration.

Sooner or later, we'll need to talk about Faulkner's view of race. Might as well be now? The first thing to be said about it is that it is nuanced. It is a still a bit hard for me, though, to avoid a negative reaction to Quentin's blunt thought discussion of "niggers." And even though it is certain that Faulkner was not a racist in the sense that prevailed
in the South, I do not yet know whether he believed that skin color made blacks different in nature from whites. Even Abraham Lincoln believed whites were different from blacks. What sense do you all get from Quentin's thoughts on 86-87 and 97-101 (the section with Deacon)?


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Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:17 am
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Post Re: The Sound and the Fury, section 2, June 2, 1910
Quentin seems quite a cool character in a way. There is a surface calmness about him that doesn't seem to sort with a young man who will be doing himself in a few hours later. He makes casual converstation and spends his time figuring out where an immigrant girl lives. However, as the chapter goes on his perceptions and thoughts do seem to grow more distorted under the pressure of his inevitable (to him) doom. He sticks to form to the very end, though, not forgetting to brush his teeth before jumping off the bridge, weighted by the two flat irons.

Could we safely say the parents leave a little to be desired? Quentin doesn't say much about his mother. She seems to be a non-factor ("if I could say Mother. Mother.") But his father clearly had a big influence on him. Quentin tried to bring to his father his anguish over Caddy's loss of her honor (i.e., virginity), but Mr. Compson has nothing helpful to tell the fiercely idealistic Quentin. Mr. Compson is not unkind, but so cynical as to do nothing but increase Quentin's despair. Clearly, Quentin is an extreme personality, intensely brooding over ideals that in his father's universe as well as in the world at large (esp. in the foreign North) are held as anachronistic and foolish. Out of his despair he has latched onto a morbid image of resurrection or redemption, that of his body rising (maybe even the flat irons) to the surface after his death.

Ever been bugged by insignificant details in a book? I'm sure that there never could have been a trout in the Charles River or any other river near Cambridge, Mass. Faulkner liked the image, and it's a good one, but not "correct.".


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Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:53 pm
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Post Re: The Sound and the Fury, section 2, June 2, 1910
I think it's interesting that you brought up the trout. I never even thought about the possibiliby that a trout could not live in that water. Are you a fisherman DWILL? But, thinking about it now, he does tell the kids to leave it alone. A special trout living in an unsuitable enviornment? Do you think the trout may symbolize Quentin? He does end up in the water after all. "Leave the fish alone". The young girl brings up the same question. He can't find where she lives, where is the girls suitable living enviornment? Where is her mother? She doesn't speak to him, she is almost like a ghost. Why does the girl keep following him, does he at first feel the need to protect her, (like Caddy), but then runs away from her? I think he feels the weight of the world on his shoulders, he has escaped that house, and the family sacrificed to send him to Harvard, but the poor thing can't get away from the guilt. Oh, the mess a bad mother can create! I have to say that I'm thinking that these things may not have actually taken place, Faulkner may have been setting up Quentin's frame of mind. Quentin is such a lost soul.



Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:21 am
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Post Re: The Sound and the Fury, section 2, June 2, 1910
Very interesting idea about the trout. (I used to be an avid fisherman but now just like to look at trout or think about them being in the water. And a trout stream is the most beautiful object in the world, no doubt about it in my mind.) The girl seems to represent to Quentin the innocence that can't last in the world. She also lets him display his southern chivalristic ideal, an ideal that seems out of favor there in the North. Quentiin is both kind pure, in a sense. He is therefore so at odds with the world that he can't stay. There is talk about Benjy being a Christ figure. I'm not too keen on symbolism or symbolic readings. But the case for Quentin as Christ could be made, too. Several mentions of his rising from the dead, and of course he suffers for humanity.


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Post Re: The Sound and the Fury, section 2, June 2, 1910
I feel a strong connection to Quentin. I relate to much of what he says and feels, and was deeply moved by this part of the book. the fact that he was haunted his entire life, and eventually indirectly killed by, the two things he thought he would be able to trust and hold stock in. the first being the watch his father handed down to him, the second of course being his sisters promiscuity. the watch itself of course is only a symbol for how his father handed down his own inability to act against his demons to Quentin. Also, symbolic of how Quentin like his father, would be driven into despair by the demons he could not confront. Unlike his father, Quentin did not develope an addiction, which represents his good heart. However, his fathers brokeness ultimately was passed down to him, and disabled him from being able to cope with his own unique trails which in the end consumed him. (represented by the water he would drowned himself in) His subconcious obsession with the "southern code" is what allowed Caddy's rash promiscuity to have such a negative effect on him. He was a beautiful and sensitive character, who unfortunately was haunted by something to big for him to face. I have never connected with a character on this level and am deeply moved by Faulkners deep perception and accurate protrail of human grief and brokeness.



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