The Sound and the Fury: Quentin

The Sound and the Furry: Quentin’s Section

“Man is the sum of his misfortune. One day you’d think misfortune would get tired, but then time is your misfortune…” (Faulkner)

    Sartre’s ascertaition on Quentin’s eminent demise explains in a few sentences the theme of Quentin’s character and the style of the author who created him. In The Sound and the Fury Faulkner portrays a continuous paradoxical circumstance consisting of a nonexistent future, a murky present and an all consuming past which in itself shaped his character’s, Quentin’s, development and doomed him to one possible conclusion. Faulkner’s style of storytelling surrounds, while bleak, tells a basic truth of time being mans’ greatest foe. Quentin is simply an illustration of this war and the inevitable conclusion of time being challenged.
    In order to truly analyze Quentin’s section it becomes important to understand Faulkner and his form of storytelling, while keeping Sartre’s assertion firmly in mind. In reading Quentin’s section, Faulkner’s own point of view in regards to time becomes prevalent. His whole concept of time is not the traditional, linear, but unconventional and slightly muddled. With this in mind it becomes important to not mistake this for the disregarding of time. Faulkner puts it as his main theme above all others in this section, and his book as a whole. Traditionally, however, we think of time as three categories: past, present and future. Faulkner only focuses on the present and the past. Benjy has no concept of future and Quentin cannot seem to reach for it. This highly introspective character lives in the past. While there is some present it is muddled and highly simplistic, with an action by action event sequence, or very seemingly still as if time as stopped for that moment. Outside of these confused moments, the present events are thought of in terms of past, as if as Quentin is living they are already becoming past events. This is the style Faulkner writes in for...