Comparing Time In Faulkner's The Sound And The Fury

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William Faulkner started to write his novel The Sound and the Fury in the fall of 1928. The novel represents the decline of the Southern American Compson family who lives in Yoknapatawpha County , in northern Mississippi . Often considered as Faulkner’s best novel, The Sound and the Fury exhibits many modern and innovative techniques that allow the main characters to narrate the story of the Compson family through the use of stream of consciousness and fragmentation to better reflect the characters disordered memory and subjective point of view. Faulkner’s obsession with innovative experimentation with the concept of time is observed not only in The Sound and the Fury but throughout his other novels, such as Absalom Absalom! and Light in August.…show more content…
In his article entitled "Time in Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury" Sartre observes that for Faulkner “the past is never lost, unfortunately; it is always there, it is an obsession.” Indeed, the past and the present are intermingled in Faulkner’s novel. When asked about his conception of time in his narrative, he admits that: “there isn’t any time [. . .] In fact, I agree pretty much with Bergson’s theory of the fluidity of time. There is only the present moment, in which I include both the past and the future, and that is eternity. In my opinion time can be shaped quite a bit by the artist.” Therefore, Faulkner’s statement shows that his treatment of time and memory does not adhere to any preexisting theory and insists that it should depend on the artist’s own wishes. Consequently, he opted for experimenting extensively with time and memory in his work. The results of his experimentation are evident in many of his novels and particularly in The Sound and the Fury. The narrative structure of this novel is non-conventional and does not follow a clearly defined linear order, that is to say that the past and the present are continually mixed to defy chronological order. Faulkner uses different narrative devices inn order to defy the linearity of time. Thus, stream of consciousness, multiple narrators and syntactic forms, symbolism and other to achieve his objective
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