Cinema and modernity in William Faulkner's “The Sound and the Fury”
Myers, Christopher Rice
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis identifies cinema not simply as a technological innovation, but also the extension of a modern audience. Operating under this premise, I investigate the presence of cinematic strategies in the Benjy section of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury , demonstrating how this brother’s linguistic deficiency makes his chapter the most cinematic and, consequently, the most affective. Through a careful reading of the Quentin section, one finds an intense preoccupation with time and modernity. Quentin desires to achieve the timeless experience of Benjy, but fails in his endeavor due to his arrival in modernity. Chapter three approaches the placement of Caddy (and, to a lesser extent, Quentin II) within the frames of her three brothers. Benjy’s similarity to a mechanical apparatus makes his gaze the most powerful and oppressive because he presents an object with which Caddy cannot interact. Quentin reconstructs his memories, depriving Caddy of a voice within his frame of reference, while Jason consistently expresses his desire for using physical violence to discipline and suppress his rebellious niece. Such declarations, however, prove to be empty threats, as Quentin II purposely attracts the male gaze in order to manipulate it.