Finishing up Faulkner

I’m hesitant to state that I was disappointed by the ending of The Sound and the Fury, although it is fairly frustrating to never get to hear from the character whom this entire novel revolves around, Caddy.  I feel the more appropriate response is to say that I am intrigued by Faulkner’s ending.

His choice to suddenly revert to a traditional narration after already establishing a series of unique and difficult narrators is an interesting and effective decision, I think.  Rather than provide his audience with viewpoint of one of the novel’s other pivotal characters, such as Caddy, Mrs. Compson, or any of the servants, Faulkner takes a step back thus allowing the Compson family to be viewed objectively, freeing the reader from the opinions, biases, and imperfections of the Compson’s themselves.  This liberation from the cryptic narration of the Compson brothers is relieving.  For the first time the reader is granted some form of stability, and can more confidently approach the novel.

However effective this decision may have been in the framing of this story and granting me an alternative perspective, the failure to grant Caddy an opportunity to have her say is difficult to ignore.  After dedicating 3 sections of this novel to her effect on the lives of the Compsons, in particular her brothers, one is eager to hear her side of the story, to put to rest the questions that linger from the inadequate recollections of Benji, Quentin, and Jason.  Obviously, this approach is far too simple and too typical for Faulkner.  Rather, I feel that his intention was to prompt his reader to go back, dig deeper into his perplexing writing and attempt to unearth the truth.  It’s certainly respectable, admirable even, but I think I’ll hold off for now.

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  1. you show real understanding of Faulkner’s complicated design and intentions