Essay on Structures Used in The Sound and the Fury

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Structures Used in The Sound and the Fury

In “Christian and Freudian Structures”, Carvel Collins points out some interesting systems used by Faulkner in The Sound and The Fury. Collins refers to the first system Faulkner uses as a Christian structure, which shows how all three Compson sons are in parallel with Christ. When discussing the Christian structure, Collins says that it is important for the reader to know that three of the four sections are set on Easter Sunday and the two days preceding it (71). First, he discusses the Quentin section because it dates back to a Thursday with the other sections being on Friday (Jason), Saturday (Benjy), and Sunday (fourth section). The Thursday in which the Quentin section takes place
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Holy Saturday was said to be the third day which was represented by the events pertaining to Benjy. First, on Benjy’s birthday, he was fascinated with the candles on his cake and they symbolized “the paschal candle which is a large feature of church ritual on Holy Saturday” (72). Also, Holy Saturday is the traditional day o christening and name giving which relates to the naming of Benjy. The fourth section symbolizes the date of Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday was the day in which Christ rose from the tomb and Mary found the tomb empty (John 20) with only his clothes, just as “Miss Quentin’s empty room and abandoned lingerie” (72).

Collins says that after examining all of these motifs, we find that the Compson sons are in parallel with Christ, but by “inversion”. For example, “Christ pleaded to be released from the next day’s torture if such release would not interfere with His Father’s plans. but Quentin pleads with his father for punishment-which is refused him” (73). Also, Holy Saturday is a time for christening, of name giving, but Benjy’s name was actually taken away. Cohn says, “In short, God’s Son passed through the events of the Passion and rose as a redeemer; the Compson sons pass through parallel events but go down in failure” (73).

Another system that Faulkner uses is the Freudian

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