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Class Summary for October 20

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Travis May

Professor Foss

Class Summary

October 20, 2010

Class Summary

In class we discussed the characters in William Faulkner’s “The Sound and The Fury”.  This piece by Faulkner can be very depressing at times when you read how some characters are treated and the language that is used to put them down. It is a cold world. It’s a cold world because these characters go through things that nobody else in their community has to go through and the chill of the world’s ruthlessness is clearly encouraged upon them. The Compson family has a lot to deal with and the disabilities that each character have to deal with makes the world that much colder.

When we break down disability we have talked about mental and physical disability. We mentioned in class that the mother of household, Caroline, is not able to take care of her children the way most mothers can because she has hypochondria. This limits her to do a lot and she is shunned by Jason because Jason views Caroline as useless. She has no idea what her children’s needs really are and because of that the entire family suffers.

Jason was one of the main characters that we spent the most time on. We were asked how is Jason perceived and why is he so angry at his family. Jason’s lives a life of anger and hatred and he could not be nice even if he tried. He shows no affection to his family or to women at all. He uses and manipulates members in his family by twisting certain scenarios to help him out even though it might really hurt others. In my group, we basically said that Jason is a terrible person and he took the easy rode to be mad and nasty instead of taking the challenge to try to overcome the situations that surround him and care and love his family. The worst part of it all is that Jason is the head of the family and when you become the ruler of the household the spotlight is always shined on you. Everybody sees you and you become the most visible. When your head is poison, it just hurts the rest of the body of your family even more because there is no direction.

We also talked about Benji’s role in the Compson family and his significance as a character. In our large group we said that Benji was more of a progressive character because Faulkner goes deeper into his character. The coldness that Benji feels is that the only person that shows affection and love to Benji. Benji is sort of dependent on Caddy because Benji has communication issues and it is hard to understand him. Benji cannot understand worldly concepts which makes it hard for him understand major issues like Caddy’s promiscuousness for example. Benji is unique in a sense because even though he cannot communicate properly, he is able to see his family falling dramatically and he can also feel when bad things are going to happen.

Quentin was discussed in are large group discussion about his role in his family and what his significance is. Quentin is a character that likes to live in the past greatness and success of the family. He is trying to hold things together and seeking advice from the father of the family but he finds out that he is all alone. He is also hurt by the fact that Caddy sleeps around and he is so caught up in the families problems that he is slowly gets in a depressed state. In class we also mentioned that Quentin’s idea of trying to help the family is shut down by Jason and is discouraged from doing anything because of the verbal abuse he receives from him.

Overall as a class, when we discussed these characters the overall theme of what everyone in class said was basically that these characters live in a cold world that they can not seem to escape. There family has been dismantled for so long and the foundation has completely broken down. The Father is not apart of the family at all and the mother is not capable of taking an active role to take hold of her children and lead them to a successful lifestyle. Even with her disability, the love is not even there. James, the head of the house is the worst of them all, which is problematic because for someone who is supposed to take the leader role he lacks every trait that is necessary to take it on. His manipulative ways and hatred toward people are unbelievable which hurts his family. Benji might not be the smartest but he feels the good and the bad of every family member. His inability to communicate with others hurt him and he was shut out by everyone except for Caddy. As a class we stated that Quentin struggled because he lived in the past and wanted better but he did not have the support he needed. The Compson family lives in a cold world and it gets even colder because they cannot work together to get things back on track. They are hurt by disability but most of all they are shooting themselves in the foot because there is no sense of unity at all.

Written by mayallday

October 25th, 2010 at 11:02 am

Posted in class summaries

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