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Sarah Roop’s Final Project on Benjy’s Narrative

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[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/37NHqGfzb6k" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]The Sound and the Fury

Initially in Benjy’s narrative from The Sound and the Fury, it can be difficult to understand and follow his story, as his thoughts and experiences flow from one to another often without apparent connections. However, upon closer analysis, the events maintain key elements that connect the sequence, whether it is people or things that are said or represented. Unable to fully communicate with his surrounding, Benjy is left to experience things taking them as they are, yet not fully comprehending the reason or meaning behind it all. His narrative is a combination of his memories mixed with his current daily occurrences. With my project, through the usage of photographs and audio clips combined visual text, I worked to break Benjy’s narrative down to the key components showing the flow of his mind and the connections between his thought processes.

The photographs presented in the video reinforce the foremost people and events of his life. I chose to incorporate repetition of the images, as opposed to finding multiple images for related events. Through this repetition, it makes it easier to follow the storyline and see the connection of the events. The usage of the same photographs also conveys the mindset of Benjy. In that his experiences were simplistic and, while they jump from one to another, ultimately, they are all very similar in his mind. For example in the beginning of the video, the photo of the golfer saying “caddie”, leads him to think of his sister Caddy and while he thinks of her, he thinks of her connection with the smell of trees. Then later when he thinks of Caddy and trees he thinks of her in that same mindset, pulling from the same memory thus the same sensory elements. To aide in the flow of his narrative, I used textual and audio components to reinforce the visual aspects.

In the beginning I was undecided on whether to use solely audio clips versus text, as they both allow viewers to take different understanding of the video. Text allows for the viewer to read the narrative, as one would do reading his narrative in the novel, allowing for a similar experience. While audio clips reach the viewer in a different manner, permitting them to take in Benjy’s narrative and ultimately assess it from a different angle. I decided that incorporating both aspects allows for a wider spectrum of understanding, in addition to reaching a larger audience as some respond better to audio than to text or vice versa. For both the text and the audio, I took direct parts of his narrative, at the most simple level. This includes lines spoken by his family and thoughts that are recurrent, for example that Caddy smelled like trees. The included excerpts often occur throughout the section, such as people to telling Benjy to “hush up” or “quit that moaning”. With the text and audio, I hoped to add character to the photographs of Benjy’s narrative.

Though Benjy is unable to talk in order to communicate with the world, he still is affected by the events and people around him. Stream of conscious does not allow for clear distinctions of where one thought or event ends and the other begins. Nonetheless, the are connected by certain triggers. And it is through this that Benjy lives his life, replaying memories as they relate to the present.

Written by sroop

November 29th, 2010 at 12:38 pm