The Absent Presence of the Parental Generation: Incest and the Ordering of Experience in The Sound and The Fury
ARMY STUDENT DETACHMENT FORT BENJAMIN HARRISON IN
Pagination or Media Count:
In William Faulkners The Sound and the Fury, the older generation of Compsons and Bascombs stand failed and ghostlike as a shadow of the process that consumes their four offspring and ends the family line. Though marginalized by critics, the story of the parents and uncle lies embedded within the given world of the Compson children, maintained by an ever-present past, the doubling that exists between the two generations, and a repetitious pattern of incest and failure. Through the readers active participation, however, the older generations story emerges out of the larger whole created from the novels disparate, subjective parts. in defining incest as the vehicle for the family decline, the reader finds textual evidence suggesting that Caroline Compson and Maury Bascomb have engaged in an incestuous relationship, in spirit if not in reality, that precipitates the failure of their generation, possibly resulting in the birth of either one or both of the two youngest Compson sons.
- Humanities and History