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MonkeyNotes-The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
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SECTION IV: Third Person Narrative, 8th April 1928 Summary

This chapter is unique in the novel in that it is the only of the four chapters not presented as a monologue. Instead it is a third-person narrative that panoramically describes the events of Easter Sunday, 1928. The chapter opens in the morning. Dilsey begins her work. Everyone is still asleep, except Mrs. Compson, who makes a nuisance of herself by telling Dilsey to make Jason's breakfast and have Benjy dressed (both things that Dilsey does on a regular basis, without Mrs. Compson's assistance). After dragging his feet, Luster brings Benjy into the kitchen, dressed and ready for breakfast. Mrs. Compson and Jason come down the stairs arguing over Jason's broken bedroom window. Jason says Luster broke it. Mrs. Compson says no one ever goes in Jason's room because it is kept locked when he is not there. At breakfast, Jason decides Miss Quentin should be made to get up early and join them. He makes Dilsey go upstairs to rouse her

When Dilsey is unable to rouse Quentin, or even get her to open the door, Jason is struck by suspicion and rushes upstairs. He tries to force open the door, while his mother and Dilsey try to stop him from becoming violent. He shoves his mother and rips the key from her, opening the room to discover that Quentin is gone. Jason is livid, nearly out of control. He goes to his room and finds that several thousand dollars he has been stealing from Miss Quentin (Caddy's money) is gone from a lock box he kept in his closet. In the confusion and fear, he calls the police to report a robbery. Sure that Quentin has gone off with the carnival boy from the show, Jason makes plans to meet the sheriff and go after her. Jason leaves the house in a rage.

Jason leaves and Dilsey prepares to go to church with Luster and her daughter Frony. She has gotten permission to go, and to take Benjy, from Mrs. Compson, despite Jason's objection that his lunch would be cold. Frony tells her mother that a very distinguished preacher is to address the congregation at church that day and Benjy should not be allowed to go since the white folks would not like it. Dilsey says that she does not care what the white folks think. At church, the speaker casts a hypnotic spell on the audience with his sermon on death and life, the beginning of things and the end. Dilsey begins to cry. Benjy seems enraptured, momentarily silent. After they return home, though, Benjy begins to whimper, knowing something is out of order in the house. Jason has not come home.

Meanwhile, Jason goes to the Sheriff, who refuses to help him. The sheriff tells Jason he has no proof who stole the money and he probably didn't get the money honestly in the first place. Further, he accuses Jason of having driven the girl from home. Frustrated, Jason decides to go after Quentin himself. Jason drives to Mottson, where the carnival has moved. He starts have a headache and tries to divert his mind by thinking of his mistress Lorraine and by imagining that he is in bed with her. He does not really care about Quentin; he is more angry at having been cheated and outwitted by her.


When he reaches Mottson, he picks a fight with a tiny old man who works for the carnival. The old man is not fragile, however, nor does he appreciate being handled and treated so rudely. He takes a hatchet to Jason and nearly kills him before someone else drags Jason away. The carnival proprietor tells Jason that Quentin and her boyfriend have been fired. He does not know where they have gone. Unable to do anything further, Jason returns home in a frustrated, impotent rage.

Back at the Compson house, T.P. has not come to drive Benjy to the cemetery in the carriage. Mrs. Compson is talking about death and saying Miss Quentin has probably killed herself as Quentin did. Benjy continues whimpering. Luster tries to silence him with threats. The golfers come to play and Benjy watches the game and keeps whimpering. Luster aggravates the situation by whispering Caddy's name and Benjy starts bellowing. Dilsey shouts at Luster and soothes Benjy by giving him Caddy's slipper. Finally, T.P. still has not arrived so Dilsey allows Luster to take Benjy to the cemetery. Before they leave, she insists Luster take the exact route T.P. always takes. Benjy will get upset if anything is different.

Luster is suddenly seized by a spirit of mischief and turns the carriage to the left instead of turning to the right. Benjy realizes what has happened and starts bellowing. Just then Jason sees Luster driving the carriage in the wrong direction. He rushes, throws Luster aside, catches the reins and turns the carriage in the right direction. He strikes Benjy to silence him, and hits Luster to warn him against any further misbehavior. He hands the reins back to Luster and orders him to drive back home. Jason threatens to kill Luster if he takes Benjy out of the Compson estate ever again. Seeing that the carriage is moving in the right direction Benjy at last becomes silent.

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