Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




A study of consciousness in the first section of The Sound and the Fury clarifies both the novel's technique and its rendering of human truth. My reading of this monologue is based on the premise that the way Benjamin Compson views the world and the way in which his mind arranges those views enhances our understanding of the novel's other brother-narrators, Quentin and Jason. As limited and distorted as Benjy's perceptions may be, they provide a model by which the perceptions of Quentin and Jason gain clarity and meaning. Benjy's monologue begins the novel and provides the reader's entrance into the novel's fictional world. Indeed, Benjy's perception of reality ends the novel as well, for the fourth and final section ends with a description of the world through Benjy's serene and empty eyes.