1949 Nobel Prize winner, American novelist, William Faulkner is born
Lesson 1: Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury: Introduction
Published in 1929, The Sound and the Fury is often referred to as William Faulkner's first work of genius. It was only his fourth novel, yet it is widely considered to be one of the greatest contributions to American literature and one of Faulkner's most heartfelt literary creations. In the canon of great works, it is primarily recognized for its experimental form. Faulkner's style is characterized by frequent time shifts, narrator shifts, unconventional punctuation and sentence structure, as well as a stream-of-consciousness technique that reveals the inner thoughts of characters to the reader.
Lesson 2: Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury: Benjy's Sense of Time and Narrative Voice
Lesson 3: Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury: Narrating Quentin's Mental Breakdown
Lesson 4: Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury: Narration, Voice, and the Compson Family's New System
Define Faulkner's place in American literary history.
Describe Faulkner's "South" in the context of the historical South and understand how the South was changing socially and economically in the early 20th century.
How does Faulkner use narrative structure, time, voice/point of view, and other devices such as symbolism throughout each chapter of "The Sound and the Fury?"
How does Faulkner characterize Benjy, Quentin, Jason, Dilsey (and Caddy), document the decline of the Southern Compson family, and portray the changing the American South?
Literature & Language Arts
Lesson 1: Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying": Images of Faulkner and the South
William Faulkner's self-proclaimed masterpiece, As I Lay Dying, originally published in 1930, is a fascinating exploration of the many voices found in a Southern family and community. The following lesson examines the novel's use of multiple voices in its narrative. Faulkner:
often told his stories using multiple narratives, each with their own interests and biases, who allow us to piece together the 'true' circumstances of the story, not as clues in a mystery, but as different melodies in a piece of music that form a crescendo. The conclusion presents a key to understanding the broad panorama surrounding the central event in a way that traditional linear narratives simply are unable to accomplish."
The novel's title—As I Lay Dying—invokes a first-person speaker, presumably the voice of the dead mother, Addie Bundren. Yet she only speaks once in the novel, and she is dead, not dying, throughout most of the novel (aside from the beginning chapters). How does Faulkner's form for the novel—a series of competing voices and perspectives presented as a multiple-voice narrative—work for or against the novel's title?
Lesson 2: Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying": Family Voices In As I Lay Dying
After completing the activity in this lesson, students will be able to: Learn Faulkner's place in American literary history
Explore Faulkner's "South" in the context of the historical South
Understand and explore the use of multiple voices in narration
Who is William Faulkner?
What makes "the South" an interesting setting?
What does it mean to have multiple voices or perspectives instead of just one?