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The Significance of Nature in the Sound and the Fury
Transcript of The Significance of Nature in the Sound and the Fury
Statement of Intent
I intend to explain the significance of nature used as symbols throughout William Faulkner's
If the word you see is something you associate with water, stand up. If not, remain seated. There are no right or wrong answers!
If the word that appears is something that you associate with water, stand up. If not, remain seated. There are no right or wrong answers!
The jimson weed is a bad-smelling, poisonous flower that can "induce a delirious state, with visual distortions that cause one's surroundings to to take on a surreal aspect. (Gray)"
Could be one reason it is so good at calming Benjy.
Flower Analysis (continued)
Quentin is upset by the roses at Caddy's wedding, because they are symbolic of her not being a virgin.
Water symbolizes Caddy's sexuality.
Water Analysis (continued)
Quentin's constant mentioning of water (73 times!) foreshadow the way he will kill himself.
Fire can calm Benjy down
Fire Analysis (continued)
Fire is possibly symbolic of Caddy.
Both calm Benjy down.
The Sound and the Fury
Stand up if the word that appears is something you associate with fire. If you do not associate the word with fire, remain seated. There are no right or wrong answers!
"Dilsey opened the firedoor and drew a chair up in front of it and I sat down. I hushed. (56)"
It upsets him when the fire goes away or isn't there anymore.
"The candle went away. I began to cry. (57)"
"The long wire came across my shoulder, and the fire went away. I began to cry (58)"
Fire is described similarly to Benjy's idea of sleep.
Sleep: "Shapes flowed on...bright and fast and smooth like when Caddy says we are going to sleep (12)"
Fire: "She led me to the fire and I looked at the bright, smooth shapes. (64)"
"'Hush, now.' Caddy said. I hushed and ate. (25)"
He cries when they are gone.
"'Here, caddie.'...They went away across the pasture. I held to the fence and watched them going away.
'Listen at you, now.' Luster said...'Hush up that moaning.' (3)"
Sometimes Benjy gets hurt as a result of reaching out for it/Caddy.
"I put my hand out to where the fire had been...my hand jerked back and I put it in my mouth (59)"
"I was trying to say, and I caught her, trying to say, and she screamed. (53)"
"I got undressed and I looked at myself and I began to cry. (73)"
Oftentimes seen as a symbol of male genitalia, so when Luster tells Benjy he dropped his jiimson weed, it is a double entendre referencing Benjy's castration.
"What are you moaning about, Luster said...Here's you a jimson weed. (6)"
"'Here. You dropped your jimson weed.' (54)"
"Roses. Not virgins, like dogwood or milkweed...Roses. Cunning and serene. (77)"
Honeysuckle is representative of Caddy and her loss of purity to Quentin, which greatly upsets him.
"I had to pant to get any air at all out of that thick gray honeysuckle. (151)"
"Sometimes I could put myself to sleep saying that over and over until after the honeysuckle got all mixed up in it the whole thing came to symbolize night and unrest. (170)"
"Honeysuckle was the saddest odor of them all, I think. (169)"
"[Luster] took Benjy's arm and stood side by side there, peering between the matted honeysuckle still not in bloom.
Benjy's "cornflower blue" eyes are representative of his innocence.
Flower Analysis (continued)
"His eyes were the clear, of the pale, sweet blue of cornflowers. (274)"
"She was wet. We were playing in the branch and she got her dress wet. (17)"
"Caddy was all wet and muddy behind (19)"
"She wadded the drawers and soaked Caddy behind with them. 'It done soaked clean through onto you.' (74)"
It also symbolizes cleanliness and redemption.
"I went to the bathroom door. I could hear the water. (42)"
"I began to feel the water before I came to the bridge. The bridge was of gray stone, lichened, dappened with slow moisture where the fungus crept. Beneath it the water was clear and still in the shadows. (115)"
Fungus-covered bridge (land/life) vs. Clear, still water.
Water is his escape.
Water only serves to remind Jason of his bitterness and lack of opportunity.
Water Analysis (continued)
"I says no I never had university advantages because at Harvard they teach you how to go for a swim at night without knowing how to swim. (196)"
Gray, Emily. "Here's You a Jimson Weed." The Sound and the Fury - Book Drum. N.p., n.d. Web.
Ibrahim, Massarra M., and Rana M. Dakhil. "Water Motif in William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury." Iasj.net. Iraq Academic Scientific Journals, 2008. Web. <http://www.iasj.net/iasj?func=fulltext>.
Kent, Harry. "Flower Symbology in "The Sound and the Fury"" :. N.p., 27 Oct. 2008. Web.
"The Sound and the Fury Glossary." William-Faulkner.net. William Faulkner Foundation, 2002. Web.