GalleryASD fiction Faulkner, William - The sound and the fury
Many of the themes in "The Sound and the Fury", of slavery, incest and white superiority, have made this book 'unteachable' for some. Benjy is thirty-three or has been three years old for thirty years - he is ‘that damn looney’ or an ‘idiot’ without further categorisation, although there was no appropriate label when the book was published in 1929.
Benjy’s narrative is often described as chaotic, lacking in substantial description and impaired by his limited intellect. Read as the perspective of a nonverbal autistic adult, however, Benjy relates a lyrical flow of experience with a narrative that is strongly driven by his senses. Without words to bind him into a linear chronology, Benjy ties events into streams of sensory connection. His sister Caddy (Candace) is intimately bound with the smell of trees and sleep, his father and brother Quentin with the smell of rain. Benjy lives in a social limbo between the world of his own family and the world of the house staff who care for him.
The book portrays an adult who does not speak, whose attempts at communication are always hushed as an irritation, whose wants and needs are decided by the capricious forces of the household he lives in, and he is portrayed skillfully. Benjy effectively conveys a first-person account of life without spoken words.
Wikipedia entry on William Faulkner