The Sound and the Fury Study Guide (Choose to Continue)


The sound and the Fury: Top Ten Quotations

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  1. They ain’t no luck going to be on no place where one of they own chillens’ name ain’t never spoke. p. 29 In this reference, Roskus appears to be referring to Caddy and the supposed shame she has brought to the family. It could also be applied to Benjy whose original name was Maury but was changed.
  2. I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said.p. 74 This quotation is taken from Chapter Two and Quentin’s memory of his father giving him his grandfather’s watch. The references to the watch here and throughout this chapter are significant for highlighting the passing of time as well as his father’s attitude to it.

  3. There was a clock, high up in the sun, and I thought about how, when you don’t want to do a thing, your body will try to trick you into doing it, sort of unawares. p. 81 Quentin’s thoughts turn to time once more here and on hindsight appear to refer to his planned suicide.

  4. He said time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life. p. 83 This refers to Quentin’s father’s view of time.

  5. Benjamin the child of. How he used to sit before that mirror. Refuge unfailing in which conflict tempered silenced reconciled. Benjamin the child of mine old age held hostage into Egypt. O Benjamin.p. 168 The Old Testament is drawn upon with both irony and pathos in this comparison between Benjy and Benjamin (the son of Jacob and the dying Rachel) who was also re-named (from Benoni).

  6. Just like a woman. Six days late. Yet they try to make men believe that they’re capable of conducting a business.p. 189 This quotation is taken from Chapter Three, which is narrated in the first-person by Jason. It is a useful example of his misogyny and lack of self-criticism as he does not demonstrate an ability to be good at conducting a business despite his boastings. The hatred on display is also relevant when examining his rank racist attitude that also colors his perspective.

  7. Always keep them guessing. If you can’t think of any other way to surprise them, give them a bust in the jaw.p. 192 Once more, Jason reveals his prejudice to women.

  8. Like a man would naturally think, one of them is crazy and another one drowned himself and the other one was turned out into the street by her husband, what’s the reason the rest of them are not crazy too.p. 232-3 Jason outlines his view of his family as well his belief in how others see the various members.

  9. When Quentin started to school we had to let her go the next year, so she could be with him. She couldn’t bear for any of you to do anything she couldn’t. It was vanity in her, vanity and false pride. And then when her troubles began I knew that Quentin would feel that he had to do something just as bad.p. 261 Here, Mrs Compson gives her feelings about Caddy and why she thinks Quentin committed suicide. This reference also demonstrates her self-centred understanding of events including the actions of her children.

  10. But he bellowed slowly, abjectly, without tears; the grave hopeless sound of all voiceless misery under the sun. p. 316 This moving description of Benjy’s form of communication in the final chapter offers an evaluation of him that is far removed from the negative views of him that pepper the novel. Here, he is outsider status is allied with all those who are treated as worthless and may be seen to include the African Americans who are indicted throughout by many of the main characters (and particularly Jason) for the color of their skin.


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