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Publié le 12/04/2023

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« With the arrival of modernism and the stream of consciousness, literature focuses on narratives with an inner monologue.

Like James Joyce or Virginia Woolf in Mrs Dalloway, Faulkner in The Sound and Fury uses a homodiegetic narrator. Following the American Civil War and the consequent defeat of the American South, Faulkner shows in his work the changes and disturbances that resulted from the American modernism. The excerpt studied is narrated by the homodiegetic narrator Quentin Compson on 2 June 1910.

He wakes up in his Harvard dormitory and thinks about the passage of time and his sister, Candy, who has married and for whom he is obsessed.

He does not understand that she can no longer be a virgin and that this is a dishonour to his family.

Thus, Quentin struggles internally to understand and cope with the modern world, represented by his father.

Indeed, values such as honour, family and virginity are now seen differently from the moral codes Quentin had. How does Faulkner go about setting up a dualism of old-time and modern moral codes through stream of consciousness? I- ) Time: symbol of struggle against reality A-) Obsession with time - L.3-4=> watch symbol of his glorious family heritage left by his father before it was disgraced by Candy - Even when he breaks his father's watch he still hears the ticking of the watch haunting him - Dialogue with Shreeve (32-44)-> shows that he does not value time as much as others B-) Time seen as death - death is named: little sister l.13 - Jesus is named twice.

According to his father, he did not die crucified but because of the "ticking clock".

-> represents Quentin's unease with time and his willingness to die to save his family's honour. - Shadow=important-> presents death and the past time=the death of the old family name Compton (l.1 + 17) TR=> These frustrations for the passing of time paralyze him and create a pause in the scene and in time without paradoxically stopping the time of reality.

By making this difference between the two visions of time, i.e.

the public time presented by the Harvard bells and the time according to him, we realise.... »


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