Be prepared to discuss one of the following passages as representative of Faulkner’s style.
a. Darl’s meditation on being, nothingness, and consciousness at the
end of section 17 of As I Lay Dying.
b. the first two paragraphs of Quentin’s section of The Sound and the Fury, June Second,
Structure and Technique
1. Be prepared to discuss the significance of the following symbols or types of symbols as Faulkner uses them in the three works we have read thus far: images of time (watches, clocks, shadows, frozen images, etc.), vegetation (scent of flowers, etc) or landscape symbolism (rivers, destroyed landscapes, etc.), symbols/objects that characterize (Caddy’s muddy drawers, Benjy’s graveyard, Jewel’s horse, etc.) light/dark imagery, water and fire imagery, vertical and horizontal imagery, images of interconnection (water, looms, roads).
2. Be prepared to discuss Faulkner’s use of literary allusions.
3. Be prepared to discuss the relation of the stream-of-consiousness narrative of The Sound and the Fury and the interior monologues of As I Lay Dying to Faulkner’s almost obsessive concern with the human problem of knowledge in the breakdown of traditional society.
4. Be prepared to discuss Faulkner’s repetition of patterns of experience in his characters from novel to novel as well as within novels. For example, the problem of performing a defining action for young romantic males (Quentin Compson in S&F, Bayard in The Unvanquished) or the thwarted love of heroines: Drusilla, Caddy, Dewey Dell.
5. Be prepared to analyze the following key scenes:
• The scene from “Raid” in The Unvanquished in which Drusilla explains
to Bayard how the “old ways” are stupid and requests that he speak to his
father about her riding with him. (100-102)
• The scene from “An Odor of Verbena” in The Unvanquished in which Drusilla demands that Bayard kiss her (227-229)
• Quentin’s description of and discussion with Deacon in The Sound and the Fury (97-100)
• Dilsey on Easter Sunday 1928 from the fourth section of The Sound and the Fury
• The river crossing from the various perspectives in As I Lay Dying
• The barn burning from the various perspectives in As I Lay Dying
Be prepared to discuss
1. The continuing presence of the past.
2. Identity in relation to place (family, community, land)
3. Identity in relation to race (which overlaps the previous)
4. The concept of “nigger” (which overlaps the previous)
5. Town versus country (class conflict)
6. The heroic action (and its openness to comic interpretation)
7. Cultural codes that drive individual and communal behavior, including shaping attitudes toward race, class, gender, and outsiders.
1. Fatalism, environmentalism, individualism, Christianity. Be prepared to discuss the interplay between these ostensibly contending interpretations of human experience in Faulkner’s writing.
Basic of course is the requirement that you be able to deal effectively with the nuts and bolts of who’s who and what’s what (plot) in each of the four novels.