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Research on The Sound & The Fury and Beloved

"Candace." Mother said. "I told you not to call him that. It was bad enough when your father insisted on calling you by that silly nickname, and I will not have him called by one. Nicknames are vulgar. Only common people use them. Benjamin" (The Sound and the Fury 76-77).

Mrs. Compson has devised a reality of her own, which is consistent with the failure of the family to get beyond the specter of not being entirely normal. Benjy is the all-too-real presence that cannot be ignored, no matter how much Mrs. Compson tries.

Caddy can be seen as the most tangible ghost that haunts The Sound and the Fury because as she is present in the story only indirectly, through the haunted memories of its narrators. Indeed, the novel is structured as a series of family memories about Candace, although she is more alienated, more rootless, more homeless than anyone else in the family. Her promiscuity is the focus of emotion and anger for Quentin and Jason; Benjy only realizes dimly that she will never return. Caddy leaves the house under a cloud of shame, and just the kind of shame (an embarrassing net of sexual and marriage entanglements) that attains amplitude most easily in a provincial town like Jefferson. Her life is adventurous, to be sure, but on reading Faulkner's Appendix to the novel one has the feeling that she is less the manipulative siren of the family than its supreme victim of isolation. "Doomed and knew it," writes Faulkner cryptically before launching into a chronicle of her escapades, "accepted the doom without either seeking or fleeing it." In this one sense the structure of her life most resembles that of Dilsey, who escapes doom because she accepts the possibility of salvation without seeking or fleeing; this is the power behind what is eventually described as her endurance.

The point is that Caddy's capacity for love is every where frustrated and suppressed at home. Her leaving the house can be read at once as the result of a...

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