William Faulkner’s "The Sound and the Fury": An Ethical and Moral Decline in the American South
Md. Selim Akhtar
“The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner recounts the American theme of loss and decline, especially, a moral and ethical decline in the South. It, actually, recounts the southern history of decline and loss. Faulkner himself was a victim of that loss which he artistically shows through the tale of the family of Compsons. The decline of the family ponders over the loss of Caddy’s virginity and her later ill fated marriage to save her traditional family name. Each of the four stories of the novel is centered upon the loss of Caddy and her virginity. All the major characters of the novel lack seriousness of religious values and sentiments which cause spiritual crisis or moral loss among them. These losses of ethics and morals show the ways of the decline of the family. This breaking-down of the family, however, be met with on the observance day of Christ, that is, the day of the Easter Sunday when Christ resurrected himself for the welfare of humankind. So as a consequence Faulkner means that there still might be some expectancy. This paper aims at demonstrating how man is losing his moral sense and his action gives rise to perversion, thus, cutting him from the main stream of the society. It is to be proved that man is made of stern stuff and even though temporarily he may experience psychological perversion he cannot remain disjointed and can find a solution through ethics and morals. To establish my point I am largely indebted to the critical writings of Cleanth Brooks, Joel Williamson, Joseph Blotner, and so on. Besides I have carefully studied some scholarly articles to go through the subject.