Time plays a major role in our society and the ability to differentiate between past and present is crucial. This skill has become crucial to survive; one must learn to put the past to rest and progress into the future. We must not dwell on the past, as that restricts what we can do in the future. We must utilize what we have learned in the past and use it in the future. This is evident to the survival of the members in the Compson Family. From the four perspectives we are able to read in the novel, The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, only Dilsey Gibson survives and endures the change that occurs in the South about the 1920’s.
The 1920’s remained a time of movements and innovations that helped shaped the modern world in the United States. In the time after World War I many citizens warily approached the new era. Some of the modernizations of the time included talking movies, refrigerators, automobiles, women in politics, and the blossoming of black communities (Harlem).
This rush towards the future required the American people to change while leaving the old ways of the past While many were able to adapt to the new age, some refused. The future did not wait for them, they were left to fend for themselves in an antiquated world. As with throughout history, the dawn of a new age must include the sacrifice of people who refuse change. Progression can be seen as a give and take relationship for there must be a loss with any gain.
In 1895, Benjy Compson is born. Soon, his parents find out that he is mentally retarded. Benjy cannot differentiate from the past from the present thus time has no affect on him. Benjy’s mind cannot comprehend the meaning of start and finish. This is the why Faulkner writes the section in a ‘stream of consciousness.’ As Benjy is thinking about one subject, he unknowingly changes to a different subject because he is mentally unable to separate time.
Essay: Indian Foreign Policy: Its Basic Framework and Its Role in a Changing World Scenario Introduction: Every country must have a foreign policy for a fuller and systematic involvement in the international relations. A state without foreign policy is like a ship without a rudder and will drift aimlessly without any direction buffeted by every storm and sweep of events. A foreign policy creates a ...
Unlike Benjy, Quentin Compson does have the mental capacity to differentiate the past from the present. Unfortunately, Quentin fails to do so because he is obsessed with his problems and memories from the past. Quentin’s mind is constantly interrupted by how Caddy is not a virgin anymore and how much he wants them to be together. He hates the fact that she slept with men like Dalton Ames and Herbert Head and wishes she could have remained pure forever. Quentin feels that he has let his family down in protecting Caddy so his only result is to commit suicide. Time’s ultimate affect on Quentin is death because he cannot deal with Caddy becoming a woman. He wishes he could stop time and keep Caddy young and innocent but that is impossible.
It can easily be perceived that money kills Jason Compson but it is truly time that destroys him. Money is only a part of Jason’s plan to seek revenge for all the suffering that he has been through. Jason feels that he has been cursed and the forgotten member in the family. He believes that he is always the odd man out and now must take care of the family since his father has dies. His actions are in the present but they always concern things that are in the past. Jason cannot let go of the past because he is constantly seeking revenge. He believes that stealing money and being cruel is acceptable because his opportunities to succeed were taken away from him (Unable to go to college, Herbert Head taking away job offer, etc…).
Unable to overlook the past, Jason becomes another victim of time.
Unlike the Compsons, Dilsey Gibson is able to endure and survive the change to the modern age. The Compsons did not want to let go of their ‘thrown’ as the dominating white family of the South. Whereas for Dilsey, she had nothing to lose so she went with the current and adapted to the new life style. It is understandable that the Compsons didn’t want to leave their comfort zones but this failure to let go destroys the Compsons. Dilsey’s life is affected by time but she does not let it control her. While in the kitchen, the clock strikes five but she knows it is eight o’clock. This is a great example of how Dilsey accepts time and the changes that occur during her life. Dilsey is able to find equilibrium between the past and present and this is why she is the strongest figure in the novel.
Throughout history, many devastating economic, social, and environmental changes have occurred causing people to rise and overcome immense odds. In the 1930 s, The Great Depression and the Dustbowl Disaster, a drought with horrific dust storms turning once-fertile agricultural lands of mid-America into virtual wastelands, forced thousands of destitute farmers to pack their families and belongings ...
Although some have no control over distinguishing the past and the present, it is apparent that those who cannot will not be able to survive. Change is inevitable and like all other life forms, people must learn to adapt or they will become extinct. “That Christ was not crucified: he was worn away by a minute clicking of little wheels.” (Page 77) Unable to adapt to the merciless attitude of his foes, Christ was not killed by his enemies but by time. While most are not forced to adapt to the situation that Christ was in, it is a great example of how the failure to change leads to death by time.