Liana etc… Still, mixed into everything (life, death)

Liana RokhBlock 5 Thesis: In William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, Benjy and Quentin associate the sense of smell with the tragic event of Caddy losing her virginity, a process of nature that was bound to happen over time. A) Benjy recognizes the “pure” Caddy by the smell of trees, representing spring and youth, and is infuriated when she smells different. “Caddy smelled like trees in the rain” (19).The basic memory he has of Caddy, connects it to their childhoodTrees = spring, life, growth Rain = water = wash away things (such as sin) *connects to father’s rant that life comes from bad health/putrefactionThe rain washes away that decay and creates life? “Caddy was all wet and muddy behind, and I started to cry and she came and squatted in the water” (19).(creek scene) Muddy and wet – dirty – losing innocenceMakes Benjy cry because he cannot fully comprehend what is going on, he can just sense that something is wrong, something has changed”Caddy put her arms around me, and her shining veil, and I couldn’t smell trees anymore and I began to cry” (40).During Caddy’s wedding, the loss of youthfulness and etc… set off Benjy’s emotions (negative)He cannot fully process what is going on, just the fact that there has been a change in Caddy and her life (thus, he could not smell the trees anymore) Connects to an earlier memory of not smelling like trees (perfume scene) B) Quentin perceives the odor of honeysuckle mixed into everything in his life, which dramatizes Caddy’s sexuality. “Coming and coming especially in the dusk when it rained, getting honeysuckle all mixed up in it as though it were not enough without that, not unbearable enough” (133).When it rains, everything gets wet ~ the honeysuckle is everywhere Surrounds Quentin making the tragedy even more prevalent to him, in a way enlarging it “Liquid putrefaction like drowned things floating like pale rubber flabbily filled getting the odor of honeysuckle all mixed up” (128).Connects honeysuckle and putrefaction (decay) which is slightly ironic because Father says that all life comes from death, disease, decay but life also comes from impurity, losing virginity, etc… Still, mixed into everything (life, death) “I was in the house where that damn honeysuckle trying not to think the swing the cedars the secret surges the breathing locked drinking the wild breath” (149). The swing – Caddy’s first kiss – first step towards impurity Everytime he is around that area, he feels the honeysuckle as guilt of not being able to stop it Also, the house is a place where the whole family spends most of their time, especially the kids’ early yearsC) This honeysuckle is oppressively present in Quentin’s life, mirroring his guilt for not being able to protect Caddy. “Then the honeysuckle got into it. As soon as I turned off the light and tried to go to sleep it would begin to come into the room in waves building and building up until I would have to pant to get any air at all” (173).The honeysuckle is overpowering Quentin, even in bedSo much, to the point that he can’t breatheBut is it all his imagination? Why so obsessed with Caddy and her purity?”That’s what’s so sad about anything: not only virginity and I said, Why couldn’t it have been me and not her who is unvirgin” (78). Guilt for not being able to protect Caddy Now Caddy is “impure” or “spoiled” He would rather have himself go through the tragic event than Caddy”The honeysuckle got all mixed up in it the whole thing came to symbolise night and unrest…where all stable things had become shadowy paradoxical… all I had felt suffered taking visible form antic and perverse mocking without relevance inherent themselves with the denial of the significance” (170). Guilt guilt guilt stable things are now paradoxicalQuentin is confused, but giving up on the strength of his battle”Denial of Significance” – Quentin has come to accept it, it is not cause he will feel so strongly about anymoreD) As time goes on and per Father’s advice, Quentin loses his obsession to preserve Caddy’s innocence and to preserve his feelings of outrage for it. “Father said… Women are never virgins. Purity is a negative state and therefore contrary to nature. It’s nature is hurting you not Caddy… the instant when we come to realise that tragedy is second-hand” (116).Father tells Quentin that virginity is a fact of life that he is going to have to accept/overcomePurity is a negative state a.k.a. it does not existFather is, in a way, reassuring Quentin of this “tragedy” and that it is simply “second hand” and so Quentin should not be the one feeling so irritated about it “Because no battle is ever won he said. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools” (76).Again, Father is a source of wisdom to Quentin, reassuring that this is not a battle to be foughtHe tells Quentin that it is his own “folly and despair” or sadness and guilt that cause him to be so overpowered by the tragedy”You’d think misfortune would get tired, but then time is your misfortune Father said…You carry the symbol of your frustration into eternity” (104).Holding on to time, or the past, creates a misfortune/anger/etc…Again, he is telling Quentin to “get over it” because it is his own fault for holding on to it and letting it torture him  Eventually, Quentin does overcome it and loses hope in keeping up the battleIII.  No matter how hard one tries to stop or turn back time, it will go on, torturing some and confusing others, but eventually one will accept it and move on.