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lec.jan.28,30 &feb1st.docx

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University of Guelph
ENGL 3550
Scott Schau

 Lecture 10 – Monday, January 28, 2013 Time - Insistent present (“I says”) - Time is money for Jason, literally – always losing money because of the passing of time o Playing stock-market 121  Keeps missing the right moment – doesn’t sell/buy in time  Stock keeps plunging – it’s because he’s not ahead of the game time wise  Literally connected to his lack of control over time o Job 142, 153  Works at the hardware store  Constantly looking at the time – clock watching at work  His boss – always checking the time  Making sure he’s only gone for an hour, etc.  Frustration with this job o Pigeons and cleaning clock (154)  How much time and money is spent on cleaning the clock tower because of the pigeons o Showing Qf to Caddy  Begs Jason (her brother) to show her Quentin (female) for an x-amount of money  Jason holds baby up to show Caddy for a minute – literally  Technicalities – Caddy becomes infuriated with this Pronouns - Dominant “I” o All narrators are literally self-centered – I is most dominant pronoun - Unidentified pronouns (e.g. “her,” “she” under discussion at opening of Jason’s section; “She” 115; “he” 117, etc.) o Jason – obsessed with Caddy and the female Quentin (similar reasons – both signs of what he lost)  That obsession comes out in the pronouns – “her,” “she,” etc. - Baby – “it” (123) o “It” presence – more about things that Jason wants/things that have happened to Jason rather than a human entity Syntax & Vocabulary - More vernacular, conversational and less metaphysical than Quentin o E.g. hell means threat to Jason (119) o Much easier to follow - Less imagistic than Benjy o E.g. “stop my clock with a nose spray” (123)  Going over his own lack of University education compared to his Father, etc.  Reference to the male Quentin drowning himself - Stifled emotional life o E.g. feeling “sort of funny” at father’s funeral (127)  Jason can’t really express emotion – very stifled  Only emotion that Jason can openly express is anger/resentment/hatred  Other emotions – very difficult to speak about for Jason Sexuality - Jason’s violence (physical and rhetorical) toward women o All narrators have very painful relationships towards women  But Jason is very violent o Female Quentin 114, 116 o With reference to Lorraine, he says: “If you cant think of any other way to surprise them, give them a bust in the jaw” (122)  Language he uses – language of violence o Resentment of Caddy  Feels very violent towards Caddy – see’s her as the person responsible for his currently awful situation Jason’s Narration – Most Clear/Sensible - Out of all the narrations, Jason is very clear (the most) compared to the others o Even though Jason is very violent and dysfunctional – why is it the easiest to follow?  Jason has the least complex inner life  Quentin and Benjy are locked into their inner consciousness – their relationships with the world are very complex  Jason’s brutality is connected to not having a very complex thought  He’s been put down – he just wants to get back at them - Clearest, most familiar, most conventional form of articulation is also the ugliest/brutal one o What is Faulkner saying about the conventions in the forms of living? - Both of these points (lack of inner life/conventional = ugliness) could be connected to the obsession with money, and then furthermore connected to the obsession with capitalism Section Four - Third-person, omniscient narrator - External point of view (how characters look from the outside – e.g. Dilsey 165, Benjy 171, Jason & mother 174) - Hypotactic style - Similes, rich vocabulary, interpretations, judgments, explanations o Lots of similes  Benjy does not use similes  Existence of similes (along with other characteristics) in fourth section are much more attached to this kind of recognized/poetic/literary narrative style - Does ending (199) question notion of “order”?  Lecture 11 – Wednesday, January 30, 2013 Dilsey - Central presence in section four (and in family) o Central to holding the family together – fundamental homemaker, food maker, comfort-giver - Understands time (171, 187) o Holds life together because she understands it – understands the matters of confusion for Benjy, Quentin and Jason o She can read time – can see beyond the deficiencies  Isn’t ruled by time the way that Quentin is – Dilsey can read/understand time  She knows where she is in terms of time - Connected to Biblical time of sacrifice and resurrection (183, 185) - Cohesion of Gibson family vs. disintegration of Compson family (see Davis in Norton Critical Ed. 395-96) o Gibson family (African-American family) – has this cohesion and endurance that the Compson family does not o “They endured.” (last line)  They – Gibson’s or African-Americans in general  But the “they” pronoun does not include the Compson’s - Effects of no 1 -person narrative voice, no direct access to her consciousness for reader? o What are the effects of this? Caddy - Central to the novel o Central in different kinds of ways… o Central preoccupation for brothers  Benjy needs her as a mother/maternal figure/as a comfort  Wanting her in his bed (28) o Benjy in a way remains kind of childlike – different connotation of him wanting her in his bed than when Quentin does  Pulling her away from sex: from perfume (27), from Charlie (30, 31)  Quentin wants to possess her (sexually?)  Wanting to go to hell with Caddy (50-51, 74) – way of going to hell with Caddy would be through a sexual relationship  Jason resents her for loss of job (and birth of female Quentin)  They have lost him his opportunity in life  “Each of the brothers is haunted by a different period in Caddy’s life; the moment her existence is accepted as the underlying matter, the narrative falls into a straightforward chronology which accounts for Caddy’s childhood, adolescence, and maturity.” (David Williams, Faulkner’s women: The Myth and the Muse)  Benjy – focuses on Caddy’s childhood before she became a sexual being  Quentin – focusing on Caddy’s adolescence, when she becomes a sexual being
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