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ENGL 3550 Lecture Notes - Compson Family, Narration, Nasal Spray

Course Code
ENGL 3550
Scott Schau

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Lecture 10 Monday, January 28, 2013
- 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
- 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)

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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
Other emotions very difficult to speak about for Jason
- 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
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
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
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