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Biblical Factors in Faulkner’s the Sound and the Fury

Author: LiXue
Tutor: FengMei
School: Hebei Normal
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: Bible archetype displacement correspondence image
CLC: I712.074
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 104
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William Faulkner (1897-1962) is one of the greatest writers in the modern history ofAmerican literature, a very important representative in Southern Renaissance and in1950won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Faulkner deeply influenced by the Southern tradition;many of his novels are closely connected with the southern region, so he called the "regional"novelist. This thesis attempts to analyze Faulkner’s biblical elements in his novel The Soundand the Fury. It tries to study the novel from an archetypal perspective with a focus onBiblical allusion in it. On the basis of Northrop Frye’s theory on archetypal criticism, andwith the base of association between the biblical archetypes on three aspects, such as theme,characters and image, and The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner’s masterpiece; this paper findsout the biblical archetypes of the novel. It analyzes the influence by the Bible for the creationof the work, and further probes the absorption and deflection of biblical archetypes ofFaulkner’s writing intention and explores the humanity. Through an exploration of differentbiblical archetypes in Faulkner’s novel The Sound and the Fury, the goal of my research is tointroduce the biblical mode in Faulkner’s writings. His unique method of using archetypesmarks him as an innovative and talented writer and enables his novels go beyond the Southand the U.S.A, representing human history and gaining the status of the epic.Introduction part introduces the Faulkner and his works, and the information related to thecultural and historical background; analyzes research situation at home and abroad toFaulkner’s novel The Sound and the Fury; emphases on the Fry’ and Jung’s archetypal theoryand displacement theory. Body part includes three chapters, analyzes the biblical archetypesin The Sound and the Fury from three aspects, such as archetypal theme, characters andimages.Chapter I deals with the Biblical archetype in theme. The Sound and the Fury, the storyof the Passion Week of the Christ as the archetype, and its application in the book, greatlyincreasing the cultural level of the work, enriching the work content, and deepening themeaning of work. The chapters of the novel based on the four days respectively, titledchapters as the four days of Jesus’ suffering, whereas children in the Compson family whathad happened every day and the experience of Jesus took place at the same day. Faulkner deliberately chose these four days; forced readers pay more attention to the hidden meaning ofthe story. This section mainly chooses the three days to analyze the theme of the work frombiblical archetype.Chapter II deals with biblical archetypes of characters in the novel The Sound and theFury. In the novels, Faulkner consciously corresponds to the heroes of the Bible whose peoplefamiliarized with the characters in the novel or parallel to the formation of place, for thepurpose of these biblical figures as archetypes or kinds of reference, so that works show thespecific value meaning in the parallel, and their presence will cause the reader some specialfeeling. In Faulkner’s novels, many characters are associated metaphorically with Biblicalfigures, even being compared to Christ himself. In this part, it tries to analyze three characters:Caddy Compson, Quentin Compson and Benjamin Compson as well as their archetypalfigures Eve, Scapegoat and Jesus in the Bible.Chapter III centers on archetypal images. Biblical images and symbols are the techniquesoften used in William Faulkner’s literary creation. Combined with their symbolic meaning inthe Bible, this chapter aims to discuss the outstanding images and their symbolic meaning inThe Sound and the Fury, such as water, tree and fire, to interpret the significance of the Bibleimages in the author’s creative thinking and to disclose Faulkner’s deep and objectiveexploration into human, society, especially himself. A further understanding and a newknowing of Faulkner are achieved. It has a certain meaning to appreciate and understandFaulkner’s great and profound thought and artistic features.With an overview of the above analysis, the paper will come to the conclusion. Faulknerdescribes and discusses many themes about the South by special writing technique withadopting biblical archetypes, such as racism, slavery, the corruption of the old South, thedecline of the Southern aristocratic family, the burden and power of the old system and so on.During the process of examining and exploring the Old South, Faulkner’s works focus on theharsh situation of current society as he described in his work, The Sound and the Fury. Thelast part also is the generalization and summarization of this paper, and reiterated theimportance of the Bible in the creative process of The Sound and the Fury.

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