Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, English and Literary Arts
Clark Davis, Ph.D.
Benjy, Darl, Disability, Family, Faulkner, Southern
This thesis argues that Darl Bundren of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, and Benjy Compson of The Sound and the Fury exhibit certain similarities, suggesting that, in relation to Donald M. Kartiganer's model from the introduction of The Fragile Thread: The Meaning of Form in Faulkner's Novels, they would be paired together better than his initial couplings. This argument proposes to discuss why Darl Bundren is the reincarnated version of Benjy Compson in terms of their internal discourses, narratorial skills, and disability within each novel. As both characters could easily be labeled "disabled," this endeavor will also speculate as to why they are so similar, why Faulkner gives them the most dominant voices in each novel and why their disability creates as well as destroys their entire being. This thesis will also show that both Benjy's and Darl's sections within each novel demonstrate that both characters exhibit specific advantages within their internal and external discourse, their perceptions of the world around them that allow them to be the most equipped narrators in the telling of each of their family's downfalls. Both men's disability is actually more of an unexplored advantage than a hindrance in relation to narration.
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Alexandra Rose Smith
Received from ProQuest
Smith, Alexandra Rose, "Tears of a Clown: Reexamination of Disabled Narrators in William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1342.