Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

English

First Advisor

Sue Zemka

Second Advisor

Emily Harrington

Third Advisor

Emmanuel David

Abstract

William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury is written, in part, from a first person, disabled point of view. The narrator of novel’s first chapter is Benjy, an individual with profound intellectual disability. Examining his own work, Faulkner supplies a close reading of The Sound and the Fury in a collection of introductions to the text, answering an important question surrounding the author’s criticism: ‘why write from a first person, disabled point of view. Through this question, Faulkner reveals a continuity of emotion between Benjy, himself, and the reader. This continuity constitutes a metaphoric extension of theories in neuroscience (the engram and Reconsolidation Theory) to The Sound and the Fury’s narrative. Thus, careful examination of Benjy’s story, Faulkner’s introduction, and neuroscientific theories opens up onto an interdisciplinary space wherein the differences between literary criticism and the natural sciences are absolved.

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