April Eighth, 1928 (Section 2) Notes from The Sound and the Fury

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The Sound and the Fury April Eighth, 1928 (Section 2)

After Dilsey and her family return from church, Dilsey immediately goes back to work. This time, Mrs. Compson is calling for her, asking her if she has found a note from her granddaughter, Quentin. She is convinced that Quentin has committed suicide, just like her uncle, or has run off to have illegitimate children with any common man, like her mother. Dilsey tells her such talk is ridiculous, but Mrs. Compson enjoys complaining, so continues with her laments. Jason hasn't come home yet, but his mother insists that Dilsey make him some lunch, anyway. As she prepares his food, she sings hymns to herself, constantly saying, "Ise seed de first en de last." April Eighth, pg. 301

As Luster and Benjy sit down for food, the scene shifts to Jason. We find him at the sheriff's house, ready to recount the story of how he was robbed. After hearing Jason's story, the officers are not ready to point the finger at Quentin and her road show friend, which frustrates Jason, whose rage towards his niece is almost palpable. As if they hadn't heard the first time, Jason retells his story. He was "harshly recapitulant, seeming to get an actual pleasure out of his outrage and impotence. The sheriff did not appear to be listening at all." April Eighth, pg. 303

Instead of caring about the robbery, the officers perceive that Jason has driven out his niece. They also suspect that the three thousand dollars he had hoarded in his metal box were not in fact his to keep, but that the money were the checks Caddy had sent to her daughter. Because they have no hard evidence that Quentin had stolen her uncle's money, the officers refuse to investigate the case at all.

Frustrated and enraged, Jason storms out of the station, determined to catch the pair himself. He hires a random young black man standing around the town square to drive him towards Mottson, the next stop for the road show. We find how Jason feels in his heart about the robbery: "Of his niece he did not think at all, nor of the arbitrary valuation of the money. Neither of them had had entity or individuality for him for ten years; together they merely symbolised the job in the bank of which he had been deprived before he ever got it." April Eighth, pg. 306 Here, we see that he is still bitter about the fact that he never had the chance to get a job in the bank with Caddy's husband, Herbert, because Herbert ended up throwing Caddy out of the house. Growing angrier and angrier by the second, we find that what really irks him is that a female, Quentin, had outwitted him. What makes it worse to Jason is that his niece isn't even a respectable young girl, but "a bitch." April Eighth, pg. 307

While in the car, he spots circus tents, and a car that looks like the Ford the two had stolen two days earlier. He didn't think that perhaps others may own the same model of car, and he didn't plan that perhaps the two of them might see him before he saw them. He just assumed that he would see them first, grab them, and demand their money, leaving them to rot wherever they please. Jason assaulted the first people he saw, and demanded to know where Quentin and the road show boy were. Though the two men had no idea where the two had run, Jason provokes a physical fight with the two men. He hits his head on a rail, and the men send him away. Jason is stranded, miles away from Jefferson. He ends up having to pay four dollars to a stranger in Mottson to drive him home.

Meanwhile, back at the Compson house, Dilsey has sent out Luster to play with Benjy, buying herself time to eat her lunch in peace. Outside, Luster teases Benjy, so Benjy starts to bellow and moan. Watching people play golf on his old pasture, Benjy moans some more, and cries become louder and louder each time. Frustrated because he cannot get him to stop, Luster provokes him: "You want somethin to beller about? ...Caddy! Beller now. Caddy! Caddy! Caddy!" April Eighth, pg. 316 Dilsey comes to see what's the matter, and is able to get Benjy to stop his wailing.

To comfort him further, Dilsey tells Luster to take him for a ride in the carriage around the neighborhood. Being a teenager, Luster wanted to show off in front of his peers. He tries to get Queenie, the old horse, to go faster. Just he braces himself to go faster, Benjy starts to wail louder than ever before: "There was more than astonishment in it, it was horror; shock; agony eyeless, tongueless; just sound, and Luster's eyes backrolling for a white instant." April Eighth, pg. 320 Just as Luster turns back to the road, Jason arrives on the scene, knocking Luster off the driver's seat. He appears to be angrier than ever, striking not only Luster, but also, Benjy, for wailing. Despite Jason's blow at him, Benjy's voice has grown to a roar. Once Luster takes the reins to direct the carriage back home, Benjy becomes quiet. The three men head home in silence. The last image of the book comes from Benjy's eyes:

"The broken flower drooped over Ben's fist and his eyes were empty and blue and serene again as cornice and façade flowed smoothly once more from left to right, post and tree, window and doorway and signboard each in its ordered place." April Eighth, pg. 321

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