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

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

Benjy's flashback ended for the moment, and we find Luster chasing after Benjy, who stumbles towards the swings, where Quentin and a young man sit. This image takes Benjy back to a time when he had found Caddy and a male friend, Charlie, together on the swings. Benjy started with his bellows when he saw Charlie try to fool around with Caddy. Caddy drove Charlie away, and after she brought Benjy back to the house, she cried with him. She washed her mouth out with soap and promised Benjy, "I wont...I wont anymore, ever." April Seventh, 1928, pg. 48

Topic Tracking: Time/Memory 5

In the present situation, however, Quentin is annoyed with Benjy's presence, and gets mad at Luster for not looking after him closely enough. Quentin is with a man who wears a red tie and is from the circus show that Luster plans on seeing that night, once he finds his quarter. Quentin tells on Luster and Benjy to Dilsey, and in the meantime, Benjy's mind wanders back again to the past. In a scene where Benjy clings to the end of the house's gate, waiting to see Caddy, T.P. tells him it's no use, because Caddy had gotten married and left for a place far away from home.

With Caddy's leaving the household, we don't find that the other family members care about him as much as Caddy did. For example, at present, Luster tells him that when his mother dies, they plan on sending him to a home for mentally retarded patients in Jackson, Mississippi. Luster continues to torment Benjy, who is already agitated. To truly set him off, Luster whispers "Caddy" in his ear several times. Dilsey hears this and scolds her grandson. She brings them in to eat the cake she bought for Benjy's birthday. Looking at his birthday candles that Luster blows out for him, Benjy remembers a night sitting in front of the fire with Caddy. She cried inexplicably, saying that she hated everything. All that Benjy recalled was the fire and Caddy's presence.

Topic Tracking: Time/Memory 6

At the present moment, Benjy burns his hand in the fire, and his subsequent bellowing disturbs his mother, who complains to Dilsey, "You got him started on purpose, because you know I'm sick." April Seventh, 1928, pg. 60. Dilsey tries to calm Mrs. Compson's nerves, and orders Luster to take Benjy to the library.

In the library, Benjy has another flashback to the day when his family changed his name from Maury. On that day, like most others, his mother was sick in bed, so the children, as instructed by their father, had to behave. Caddy and Jason, one of her other brothers, fought because Jason destroyed some dolls Caddy and Benjy had made together. The appearance of Jason interrupts Benjy's flashback, and returns him to the present. Jason is now the grown up man of the house. As he enters, he snaps at Luster and at Quentin, angry at her for associating with the circus man. She snaps right back at him, a sign of their adversarial relations.

Benjy returns to the point in his flashback when Quentin returned from school, apparently looking like he was in a fight. He told his father that he hit a classmate who threatened to put a frog in their teacher's desk. As his father gathered all the children around the fire, Benjy's mind moves a few years ahead to when he finds Caddy visibly upset. He doesn't know what's wrong, but he immediately starts to cry when he sees her sad eyes. His memory ends where they weep together in her bathroom.

In the present, as everyone has sat down for dinner, Benjy's memory goes back to a time when he was especially hungry, and Caddy and Dilsey fed him. Fast forward to the present, and Quentin complains that Benjy is a nuisance. She is convinced that Jason and her grandmother use him to spy on her. Dilsey tries to appease Quentin, but the young girl just pushes her away crankily. As Quentin and Jason fight, Benjy prefers to think about all the food Dilsey and Caddy fed him. While Benjy enjoys his memory, the young, female Quentin storms away from the table, threatening to run away from home.

Benjy returns to his memory of the night Damuddy, the children's grandmother, fell sick and died. After Dilsey found the children, led by Caddy, trying to peek into the house from an outside tree, she brought them up to bed. She scolded Caddy thoroughly for dirtying her drawers. Quentin and Jason slept in one bed, while Benjy (then Maury), slept with Caddy. The chapter ends with Benjy describing his peaceful feeling while sleeping next to his sister:

"Caddy held me and I could hear us all, and the darkness, and something I could smell. And then I could see the windows, where the trees were buzzing. Then the dark began to go in smooth, bright shapes, like it always does, even when Caddy says that I have been asleep." April Seventh, 1928, pg. 75

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