For the characters in The Sound and the Fury, memories of the past dominate the present day. Revolving around Caddy, the runaway daughter of the family, the novel works (and re-works and re-works) the consequences of her disappearance from her brothers’ lives. Everything important happened Before. Before what? Well, before the time of narration. Also before characters have a chance to figure out what response they should have. Focusing on the past, characters let the present moment slide by – and only later do they realize how much of their lives they’ve lost.
Of all the Compson brothers, Jason Compson is the one most obsessed with the past.
It doesn’t really matter when Benjy’s or Jason’s section of the novel occurs. Although The Sound and the Fury is set in 1910 and 1928, the novel’s timeline actually stops much earlier.