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The Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury

  

by William Faulkner

Quentin Compson Timeline and Summary

  • Quentin insists that he knows more than Caddy. He goes to school.
  • He watches Caddy squat down and get her dress wet. Versh says that her mom will whip her for getting wet.
  • Caddy argues that she won’t get whipped.
  • After all, she’s seven. She should know.
  • Quentin says she will. He knows more. He goes to school.
  • Versh, Quentin, and Caddy get into a fight.
  • Declaring that she’s going to run away, Caddy says that she doesn’t care if she gets whipped or not.
  • Quentin gets into a fight at school because some kids are mean to the teacher.
  • He comes home with a black eye.
  • Quentin finds Caddy down in the branch (that’s a stream, remember?).
  • She’s lying down with her legs in the water.
  • Quentin asks her over and over if she loves the man.
  • Caddy doesn’t say anything, but she puts Quentin’s hand over her heart, where he feels her blood throbbing.
  • Quentin asks if she remembers the time that she sat in the branch and got her drawers muddy.
  • Remember how we told you that this was an important scene in Benjy’s section? Here’s why:
  • Quentin suddenly pulls out a knife and threatens to push it into Caddy’s throat.
  • He can’t do it, however.
  • He fights Dalton Ames because Caddy is pregnant.
  • Quentin meets Caddy’s fiancé, Herbert. He hates Herbert on sight.
  • Herbert mentions to Quentin that he once thought Quentin was Caddy’s lover, not her brother. He’s all she ever talks about.
  • Herbert keeps trying to push a cigar on Quentin. Disgusted, Quentin refuses.
  • Herbert’s a bit smarmy. He insists that he wants to be Quentin’s brother. After all, he went to Harvard, too.
  • Quentin points out that Herbert was kicked out of Harvard for cheating.
  • That stops conversation for awhile.
  • Herbert threatens Quentin in an attempt to get Quentin to keep quiet.
  • On June 2, 1910, Quentin finds himself "in time again."
  • Translation: he just woke up.
  • He hears his watch clicking away the seconds and remembers when his father first handed him the watch.
  • Quentin hears his roommate, Shreve, getting up.
  • He rolls over, deciding to forget about time.
  • As soon as he decides this, however, thinking about the time becomes like an itch he can’t scratch. It’s all he can think about.
  • All of a sudden, a memory intrudes upon his thinking (or not thinking) about time:
  • A girl runs out, smelling of roses. His mother and father have announced a wedding….
  • Quentin remembers telling his father that he’s committed incest.
  • Shreve barges in on Quentin, reminding him that he’s late for chapel.
  • Quentin promises to get up soon, and Shreve leaves.
  • Left alone, Quentin remembers the time that Shreve defended him in a fight: Quentin got really angry when someone talked smack about some girls.
  • Watching out the window, Quentin sees Spoade pass by.
  • Spoade’s a campus legend: he’s always late to everything, but he’s always well-respected.
  • The campus chimes sound off the hour.
  • Quentin listens to the sound of the bells fading away into the air.
  • Quentin gets up and walks over to his dresser, where his watch is.
  • He breaks the glass of the watch, then he twists off its hands.
  • Noticing red smears on the glass, Quentin realizes that he’s cut his finger.
  • Quentin packs a suitcase with a change of clothes.
  • He writes two letters: one to his father and one to Shreve.
  • Shreve walks in, interrupting Quentin’s thoughts.
  • He quizzes Quentin about missing chapel, but Quentin mutters an excuse and leaves.
  • He sets off to find Deacon – maybe he’s at the train station?
  • (Deacon is an old black man who seems to do odd jobs for college boys.)
  • As he walks, Quentin thinks about forgetting time again.
  • Passing a jewelry store with lots of clocks in the window, he pauses, then walks in.
  • He asks the man at the counter if any of the clocks are right.
  • The man says no, it’s actually…
  • Quentin shuts him up before the man can finish telling him the time.
  • He just wanted to know if any of the clocks were right.
  • The man looks at him strangely. Maybe this kid has been drinking?
  • Quentin realizes that he can’t hear the clicking of his own watch over all these other clocks. It’s a comforting thought.
  • Quentin walks to a hardware store, where he buys a pair of flatirons (weights). He wraps them up so that they look like a pair of shoes.
  • A streetcar passes, and Quentin gets on.
  • He sits beside a black man and starts thinking about race relations in the North.
  • Quentin gets off the railcar and stares over a bridge at the water below.
  • He watches his shadow in the water, thinking that he wishes he could find a way to drown his shadow.
  • He watches a classmate of his, Gerald Bland, punt on the river.
  • Arriving at the station, Quentin sees Deacon.
  • Quentin promises Deacon a present if he’ll deliver a letter to Shreve tomorrow.
  • Suddenly, looking into Deacon’s slightly absurd face, Quentin sees the wise, sad eyes of Roskus.
  • The moment passes – Deacon agrees to deliver the letter.
  • Quentin walks back to campus, thinking about his childhood.
  • In his room, Shreve greets him.
  • Apparently, Gerald’s mother has sent Quentin an invitation for a party.
  • Shreve’s glad that he’s not invited.
  • Quentin starts thinking about the costs of being a gentleman.
  • Quentin watches three boys fishing for a big ol’ trout.
  • He sees the trout in the water, but no one has ever been able to outsmart it.
  • The boys argue about how to catch the fish.
  • Quentin finds a silent little girl in the town.
  • Quentin walks all through the town, trying to ask the little girl where she lives.
  • At the end of town, Quentin gives the girl a coin and runs away from her.
  • All of a sudden, a group of men run up to them.
  • The little girl finally talks. She points at one of the men, saying, "There’s Julio."
  • Julio charges at Quentin, trying to beat him up.
  • Apparently, he thinks Quentin is trying to run off with his sister.
  • The sheriff is right behind him. He arrests Quentin.
  • Julio accuses Quentin of stealing his sister.
  • Quentin finds this so incredibly farcical that he sits down and laughs.
  • He can’t seem to stop laughing, even after the sheriff begins to think that he’s hysterical.
  • As the group walk back to town, a car with Gerald, his mother, Spoade, Shreve, and two girls drives up.
  • Mrs. Bland (Gerald’s mother) demands to know what’s happening.
  • Of course, when they all hear that Quentin’s been arrested, Shreve is the only one who immediately gets out of the car.
  • The girls, especially, look at Quentin in horror.
  • Shreve joins them as the walk to the jail, where the sheriff books Quentin.
  • Quentin hasn’t said anything about helping the little girl. We’re not really sure why, but we’re guessing that his silence is important.
  • Spoade insists that Quentin’s arrest is a mistake.
  • The sheriff, calculating a bit, charges Quentin six dollars for Julio’s trouble.
  • (In those times, six bucks is a decent amount of cash.)
  • Shreve’s outraged – but Quentin pays the money, and they all leave.
  • In the car, Quentin gets himself into a huge fight.
  • Gerald was telling bawdy tales about the women that he’d had sex with, and Quentin went crazy. He hit Gerald.
  • Unfortunately, Gerald’s been training as a boxer.
  • As Shreve recounts, Quentin got kicked around for awhile.
  • Quentin enters his dorm room.
  • It’s dark. Shreve left him a letter telling him that the Blands are having another get-together.
  • Quentin notices his bloody clothes again.
  • Thinking half-completed thoughts, he begins to clean the blood off with gasoline.
  • Quentin stuffs the bloody clothes into his bag and puts on the clean set.
  • He drowns himself in the river.

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