Summer 1958 • Vol. XX No. 3 Nonfiction |

Faulkner and the Theme of Innocence

The Sound and the Fury has seemed difficult to many able readers, who apparently have not related it to the traditions out of which it was created. Faulkner writes from the point of view of a Christian feeling under the Southern experience. This is not to say that the reader, in order to understand and appreciate the book, must identify himself with a specific geographic region or with a particular religious faith; nor does it imply that Faulkner himself is naive or narrow in his point of view. In this novel (as in all authentic literary works of art), the author presents his materials not in the form of scientific statement but in the form of a metaphor, which conveys its own kind of truth. The values which the book emphasizes and clarifies are universal and require no special pleading. The Sound and the Fury is an exploration of the idea of innocence, and this exploration is carried on largely through the dramatization of two traditional views of innocence which are in conflic

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