The Sound and the Fury

Mrs. Bland Is Anything But College

As difficult to read as William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury proves to be, there are still characteristics to the story that are obvious or obviously out of place. Arguably, just such a characteristic or character would be Mrs. Bland, mother of Gerald and present in Quentin’s narrative. Though comic in some lights, she seems to be symbolic of a much bigger persona than she could ever physically encompass. Out of place, perhaps, because this mythic legend of which she is a symbol has proven itself , by the time the narrative is taking place, out of date, out of place. She is phony and, if nothing else, the main characters in this novel are all too real in the sense that what they feel and think dictates how they live and who they are. Faulkner even uses the word "bland" to make pointed the fact that indeed she is not of complex worthy material, but plain and insignificant, lifeless. Mrs. Bland is a haughty, shallow, social being who represents a grandiose way of Southern living now dying out, if not dead.

The scene in which Mrs. Bland is first introduced provides perhaps the most intricate insight into her personality. Quentin observes Gerald about to go rowing, dressed in an outlandish outfit: “He or his mother had read...

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