Smelling Caddy: Olfactory Narrative in the Sound and the Fury

Yiren. Wang


The Sound and the Fury, a long stream-of-consciousness novel written by American writer William Faulkner, mainly depicts a girl’s gradual degradation. This degradation emblems the decline of the Compson family and the collapse of the old moral order of southern American society in the first half of the twentieth century. This paper aims to analyze the olfactory narrative from the perspective of unnatural narratology. Firstly, it interprets the cultural symbolic meanings of the most representative odors in Caddy’s two different stages by employing unnatural narratology theory. Secondly, it explores the role of the olfactory narrative in the creation of Caddy’s image throughout this novel. This paper argues that the olfactory narrative endows Caddy with implicit cultural implications, pushes the plot of Caddy’s destiny forward, and enhances the narrative effect of this novel.

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