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Flower Symbolism in The Sound and the Fury

            Throughout William Faulkner's novel, The Sound and The Fury, the symbolism of flowers can mean many different things. In Benjy's section flowers, trees, and most notable the jimson weed represent comfort and the sense that everything will be okay. In Quentin's section Honeysuckle dominates, representing the extreme obsession for his sister, caddy. Jason's section is a little different than the others because there is an obvious absence of flowers. This is because flowers generally, in this book, symbolize a link to the past. Jason's only link to the past is money and his lack there of. Flowers are then reintroduced in Dilsey's section in a number of ways. Because her section is somewhat a telling of others stories, flowers come to mean anything from the devil to the presence of order. This novel creates an immense symbolism web through each character's section using flowers and of their absence.
             Flowers in Benjy's section are a symbol of his innocence and creating a sense of comfort when there is seemingly none to be had. Jimson weed is one of the strongest advocates for this idea. Jimson weed is seen throughout the book being given to Benjy in order to keep him from moaning. When Dilsey says, "Give him a flower to hold on, that what he wanting" (10), it shows that flowers create a sense of calmness. Benjy feels this sense of calmness because holding a flower reminds him of caddy. Caddy is remarkably important to Benjy. She is his only safe place where he can go to in his mind, but at the same time it also makes him sad. His sadness is apparent through his constant moaning. The reason that flowers and nature reminds Benjy of Caddy is because to him, "Caddy smelled like trees" (19). Her smelling like nature represents her purity and Benjy likes to remember that part of her. Benjy can smell caddy's purity, but he can also smell her loss of purity. When Faulkner writes, "I couldn't smell trees anymore and I began to cry" (40), it is symbolism for Caddy's loss of her childhood, a childhood that Benjy was still living in and will continue to live in for the rest of his life.

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