Caddy’s promiscuity In The Sound And the Fury
William Faulkner’s The Sound And The Fury is his most famous novel. The novel accounts the deterioration of the once-prominent Southern family, Compsons. In the novel, it has been shown the Compsons were so fixated on their tradition values, and this fixation, ironically, became the reason for their corruption. Every single family member in the novel is trying to hold onto these inherited values, however, everyone fails. Caddy was the one who realizes early in the novel that the obsession of these values is gradually eating away their familial relations and lives. After this realization, she rebelled against these stiff moral values of the family and becomes promiscuous.
Psychologists believe that the abnormal behavior of many adults sprouts out from their disturbed and tarnished childhood. One of the main reasons of Caddy’s promiscuity is her disturbed childhood. Her mother Mrs. Ramsay was a self-absorbed woman. She never had a normal relationship with her children. In the absence of mother figure, Caddy plays the role of a mother in the lives of Benjy and Quentin. As a result of this, she loses her childhood innocence and achieves maturity at very young age. In the starting section, Caddy’s muddy underwear symbolizes her later promiscuity.
She has shown as a person with whom all three brothers are obsessed. She is a symbol of love for Benjy, symbol of purity for Quentin, and symbol of money for Jason. She hardly has a life for herself. She was also concerned with her mother’s distance from the children and her fathers’ increasing alcoholism. She realizes that the moral code they have been clinging to are nothing but vain. She decides to rebel against the false Southern codes which expect women to remain virgin until they got married. She tried to escape from this code of conduct by having incestuous relationships with different boys. She was like a warehouse of love, unfortunately, her family did not provide her an atmosphere where she could practice her love. Therefore, to channelize her love she starts having affairs with different boys. Every time she commits a sin, she regrets it but later she again commits the same sin.
Many critics believe that Quentin was right when he said in his section that “only if Caddy could say, mother”. The absence of the mother figure, the nihilism of her father, and the obsession of three brothers forced Caddy to reject the traditional southern moral codes and became promiscuous.