R103 | William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury



1:30 - 3:00 pm


1/20, 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17 & 2/24

Six Sessions 


This course is offered online via the easy-to-use Zoom program.


Please email us if you would like to be added to the wait-list for the course.

Perhaps the most experimental of the modernists, William Faulkner portrays the complex world of the South following both the Civil War and World War I.  Set in Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, which is based on the author’s beloved Lafayette County, the characters in The Sound and the Fury struggle to find meaning while haunted by both the historical and personal past. We will examine what the novel says about the modern human condition and the author’s methods for creating literature that continue to intrigue readers and influence contemporary writers.


Recommended Reading: The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner. [Vintage International, 1990] A common edition enhances class discussion of specific passages.


FOR THE FIRST CLASS:  Read Faulkner's “That Evening Sun.”  Written a year after the publication of The Sound and the Fury, the short story introduces the Compson family of the novel except for Benjy. Focus on the characters and the portrayal of Black culture.  Please have an electronic/printed copy for the first session.

ON SUCCESSIVE CLASSES:  Anticipate reading 50 pages weekly and occasionally watching short video clips.

Ferris State University:  Big Rapids, Michigan

Mission:  Use Racist Objects to Engage Hearts and Hands in Social Justice

Recommended: YouTube:  “The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia”

Recommended:  At the Jim Crow Museum.pdf

(Smithsonian article about the Jim Crow museum) 


Nancy Walters holds an MA in English from Trinity College (Hartford) and an MA in English (ESL) from Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville).  After teaching for forty-five years at Webster Groves High School (St. Louis), St. Louis University and Lindenwood University, she moved to the Berkshires and became active in OLLI at BCC.  This is the fifth course she has taught for OLLI.

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