Discuss the importance of the Benjy section in The Sound and the Fury.

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Benjy's section sets the tone for the rest of the book. As with most modernist works of literature, The Sound and the Fury, a highly complex, experimental novel, is concerned with the impossibility of ideal communication. That explains why Faulkner chooses to begin the novel with Benjy, a seriously disabled invalid without the ability to articulate his experiences in speech. The difficulty of this first section is exacerbated by the fact that Benjy has no concept of time; all the events he recalls take place on one day: Easter Saturday, 1928.

Inevitably, Benjy's narrative is confusing and disjointed. But this serves a very useful purpose in relation to the book's overall structure. The puzzling prose that Faulkner employs creates a sense of mystery and suspense, foreshadowing the events to come, making us want to find out what's really going on. Trying to figure out the reasons for the Compson family's decline will take some doing, and Benjy's section, the first in The Sound and the Fury, gives us fair warning.

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