Year: 2002 Source: Men and Masculinities, v.4, no.4, (April 2002), p.346-356 SIEC No: 20020808

William Faulkner’s The Sound & the Fury documents Quentin Compson’s descent into suicidal despair over his failure to realize in his own lived experience the patriarchal American South’s normative imperatives of white male authority into which he is being initiated. Drawing on Simone de Beauvoir’s analysis of male power & gender relations in The Second Sex, & her use of Hegel’s theory of subject-subject interdependence in particular, the article seeks to shed light on the marked disequilibrium between expectation & disinheritance, to which Quentin’s response is suicide, that is, a total relinquishment of identity.