This map plots the settings and references in The Sound and the Fury

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Harvard University, Massachusetts
View of Cambridge and Harvard Square, 1919
Public DomainView of Cambridge and Harvard Square, 1919 - Credit: Radio Photo Shop

 

Harvard University map
Public DomainHarvard University map - Credit: Library of Congress

The second part of The Sound and the Fury, Quentin’s narrative, is set in and around Harvard University. This revered Ivy League institution, the oldest in the USA, is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Situated in Greater Boston, Cambridge is  – in contrast to Oxford, Mississippi  – a densely-populated commercial centre, and was in 1910 the main fount of industry in New England.

 

As a north-eastern state, Massachusetts was a Unionist stronghold during the Civil War. Its history of abolitionist crusading placed it in direct opposition to the South's traditional support for slavery. The North rejected the Jim Crow laws implemented below the Mason-Dixon line. The contrast in social dynamics provides fertile ground for Faulkner’s exploration of what it means to be Southern.

 

Harvard Gate, Harvard University, 1899
Public DomainHarvard Gate, Harvard University, 1899 - Credit: Detroit Publishing Co