This classic novel was one of the first novels to put people of lesser intelligence, more specifically, those with mentally debilitating diseases such as Benjy, into a totally new light. Faulkner presented an entirely new concept, or at least was one of the first to vocalize his ideas on the thought that goes on within a mentally retarded beings mind.
Contrary to what many feel to this day, Faulkner expressed the idea that perhaps mentally debilitated people are extremely coherent of their surroundings and also are able to perceive mood like Benjy. Faulkner presented the idea with the concept that perhaps these unfortunate people were simply unable to express themselves to those on the outside.
Benjy, a severely retarded man, was able to notice extreme detail in certain surroundings and also had an exquisite ability to recall past events. However, he was unable to convey his own feelings and also was unable to discern between past and present.
On a similarly revolutionary idea, Faulkner presents the idea of being able to transcend the boundaries of time, being able to virtually relive the past as though it were happening, intermixed with the present events.
This novel presents Benjy as an astonishingly deep person and also shows him to have an intense interest to detail, showing him to posses an amazing memory for past events and the minutest details that accompanied them.