The Sound and the Fury Characters

This Study Guide consists of approximately 32 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Sound and the Fury.
This section contains 1,316 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)

Benjy Compson

Benjy Compson is a mentally challenged thirty-three year old man. His family keeps him at home to care for him rather than send him to a mental facility. He is taken care of by the servants of the house. Luther must keep Benjy entertained and from making too much noise and disturbing the other members of the family. The Compson’s keep Benjy at home rather than sending him to a mental facility because it would look bad for the family to send their son away. Instead, they keep him in an environment with people who do not understand his condition or how to deal with him.

He has no sense of time or morality. His thoughts slip in and out of the present and past in a confused jumble. This shows how his mind is not like everyone else’s and that he does not understand the concept of time. The mention of Caddy’s name makes him mewl because he misses her. He does not understand why she is not around. Caddy is like a mother to him, since his own mother does not have anything to do with him. She expects others to keep him quiet and it fell to Caddy to care for Benjy and give him a mother figure.

Faulkner uses Benjy to show how life can seem a meaningless series of the same images and sounds. He is a simple person who views the people around him without prejudice or judgment. It shows a simple view of the world.

Quentin Compson

Quentin Compson is the oldest child of Jason Compson III and Caroline Compson. He is very close to his sister Caddy and is against his parents’ plans to send him to Harvard. The family sells land that Quentin refers to as Benjy’s pasture to finance his education. He agrees to go because his mother wishes it. She sees it as a way to maintain their station in the community.

Quentin sees his family as all important. He worries for his family, especially Caddy. She is a wild girl who ends up pregnant as a teenager and will not name the father. Quentin attempts to take responsibility for the pregnancy by telling his father that the baby is his. His father does not believe him and sends him to Boston early to get him away from the situation.

Quentin does not like being separated from his family and does not like Harvard life. He drowns himself in the river before the end of his first year at Harvard. He feels a deep sense of responsibility for what happened to Caddy and to his family. He blames himself for not being able to keep Caddy safe even from herself. Quentin has an unhealthy relationship with his sister. This relationship leads to his inability to process and accept the mistakes she makes and his ability to cope with them.

Caddy Compson

Caddy Compson is the daughter of Jason Compson III and Caroline Compson. She is a spirited girl who believes in doing what she wants no matter the consequences. This does not fade as she becomes a teenager. Caddy is a mother figure to the rest of the family since their mother stays in bed caring only for herself.

Caddy disgraces the family by becoming pregnant out-of-wedlock. She is unsure who the father is. She meets a banker from Indiana and convinces him to marry her even though she does not love him. He leaves her when he finds out that the baby is not his. She must send her newborn to her family to care for since she cannot care for her by herself and her family has disowned her. Her mother will not let her name be spoken in her house.

Caddy sends money to her mother for her daughter, Quentin’s welfare. She attempts to see her daughter, but is thwarted by her brother, Jason. She misses her baby desperately, but cannot give her the life that she deserves.

Jason Compson IV

Jason Compson IV is the son of Jason Compson III and Caroline Compson. He is not liked by the other Compson children. He spies on them for his mother. Jason thinks Quentin is weak for taking his own life. He is bitter toward Caddy because her husband promises to give him a job in the bank before he realized that her child was not his. Jason is not offered the job in the bank and he blames Caddy for it.

Jason gets a job at a farm supply store, which he feels is beneath him. He, like his mother, feels a sense of entitlement. He feels that he is wasting his time working in the store. To get back at Caddy, he takes the money that she sends for her daughter. He is a mean, bitter man who takes out his resentment of Caddy on her daughter, Quentin. He resents how close Caddy and Quentin were and that he was seen as an outsider to them.

Jason Compton III

Jason Compton III is the father of Quentin, Caddy, Jason, and Benjy. He is an alcoholic who dies a year after Quentin commits suicide. He drinks to cope with his family life. His wife stays in bed and complains that she is dying every day. He must deal with the family matters on his own and keep his wife in check with her mood swings and thoughts of grandeur.

Caroline Compson

Caroline Compson is the mother of Quentin, Caddy, Jason, and Benjy. She is a hypochondriac who spends most of her time in bed complaining that she will not be around much longer. She sees her family as being superior to those in the community. She puts the raising of her children off on the Negro staff and expects them to do everything for her. Mrs. Compson feels entitled to be taken care of and sees her family as a burden.

Mrs. Compson disowns Caddy and feels that Quentin let her down. She has nothing to do with Benjy because she finds him too much of a trial to deal with him. The only child she likes is Jason because she feels that he is more like her side of the family then he is a Compson. She gets him to spy on his brother and sister and report to her.

Miss Quentin

Miss Quentin is the daughter of Caddy. She is raised by Mrs. Compson and Jason in their mother’s home. She is like her mother. Quentin is rebellious and promiscuous. She does not get along with Jason because he bosses her around and spies on her. She knows that he is taking the money her mother sends her.

Quentin gets tired of the way she is treated in her grandmother’s house. She robs Jason’s room taking the money he has kept saved that Caddy has sent for Quentin. It is nearly three thousand dollars. She runs off with a traveling musician.

Dilsey

Dilsey is the Compsons’ Negro cook. She raises the Compson children as if they are her own. She attempts to protect Miss Quentin from the bitterness that Jason and Mrs. Compson feel for her mother. Dilsey cares for the family that she has been a part of for most of her life.

Luster

Luster is the grandson of Dilsey. He takes care of Benjy and keeps him from annoying the other members of the family. Luster takes Benjy on walks around the property to keep him out of the house so that he does not disturb his mother. The family blames Luster if Benjy is too loud.

Maurice Bascomb

Maurice Bascomb is the brother of Caroline Compson. He lives with the Compsons’ sponging off of them.

Dalton Aames

Dalton Aames is the supposed father of Caddy’s baby. He gets into a fight with Quentin over Caddy.

This section contains 1,316 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Copyrights
BookRags
The Sound and the Fury from BookRags. (c)2014 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.