Mrs. Compson's marriage to a Compson makes her a member of the group tradi- .. makes it clear in front of Quentin and Dilsey that Jason is the head of the house seeking emotional support in a collectivized complaint: "Ί suppose women. project and dedicating his time, effort, and ideas to aid me in writing this thesis. focuses on the brother-sister relationships of Caddy and her three brothers in by a Black servant at the front door of a large plantation as a child; .. The parallel here to The Sound and the Furyis in Dilsey who "held that. evoking figure who transcends the sound and fury; (9) Dilsey responding to the . carriage is afraid of going forward and afraid of turning around, distracted by Benjy howling for a flower. too much, reversing the power relationship between the old white slave . Caddy helps Benjy feel identified with stars, in harmony with.
Because of the staggering complexity of this section, it is often the one most extensively studied by scholars of the novel. April 6, [ edit ] The third section is narrated by Jason, the third child and his mother Caroline's favorite. It takes place the day before Benjy's section, on Good Friday. Of the three brothers' sections, Jason's is the most straightforward, reflecting his single-minded desire for material wealth.
This desire is made evident by his bad investments in cotton, which become symbolic of the financial decline of the south. ByJason is the economic foundation of the family after his father's death.
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He supports his mother, Benjy, and Miss Quentin Caddy's daughteras well as the family's servants. His role makes him bitter and cynical, with little of the passionate sensitivity that we see in his older brother and sister. He goes so far as to blackmail Caddy into making him Miss Quentin's sole guardian, then uses that role to steal the support payments that Caddy sends for her daughter.
This is the first section that is narrated in a linear fashion. It follows the course of Good Friday, a day in which Jason decides to leave work to search for Miss Quentin Caddy's daughterwho has run away again, seemingly in pursuit of mischief.
Here we see most immediately the conflict between the two predominant traits of the Compson family, which Caroline attributes to the difference between her blood and her husband's: This section also gives us the clearest image of domestic life in the Compson household, which for Jason and the servants means the care of the hypochondriac Caroline and of Benjy. April 8, [ edit ] April 8,is Easter Sunday. This section, the only one without a single first-person narratorfocuses on Dilsey, the powerful matriarch of the black family servants.
She, in contrast to the declining Compsons, draws a great deal of strength from her faith, standing as a proud figure amid a dying family. On this Easter Sunday, Dilsey takes her family and Benjy to the 'colored' church. Through her we sense the consequences of the decadence and depravity in which the Compsons have lived for decades.
Dilsey is mistreated and abused, but nevertheless remains loyal. She, with the help of her grandson Luster, cares for Benjy, as she takes him to church and tries to bring him to salvation. The preacher's sermon inspires her to weep for the Compson family, reminding her that she's seen the family through its destruction, which she is now witnessing.
Meanwhile, the tension between Jason and Miss Quentin reaches its inevitable conclusion. The family discovers that Miss Quentin has run away in the middle of the night with a carnival worker, having found the hidden collection of cash in Jason's closet and taken both her money the support from Caddy, which Jason had stolen and her money-obsessed uncle's life savings.
Jason calls the police and tells them that his money has been stolen, but since it would mean admitting embezzling Quentin's money he doesn't press the issue. He therefore sets off once again to find her on his own, but loses her trail in nearby Mottson, and gives her up as gone for good.
After church, Dilsey allows her grandson Luster to drive Benjy in the family's decrepit horse and carriage to the graveyard. Luster, disregarding Benjy's set routine, drives the wrong way around a monument. Benjy's hysterical sobbing and violent outburst can only be quieted by Jason, who understands how best to placate his brother.
Jason slaps Luster, turns the carriage around, and, in an attempt to quiet Benjy, hits Benjy, breaking his flower stalk, while screaming "Shut up!
Luster turns around to look at Benjy and sees Benjy holding his drooping flower. Benjy's eyes are "empty and blue and serene again. At Faulkner's behest, however, subsequent printings of The Sound and the Fury frequently contain the appendix at the end of the book; it is sometimes referred to as the fifth part.
Having been written sixteen years after The Sound and the Fury, the appendix presents some textual differences from the novel, but serves to clarify the novel's opaque story. The appendix is presented as a complete history of the Compson family lineage, beginning with the arrival of their ancestor Quentin Maclachlan in America in and continuing throughincluding events that transpired after the novel which takes place in In particular, the appendix reveals that Caroline Compson died inupon which Jason had Benjy committed to the state asylum, fired the black servants, sold the last of the Compson land, and moved into an apartment above his farming supply store.
It is also revealed that Jason had himself declared Benjy's legal guardian many years ago, without their mother's knowledge, and used this status to have Benjy castrated. The appendix also reveals the fate of Caddy, last seen in the novel when her daughter Quentin is still a baby.
After marrying and divorcing a second time, Caddy moved to Paris, where she lived at the time of the German occupation.
Inthe librarian of Yoknapatawpha County discovered a magazine photograph of Caddy in the company of a German staff general and attempted separately to recruit both Jason and Dilsey to save her; Jason, at first acknowledging that the photo was of his sister, denied that it was she after realizing the librarian wanted his help, while Dilsey pretended to be unable to see the picture at all.
The librarian later realizes that while Jason remains cold and unsympathetic towards Caddy, Dilsey simply understands that Caddy neither wants nor needs to be saved from the Germans, because nothing else remains for her. The appendix concludes with an accounting for the black family who worked as servants to the Compsons.
Unlike the entries for the Compsons themselves, which are lengthy, detailed, and told with an omniscient narrative perspective, the servants' entries are simple and succinct.
Dilsey's entry, the final in the appendix, consists of two words: He also narrates several chapters of Absalom, Absalom! In her old age she has become an abusive hypochondriac.
He is also a character in Absalom, Absalom! The bridge over the Charles Riverwhere he commits suicide in the novel, bears a plaque to commemorate the character's life and death. Candace "Caddy" Compson — the second Compson child, strong-willed yet caring.
Benjy's only real caregiver and Quentin's best friend. According to Faulkner, the true hero of the novel. Caddy never develops a voice, but rather allows her brothers' emotions towards her to develop her character. Jason Compson IV — the bitter, racist third child who is troubled by monetary debt and sexual frustration.
He works at a farming goods store owned by a man named Earl and becomes head of the household in Has been embezzling Miss Quentin's support payments for years. Benjamin nicknamed Benjy, born Maury Compson — the mentally disabled fourth child, who is a constant source of shame and grief for his family, especially his mother, who insisted on his name change to Benjamin.
Caddy is the only family member who shows any genuine love towards him. Luster, albeit begrudgingly, shows care for him occasionally, but usually out of obligation.
Has an almost animal-like "sixth sense" about people, as he was able to tell that Caddy had lost her virginity just from her smell. Dilsey Gibson — the matriarch of the servant family, which includes her three children—Versh, Frony, and T.
An observer of the Compson family's destruction. She is very wild and promiscuous, and eventually runs away from home. Often referred to as Quentin II or Miss Quentin by readers to distinguish her from her uncle, for whom she was named. Style and structure[ edit ] The four parts of the novel relate many of the same episodes, each from a different point of view and therefore with emphasis on different themes and events.
This interweaving and nonlinear structure makes any true synopsis of the novel difficult, especially since the narrators are all unreliable in their own way, making their accounts not necessarily trustworthy at all times. Also in this novel, Faulkner uses italics to indicate points in each section where the narrative is moving into a significant moment in the past. The use of these italics can be confusing, however, as time shifts are not always marked by the use of italics, and periods of different time in each section do not necessarily stay in italics for the duration of the flashback.
Thus, these time shifts can often be jarring and confusing, and require particularly close reading. The title of the novel is taken from Macbeth 's famous soliloquy of act 5, scene 5 of William Shakespeare 's Macbeth: Compson says she will be dead soon and then not be such a burden anymore, and then Benjy returns to the present, where Luster is chiding him once again. This is the first glimpse of the adult Jason, who has no respect or sorrow for his dead family members.
Uncle Maury is a perpetual freeloader, a Southerner from a once-wealthy family now too proud to work but still expecting to live like an aristocrat. He and Caddy are delivering a letter from Uncle Maury to Mrs. Patterson, the next-door neighbor, as the two are having an affair. Within this memory Benjy has another memory of an earlier time he delivered one of these letters by himself.
Patterson sees him delivering the letter and runs toward him, scaring him. Benjy runs down the hill, afraid. Compson condones his affair with Mrs. Patterson and keeps lending him money, but when Caddy later has sex outside of marriage, Mrs. Compson disowns her, and Caddy is disgraced by the town. Luster sees some other servants who are washing clothes in the branch, and he asks them about his quarter and the minstrel show that night. Luster is especially intrigued by the fact that a man will be playing the musical saw.
It now becomes clear that something bad has happened to Caddy, the sibling Benjy was closest to, so that even the sound of her name upsets him.
Luster is only fourteen years old — very young to be taking care of a massive thirty-three year old disabled man — so his immaturity comes out in other ways, like his fascination with the musical saw. Benjy is only three and the family has not discovered his disability yet. Quentin, Caddy, Jason, and Benjy are all playing together in the branch and being watched by Versh.
Versh warns Caddy that she will be whipped for getting her dress wet, so Caddy takes the dress off, but then she gets mud on her underclothes too.
Benjy repeats that she smells like trees. Damuddy never actually appears except on the day of her death. In this she symbolizes the Old South, the history and lifestyle the Compsons try to cling to, but which is irrevocably gone. Active Themes Related Quotes with Explanations Back in the present, Luster mentions that Benjy thinks that the pasture is still owned by the Compsons, though they had sold it years before.
Benjy returns to the memory, in which the children head home from the branch.
Caddy and Quentin worry that Jason will tattle to their parents about their wet clothes, and they will get whipped. Even as a child Jason is portrayed as self-serving and greedy, and Quentin and Caddy are clearly very close with each other. Active Themes In this memory, Benjy and T. Quentin beats him up, but T. Benjy starts crying then, afraid of his confusing drunkenness. Versh appears, scolding them, and he carries Benjy up the hill to the wedding.
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Drunk Benjy is even more confusing than the usual Benjy, as his sense of perception becomes more muddled. In hindsight from the rest of the novel it is likely that Quentin is attacking T. Versh tells the children that the family has company for dinner, because all the lights are on in the house.
The children meet Mr. Compson says that the children have to eat in the kitchen and stay quiet, as there is company over for dinner. Compson do not tell the children that their grandmother is dead — the children have to find it out for themselves. The Compsons are more concerned with appearances than emotional connection. Dilsey serves dinner to the children, but then Benjy starts crying again.
Quentin asks if Mrs. Compson was crying earlier, but Dilsey deflects the question. Caddy shows herself to be a headstrong child, always trying to be in charge, but she is also the only one who tends to Benjy. The child Jason always seems to be crying about something. Dilsey practically raises the children, as Mrs. Compson is totally incompetent and Mr. Compson is distant, and usually quietly drunk. InDilsey sings in the kitchen while Roskus, her husband, says that the Compsons are unlucky.
The curse of the Compsons will be associated with the theme of history and decline. Dilsey then puts Luster and Benjy to bed together, side by side. Benjy then returns to a memory inwhen the children were playing with some lightning bugs T. The last flashback shows that Luster and Benjy were basically raised together. Versh points out that Jason will be rich someday because he always has his hands in his pockets, and this makes Jason cry.
Caddy tries to convince them that it is not actually a funeral going on, but a party. Young Jason is crying again, foreshadowing his later sense that the world is against him, and his hands in his pockets foreshadow his later greed and small-mindedness.