The Sound and the Fury

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Candace (Caddy) Compson Character Analysis

The only Compson daughter and arguably the novel’s most important character, as she is the object of her brothers’ obsessions. Caddy is the only Compson who seems capable of loving truly, as she cares for Benjy as a child and is very close with Quentin. She becomes sexually active at an early age, trampling on the notion of the chaste Southern lady. It is her promiscuity that leads to most of the novel’s tension, as her “loss of honor” drives Quentin to suicide, and her illegitimate child Miss Quentin leads to Caddy being divorced, disowned, and disgraced. She later sends money to Miss Quentin, though Jason steals it.

Candace (Caddy) Compson Quotes in The Sound and the Fury

The The Sound and the Fury quotes below are all either spoken by Candace (Caddy) Compson or refer to Candace (Caddy) Compson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of The Sound and the Fury published in 1990.
April Seventh, 1928 Quotes

Caddy was all wet and muddy behind, and I started to cry and she came and squatted in the water.
“Hush now.” she said. “I’m not going to run away.” So I hushed. Caddy smelled like trees in the rain.

Related Characters: Benjamin (Benjy) Compson (speaker), Candace (Caddy) Compson
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

When Benjy thinks "Caddy smelled like trees," we get one of the refrains of his narrative. Caddy, the second-born Compson child after Quentin, is the only one who can consistently comfort Benjy. Caddy loves Benjy deeply, and even in the midst of her argument with Quentin she realizes that someone needs to help Benjy cope with what he cannot understand of his surroundings. 

While playing outside, Caddy ends up "all wet and muddy behind." This imagery will also repeat itself throughout this first section, suggesting both Caddy's childhood sloppiness (she doesn't care much for the dress others want her to keep clean) and her transition into adolescence. Faulkner's male characters tend to be deeply afraid of menstruation and female sexuality in general, and as Caddy becomes sexually mature her family members increasingly associate her with dirtiness, earthiness, and lack of purity. 

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Sound and the Fury quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

“All right.” Versh said. “You the one going to get whipped. I aint.” He went and pushed Caddy up into the tree to the first limb. We watched the muddy bottom of her drawers. Then we couldn’t see her. We could hear the tree thrashing…
“What you seeing.” Frony whispered.
I saw them. Then I saw Caddy, with flowers in her hair, and a long veil like shining wind. Caddy Caddy

Related Characters: Benjamin (Benjy) Compson (speaker), Frony Gibson (speaker), Versh Gibson (speaker), Candace (Caddy) Compson
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

Here, already, the imagery of Caddy's "muddy bottom" finds its way into Benjy's narration. There is something voyeuristic about the others standing around watching from below while she climbs into the tree. There's little indication that Benjy feels anything but adoration for Caddy, but his oldest brother Quentin certainly has confused feelings about Caddy's emerging sexuality.

The kids are trying to spy on their grandmother Damuddy through an upstairs window, compelled by rumors that she is sick and dying. The Compton children, especially Caddy, are driven by their curiosity to find out what is happening in their chaotic home. Given the incompetence of their parents, the kids have to make their own sense of events like their grandmother's impending death.

At the end of this passage, Benjy sees Caddy again and is thrown back (or forward) into a memory of Caddy's wedding. Because both of these events happen in the past, but years apart, it can be extremely confusing to read Benjy's narrative. It is a multi-layered past, and Damuddy's death occurs well before Caddy’s wedding. But Benjy links things together through sensation and emotion, not through temporality or cause-and-effect. This allows Faulkner to link Damuddy’s funeral and Caddy’s wedding thematically: they are both, in part, signals that the Compsons’ prosperity is waning.

Caddy and I ran. We ran up the kitchen steps, onto the porch, and Caddy knelt down in the dark and held me… “I wont.” she said. “I wont anymore, ever. Benjy. Benjy.” Then she was crying, and I cried, and we held each other. “Hush.” she said. “Hush. I wont anymore.” So I hushed and Caddy got up and we went into the kitchen and turned the light on and Caddy took the kitchen soap and washed her mouth at the sink, hard. Caddy smelled like trees.
I kept a telling you to stay away from there, Luster said. They sat up in the swing, quick. Quentin had her hands on her hair. He had a red tie.

Related Characters: Benjamin (Benjy) Compson (speaker), Candace (Caddy) Compson (speaker), Luster Gibson (speaker), Quentin Compson, The man in the red tie
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

Once again, an occurrence in the novel's present (April 1928) sends Benjy spiraling into a memory. Benjy is trapped inside himself, still mourning his loss of Caddy all these years later but unable to vocalize any of his sadness or anxiety. In this memory, Benjy sees Caddy on the swing kissing a boyfriend, and he panics. After the boyfriend, Charlie, becomes angry at Benjy, Caddy chooses her brother over her boyfriend and runs away with Benjy to comfort him.

Because nearly everyone else is ineffective at comforting Benjy, Caddy is left to do too much of it. What might be seen as a “normal” developmental phenomenon— her first kiss on the swing outside their house— is interrupted by Benjy, who can only understand the kiss as another sign that Caddy is planning to run away. After comforting him, Caddy washes her mouth “hard” with soap. She has internalized much of the shame her family forces upon her, and wants to wash away her sin against the Compson honor.

Once she does this, Caddy once again smells like trees in Benjy’s mind; this tells us that Benjy has returned to a relative stability within himself. At the end of the passage, we return to the present, where Benjy has interrupted Miss Quentin (Caddy’s daughter) kissing someone (the man with the red tie) on the same swing.

“Candace.” Mother said. “I told you not to call him that. It was bad enough when your father insisted on calling you by that silly nickname, and I will not have him called by one. Nicknames are vulgar. Only common people use them. Benjamin.” she said.

Related Characters: Mrs. Compson (speaker), Benjamin (Benjy) Compson, Candace (Caddy) Compson
Page Number: 63-64
Explanation and Analysis:

Mrs. Compson is very sensitive to the names used for her children, and sees some connection between using full names and achieving the elevated status she seeks. This seems like a petty, desperate attempt to avoid all the “vulgar” realities of her family, and it is characteristic of Mrs. Compson that she worries about names while failing to take care of her children in any real way.

And, yet, this deep concern with names also makes sense within Faulkner’s novel. We learn that Benjy’s name was changed from Maury (like his uncle) to Benjamin when his parents discovered his disability. These characters feel pressing emotional connections with, and superstitions about, their names. In their eyes, calling the disabled child “Maury” would dishonor Mrs. Compson’s brother Maury. And calling Benjamin “Benjy” would, according to Mrs. Compson, lower their family to “common people” status.

At this point, it is also worthwhile to note how much doubling of names we see in this novel. The young Jason is named after his father Jason; Benjy is originally named Maury after his uncle; Caddy’s daughter Quentin is named after her dead brother Quentin. This makes the book more confusing to read, but also suggests important connections between different characters that are worth further consideration.

Caddy came to the door and stood there, looking at Father and Mother. Her eyes flew at me, and away. I began to cry. It went loud and I got up. Caddy came in and stood with her back to the wall, looking at me. I went toward her, crying, and she shrank against the wall and I saw her eyes and I cried louder and pulled at her dress. She put her hands out but I pulled at her dress. Her eyes ran.

Related Characters: Benjamin (Benjy) Compson (speaker), Candace (Caddy) Compson, Mr. Compson, Mrs. Compson
Page Number: 68-69
Explanation and Analysis:

Even though Benjy is in some ways less aware of the things happening around him, he seems to intuit the emotional states of other characters, especially Caddy, very well. She returns home after presumably having sex for the first time, and the sense of shame emanating from Caddy is tangible. Once again Benjy and Caddy run away together, but this time they stay inside the house. When they are kids, the Compsons are almost always outside; but now, slightly older, they stay more often within the walls of their home.

It’s not exactly clear in this passage whether Caddy is comforting Benjy or vice versa. Benjy’s crying grows louder when he sees Caddy’s eyes, meaning he understands her shame and sadness on an emotional level, if not cognitively. Benjy understands everything, even his own crying, as something happening outside of himself. Here, for example, he understands his crying in this way: “It went loud and I got up.” Benjy knows he is crying, but does not seem to connect his crying to whatever noise is growing louder around him.

In passages like this one, Faulkner uses Benjy’s perceptual uniqueness to introduce events, like Caddy’s first sexual experience, that will end up central to the rest of the novel. By giving us our first glimpse of these events through Benjy’s eyes, Faulkner avoids traditional cause-and-effect narration and makes things like sexuality and sibling interaction strange and mysterious once again.

June Second, 1910 Quotes

In the South you are ashamed of being a virgin. Boys. Men. They lie about it. Because it means less to women, Father said. He said it was men invented virginity not women… and I said, Why couldn’t it have been me and not her who is unvirgin and he said, That’s why that’s sad too; nothing is even worth the changing of it, and Shreve said if he’s got better sense than to chase after the dirty little sluts and I said Did you ever have a sister? Did you? Did you?

Related Characters: Quentin Compson (speaker), Mr. Compson (speaker), Shreve (speaker), Candace (Caddy) Compson
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

Throughout his section of the novel, Quentin is obsessively drawn back to things his father has told him about the world. In this example, Quentin remembers a dialogue with his father about his virginity and Caddy’s lack thereof. Even though Mr. Compson’s statements can seem absurdly broad, it often seems like his ideas might be closely aligned with Faulkner’s. In other words, because they offer the most lucid abstractions about the world that this novel has to offer, Mr. Compson’s monologues might be the place where Faulkner expresses something similar to his view of the world.

Even though this passage contains dialogue, it is effectively monologic. Mr. Compson identifies a phenomenon— boys and men being ashamed of their virginity in the South— and goes on to explain it. He says “it was men who invented virginity,” and so men are more worried about it than women.

In the most interesting part of this discussion, Mr. Compson says “nothing is even worth the changing of it.” This suggestion that even the saddest and most painful things fade away over time and aren’t worth changing betrays a deeply cynical view of the world, one that will be echoed in Quentin’s despair that nothing seems to be heavy enough to weigh him down, keeping him grounded in life. At the end of this passage, Quentin’s mind jumps to another memory of a discussion with his roommate Shreve, one example of many where Quentin becomes angry at another man suggesting that his sister (Caddy) might be something like a “dirty little slut.”

Got to marry somebody
Have there been very many Caddy
I don’t know too many will you look after Benjy and Father
You don’t know whose it is then does he know
Don’t touch me will you look after Benjy and Father

Related Characters: Quentin Compson (speaker), Candace (Caddy) Compson (speaker), Benjamin (Benjy) Compson, Mr. Compson
Page Number: 115
Explanation and Analysis:

Some of the more emotionally powerful passages in Quentin’s section are those in which Faulkner leaves traditional sentence structure behind and allows words and phrases to flood the page. This is one of them. Quentin is hit so quickly and fiercely with memories of a conversation with Caddy about her lost virginity that the narrative has no time for grammar or punctuation.

Caddy has seemingly decided to marry Herbert, one of her suitors, and knows her departure could be somewhat final— this is why she asks “will you look after Benjy and Father.” But Quentin is more worried about who Caddy has had sex with. First he asks “Have there been very many,” and we know Quentin is tortured by his belief that he should have stopped his younger sister from having sex with anyone at all. Then he says “You don’t know whose it is then does he know,” hinting at an unborn child belonging to someone besides Herbert. When Caddy says “Don’t touch me,” we start to imagine a very heated conversation, with Quentin grabbing Caddy and Caddy trying to pull away.

April Sixth, 1928 Quotes

“You can say nonsense,” Mother says. “But she must never know. She must never even learn that name. Dilsey, I forbid you ever to speak that name in her hearing. If she could grow up never to know that she had a mother, I would thank God.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Compson (speaker), Candace (Caddy) Compson, Ms. Quentin Compson, Dilsey Gibson
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:

Always conjuring up things to worry about besides the more pressing issues right in front of her, Mrs. Compson seeks to prevent Quentin from ever learning her mother’s name. Mrs. Compson even dreams of her granddaughter growing up “never to know that she had a mother.”

Dilsey is in a precarious position, knowing that Mrs. Compson’s wish for Quentin is absurd but also that she cannot easily disobey her. The amount of shame in the Compson family about Caddy’s illegitimate child is somewhat shocking, as it threatens to tear the family apart once again. Mrs. Compson does little of practical note to help her family-- she even burns what she thinks are checks from Caddy-- but instead mostly stays inside her room and dreads whatever might happen next. This passage also once again emphasizes the importance of names, particularly for the character of Mrs. Compson.

How the hell can I do anything right, with that dam family and her not making any effort to control her nor any of them like that time when she happened to see one of them kissing Caddy and all next day she went around the house in a black dress and a veil and even Father couldn’t get her to say a word except crying and saying her little daughter was dead and Caddy about fifteen then… I haven’t got much pride, I cant afford it with a kitchen full of niggers to feed and robbing the state asylum of its star freshman. Blood, I says, governors and generals.

Related Characters: Jason Compson IV (speaker), Benjamin (Benjy) Compson, Candace (Caddy) Compson, Mr. Compson, Mrs. Compson
Page Number: 229-230
Explanation and Analysis:

In a conversation with his coworker Earl, Jason seems to realize the absurdity of his mother’s role in their increasingly small family. First he realizes that Mrs. Compson is “not making any effort to control her nor any of them.” Then Jason remembers a time when his mother saw Caddy kissing someone and “all next day went around the house in a black dress and veil.” This is one of the only passages where Jason critiques his mother and acknowledges that his father might be a helpful presence. The memory also shows the unhealthy level of shame and pressure placed on Caddy at a young age, and is another illustration of Mrs. Compson's neurotic, melodramatic nature.

Throughout this novel, Faulkner experiments with how little he can give his readers while still giving them the chance to understand what is going on. Here Jason uses only the pronouns “she” and “her” but we can figure out that he is speaking about his mother.

At the end of this passage, we find a brutal assessment of his brother Benjy— “robbing the state asylum of its star freshman”— and then get a seemingly random statement, “governors and generals.” Jason refers to the collective history of the South and its defeat in the Civil War, a concept central to Faulkner’s fiction. In doing so he tries to link his family’s troubled history to that of the South as a whole — emphasizing the idea of how far the Compson "blood" has fallen.

“When they began to sell the land to send Quentin to Harvard I told your father that he must make an equal provision for you. Then when Herbert offered to take you into the bank I said, Jason is provided for now, and when all the expense began to pile up and I was forced to sell our furniture and the rest of the pasture, I wrote her at once because I said she will realise that she and Quentin have had their share and part of Jason’s too and that it depends on her now to compensate him… You were right to reproach me.”
“Do you think I need any man’s help to stand on my feet?” I says. “Let alone a woman that cant name the father of her own child.”

Related Characters: Jason Compson IV (speaker), Mrs. Compson (speaker), Quentin Compson, Candace (Caddy) Compson, Mr. Compson, Herbert Head
Page Number: 262
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Mrs. Compson makes a last-ditch effort to explain their troubled finances to Jason and comfort her own guilt about her role in the family’s downfall. She summarizes many of the things that have brought the family to where it is now: the sale of part of their land to finance Quentin’s Harvard education, the rejection of help from Caddy’s husband Herbert, and the tension between Caddy— always just outside the bubble of her own family— and the others.

When Mrs. Compson says Caddy will “realise that she and Quentin have had their share,” the name Quentin remains ambiguous. She might be saying that Caddy’s brother Quentin had his share when he was sent to Harvard or that her daughter Quentin got her share when she was taken in by the remaining Compsons. Faulkner’s doubling of names throughout the novel allows him to leave ambiguities like this, and thereby link two different characters together thematically; in this case, both Quentins have an unacknowledged debt to the Compsons as far as Mrs. Compson is concerned.

After all this, Jason reasserts his fragile patriarchal role and asks, “Do you think I need any man’s help to stand on my feet?” And it would be even worse, he says, to accept help from his dishonorable sister Caddy.

April Eighth, 1928 Quotes

“Fiddlesticks,” Mrs. Compson said. “It’s in the blood. Like uncle, like niece. Or mother. I don’t know which would be worse. I don’t seem to care.”

“Whut you keep on talkin that way fur?” Dilsey said. “Whut she want to do anything like that fur?”
“I don’t know. What reason did Quentin have? Under God’s heaven what reason did he have? It cant be simply to flout and hurt me. Whoever God is, He would not permit that. I’m a lady. You might not believe that from my offspring, but I am.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Compson (speaker), Dilsey Gibson (speaker), Quentin Compson, Candace (Caddy) Compson, Ms. Quentin Compson, Maury Bascomb
Page Number: 299-300
Explanation and Analysis:

Mrs. Compson is once again absorbed in her compulsive reflection on her family and whatever curse might have befallen them, leading them to such a state of ruin. As in many of Faulkner’s works, as Mrs. Compson tells it here, misfortune is “in the blood.” She lost her son Quentin to suicide, and now loses her granddaughter Quentin to what she fears might be something similar. (And in a cruel aside, she also suggests that Ms. Quentin turning out like her mother would be just as bad as killing herself like her uncle.)

Dilsey is quick to correct her— “Whut she want to do anything like that fur?”— but Mrs. Compson won’t be comforted. She laments Quentin’s suicide, wondering what reason he could have had to do such a thing. But her sadness is buried once again in self-absorption, class concerns (“I’m a lady”), and abstractions about the final cause of her misfortune (“Whoever God is, He would not permit that”). Once again, Faulkner’s doubled usage of the name Quentin allows for potent connections to be made between the two characters, even though the brother Quentin was so disturbed by the child-to-be Quentin.

Get the entire The Sound and the Fury LitChart as a printable PDF.
The sound and the fury.pdf.medium

Candace (Caddy) Compson Character Timeline in The Sound and the Fury

The timeline below shows where the character Candace (Caddy) Compson appears in The Sound and the Fury. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
April Seventh, 1928
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
...This triggers a memory of twenty-six years earlier, two days before Christmas, when Benjy’s sister Caddy helped free him from the same nail. In this memory Mrs. Compson – Benjy’s mother... (full context)
Words and Language Theme Icon
...his presence makes her worry and feel sick. Versh and Benjy go outside and meet Caddy, who Benjy says “smells like trees.” (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
The story returns to the present, but the memory of Caddy makes Benjy moan again, annoying Luster. He gives Benjy a flower to calm him down,... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...through the Compsons’ barn, and Benjy slips into another memory, twenty-six years earlier. He and Caddy are delivering a letter from Uncle Maury to Mrs. Patterson, the next-door neighbor, as the... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...buried. 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.... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...meet Mr. Compson at the house, and Jason immediately tattles to him about Quentin and Caddy’s wet clothes. Mr. Compson says that the children have to eat in the kitchen and... (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
Mr. Compson warns the children to “mind Dilsey,” but Caddy insists that they listen to her as well. Dilsey serves dinner to the children, but... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...the curse of the Compsons, and he says the sign of it is Miss Quentin, Caddy’s illegitimate daughter. Roskus says he knew they were unlucky when they changed Benjy’s name. (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
...Benjy. Roskus keeps talking about bad luck, and says another sign of it is that Caddy’s name is not mentioned around the house anymore because of the disgrace of her illegitimate... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
...when the children were playing with some lightning bugs T.P. had caught in a jar. Caddy is again concerned with everyone “minding her.” Frony mentions a funeral, but Versh says not... (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...the buzzards circling overhead. The children worry that the buzzards will “undress” Damuddy too, and Caddy and Jason start to fight. Versh points out that Jason will be rich someday because... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Benjy’s memory of Damuddy’s funeral day becomes briefly interspersed with his drunken memory of Caddy’s wedding in 1910. Back in 1898, Caddy decides to climb a tree to look into... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Back on Caddy’s wedding day, Benjy remembers her wedding veil, and T.P. trying to keep him quiet as... (full context)
Words and Language Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
In that memory Jason makes fun of Caddy for her “prissy dress,” and says she is trying to be better than everyone else.... (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...him his money and food. Mr. Compson then fills his decanter of alcohol and leaves. Caddy falls asleep next to Benjy, trying to comfort him. (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
Benjy returns to the memory of Damuddy’s funeral, when Caddy is up in the tree. Dilsey then comes out of the house and pulls Caddy... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...nearby swing, as Miss Quentin is there with her “beau.” This makes Benjy remember encountering Caddy on the same swing kissing her first boyfriend, a boy named Charlie. When Charlie approaches... (full context)
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Caddy finally runs away from Charlie with Benjy and they go up to the house. Caddy... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...out the same gate at other schoolgirls. T.P. tried to pull him away, saying that Caddy has gotten married and left Benjy behind. (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...gate and runs after the girls, scaring them. He tries to talk to them about Caddy, but he is unable to speak as always. He catches one of the girls and... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
...This reminds him of a memory years earlier when he sat by the fire with Caddy, just after his parents changed his name from Maury to Benjamin. (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
...Luster and Benjy eat some of the cake, and Benjy briefly remembers an episode where Caddy cried and said she hates everything. He then returns to the earlier memory by the... (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
The library reminds Benjy of another occasion with Caddy, when they were in the library and Benjy was only five. Caddy tries to pick... (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
In the same memory Mrs. Compson starts crying at her own impotence, and Caddy sends her off to bed. Then Caddy and Jason start to fight because Jason has... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Benjy then remembers an evening around 1909, when Caddy comes home from a date where she lost her virginity. Benjy senses something is different... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
...saying that Mrs. Compson changed Benjy’s name because she was too proud, and Benjy remembers Caddy feeding him, and he remembers Mrs. Compson complaining about being sick. In the present, Miss... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
Benjy again remembers Caddy smelling like trees, and then back in the present Luster is pleased that Miss Quentin... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Benjy then returns to the night Damuddy died and Caddy got her underwear dirty. Jason tattles on her again to Dilsey, and Dilsey undresses the... (full context)
June Second, 1910
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...time, and his own constant awareness of it. He remembers the wording of his sister Caddy’s wedding announcement. Her wedding was just two months before. (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...that he had committed incest and that he, not Dalton Ames, was the father of Caddy’s illegitimate child. Quentin then repeats Dalton Ames’s name to himself and remembers his father telling... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
...father. He watches a shadow move across the door and thinks about the night of Caddy’s wedding, when Benjy and T.P. were drunk. Quentin goes outside and sees Shreve, who asks... (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
In between his other musings and memories, Quentin’s inner dialogue keeps returning to the night Caddy lost her virginity, when she came home and Benjy started wailing. Quentin then thinks about... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...pickiness in allowing only wealthy Southern friends for her son. Quentin then thinks painfully of Caddy losing her virginity, and Dalton Ames, and Caddy getting married to Herbert Head, who promised... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...of memories about Herbert Head and Mrs. Compson’s letters about him, and his invitation to Caddy’s wedding. He remembers how his parents sold Benjy’s pasture to pay for Quentin’s Harvard tuition.... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...slips into a memory of talking with Herbert Head two days before his marriage to Caddy. Herbert is slick and confident, trying to befriend Quentin, who is clearly angry with both... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...a club for cheating at cards. The two almost get into a fight, but then Caddy comes in and sends Herbert away. (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Quentin then remembers talking to Caddy before her wedding. Caddy says she is sick, and Quentin says that if she’s sick... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Quentin then remembers trying to convince Caddy not to marry Herbert Head, and telling her about Herbert’s history of cheating at school... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
As he walks, Quentin thinks about the smell of honeysuckle and more about Caddy, particularly one time Quentin slapped her after she kissed some “town squirt,” and how she... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...Bland boasts about her family and Gerald, and in between her dialogue Quentin remembers confronting Caddy after discovering she had sex with Dalton Ames, and the smell of honeysuckle on her,... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Quentin remembers desperately offering to kill himself if Caddy would kill herself too, and talking about Caddy’s muddy underwear on the day of Damuddy’s... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...his grandfather. Quentin thinks again of telling his father that he had committed incest with Caddy, and he remembers how Mr. Compson did not believe him. Mr. Compson told him that... (full context)
April Sixth, 1928
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...Quentin is skipping school, and Jason says she is being promiscuous just like her mother, Caddy. Jason bitterly says that he never had a chance to go to Harvard like his... (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Jason drives Miss Quentin to school and the family’s situation becomes more clear – Caddy sends money to Quentin for her upbringing and welfare, but Mrs. Compson burns the checks,... (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
...is as a clerk in the farm-supply store in town. He gets a letter from Caddy asking about whether Miss Quentin has been receiving her money. Jason then goes on an... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
...remembers Mr. Compson taking in the baby Miss Quentin, even though Mrs. Compson had disowned Caddy. In the memory Dilsey accepts that she will raise the baby, as she has raised... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...it will be asking for money, as always, and turns to the next letter from Caddy. He then shifts into a memory of the day Mr. Compson was buried, when Jason... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
The next morning Caddy found Jason at his store, trying to convince him to let her see Miss Quentin,... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Caddy then met with Jason again, and she relented to an arrangement where she would send... (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...checks that he “fixes” for his mother. His scheme becomes apparent – Jason himself cashes Caddy’s monthly checks for Miss Quentin and gives a false check to Mrs. Compson, who tearfully... (full context)
April Eighth, 1928
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...they only exist as an extension of the bank job he was deprived of by Caddy and Herbert Head. (full context)
Appendix: Compson: 1699-1945
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
...He sold the majority of the Compson property to the golf club to pay for Caddy’s lavish wedding and Quentin’s Harvard tuition. (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...III, who was obsessed with the concept of Compson honor as symbolized by his sister Caddy’s virginity, and who drowned himself in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He waited until the academic year was... (full context)
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Next comes Candace (Caddy), who married Herbert Head and was divorced after a year, then married a man... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...he had worked for Earl. She showed him the picture, saying they had to “save” Caddy. At first Jason admitted it was indeed Caddy, but when he realized the librarian actually... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
...was summer), very old and mostly blind. The librarian repeated her plea to help save Caddy, but Dilsey only said she couldn’t see the picture, and handed the magazine back to... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
...she discovered his disability. Benjy only loved three things in his life – his pasture, Caddy, and the sight of fire. Benjy perceived time in a strange way, and so remembered... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
The last Compson is Miss Quentin, Caddy’s daughter, who was “doomed to be unwed” from the moment she was born. She actually... (full context)