The Sound and the Fury


William Faulkner

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The Sound and the Fury Characters

Benjamin (Benjy) Compson

The first narrator of the book, a mute, mentally disabled man. Benjy was originally named “Maury” after his uncle, but Caroline changed his name when she discovered his disability. Benjy has no understanding… read analysis of Benjamin (Benjy) Compson

Quentin Compson

The oldest Compson child and the novel’s second narrator, Quentin is close with his father and Caddy. He feels the constant burden of his family’s past greatness and its present decline. This turns into… read analysis of Quentin Compson

Jason Compson IV

Jason is the only one of the four siblings—Quentin, Caddy, Benjy, and himself—to receive Mrs. Compson’s affection, but he grows up into a bitter, loveless man. As an adult Jason… read analysis of Jason Compson IV

Candace (Caddy) Compson

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… read analysis of Candace (Caddy) Compson

Mr. Compson

Jason Compson III, the father of the family, a cynical, philosophical man who spends all day drinking whiskey and reading Greek and Roman literature instead of caring for his children or working. Mr. Compson instills… read analysis of Mr. Compson
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Ms. Quentin Compson

Caddy’s illegitimate daughter who is raised without knowing her mother’s name. Quentin becomes promiscuous like Caddy, but she does not feel any shame for her actions. She is also partly raised by the cruel… read analysis of Ms. Quentin Compson

Dilsey Gibson

The most positive character of the book, the matriarch of the family of Compson servants. She is the only stable force in the lives of the Compson children, and raises them despite Mrs. Compson’s… read analysis of Dilsey Gibson
Minor Characters
Mrs. Compson
Caroline Bascomb Compson, the mother of the family, a dithering, self-obsessed hypochondriac who is unable to connect with or support her children. She favors Jason for some reason, and is preoccupied with the honor of her Bascomb family name. She is immensely prideful.
Luster Gibson
Dilsey’s teenaged grandson, who likes to make mischief but is able to fully care for Benjy.
Roskus Gibson
Dilsey’s husband, the patriarch of the Gibsons, Roskus suffers from paralyzing rheumatism and talks about how unlucky the Compsons are.
The Compson children’s grandmother, who never appears in the novel except when she dies. A symbol of the old South and its death.
T.P. Gibson
Dilsey’s son, who accidentally gets drunk with Benjy at Caddy’s wedding.
Frony Gibson
Dilsey’s daughter, another Compson servant.
Versh Gibson
Dilsey’s son, who is Benjy’s caretaker for a while.
Maury Bascomb
Caroline’s brother, a man who lives by borrowing money and food from the family, and has an affair with their neighbor, Mrs. Patterson.
The man in the red tie
A man from a traveling minstrel show who runs away with Miss Quentin.
Jason’s boss at the farm supply store, an honorable man who is patient with Jason’s sarcasm.
Dalton Ames
Caddy’s first lover, and possibly the father of her child.
Herbert Head
Caddy’s husband, who was once known for cheating at cards. He divorces Caddy when he learns that Miss Quentin is not his child.
Gerald Bland
A handsome, swaggering Harvard student who boasts of his exploits with women.
Mrs. Bland
Gerald’s mother, who accompanies him and brags about him.
Quentin’s roommate and friend.
A Harvard boy who makes fun of Quentin’s virginity.
A black man who hangs around Harvard and befriends Quentin.
Reverend Shegog
A visiting preacher who delivers a powerful Easter sermon.
A prostitute that Jason visits in Memphis.
Mrs. Patterson
The Compsons’ neighbor, who has an affair with Uncle Maury.
Mr. Patterson
Mrs. Patterson’s husband, who learns of his wife’s affair when he intercepts Benjy delivering her a love letter from Maury.
The first boy Caddy kisses.
Mr. Burgess
A man who beats Benjy after Benjy chases some schoolgirls. He is the father of one of the girls.
A girl Quentin kissed, who makes Caddy jealous.
The angry brother of an Italian girl who follows Quentin.
A town librarian who sees a picture of Caddy in a magazine, long after Caddy has left town. She wants to save Caddy, but realizes it would be impossible.