The Sound and the Fury

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 the importance of the family honor into Quentin, but in practice he seems to ignore it, saying that Caddy’s virginity is a meaningless concept.

Mr. Compson Quotes in The Sound and the Fury

The The Sound and the Fury quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Compson or refer to Mr. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Sound and the Fury published in 1990.
April Seventh, 1928 Quotes

“It’s no joke.” Mother said. “My people are every bit as well born as yours. Just because Maury’s health is bad.”
“Of course.” Father said. “Bad health is the primary reason for all life. Created by disease, within putrefaction, into decay. Versh.”
“Sir.” Versh said behind my chair.
“Take the decanter and fill it.”

Related Characters: Benjamin (Benjy) Compson (speaker), Mr. Compson (speaker), Mrs. Compson (speaker), Versh Gibson (speaker), Maury Bascomb
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:

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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:

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June Second, 1910 Quotes

When the shadow of the sash appeared on the curtains it was between seven and eight oclock and then I was in time again, hearing the watch. It was Grandfather’s and when Father gave it to me he said I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire… I give it to you not that may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it.

Related Characters: Quentin Compson (speaker), Mr. Compson (speaker), Mr. Compson
Related Symbols: Quentin’s Watch, Shadows
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:

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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:

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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:

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April Sixth, 1928 Quotes

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:

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“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:

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Mr. Compson Character Timeline in The Sound and the Fury

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. 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
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Race and Class Theme Icon
...the Compsons’ carriage to go visit the graves of Quentin – Benjy’s brother – and Mr. Compson . T.P., another of Dilsey’s sons, must drive the carriage because Roskus, T.P.’s father and... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...company for dinner, because all the lights are on in the house. The children meet Mr. Compson at the house, and Jason immediately tattles to him about Quentin and Caddy’s wet clothes.... (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... (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...with Mr. Patterson. Mrs. Compson argues that her family is just as well born as Mr. Compson ’s, so he shouldn’t mock Maury or begrudge him his money and food. Mr. Compson... (full context)
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...she screams, and then Mr. Burgess, one of the girls’ fathers, attacks Benjy. That night Mr. Compson scolds Jason for leaving the gate open. Jason suggests that they have Benjy castrated, or... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...into at school, when another boy threatened to put a frog in a girl’s desk. Mr. Compson approves of Quentin, but gets angry at Jason for crying over something else. (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
...sick. In the present, Miss Quentin curses Jason and leaves the table. Benjy then remembers Mr. Compson getting mad at Jason for chewing paper while Quentin is studying. (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...them to bed. She complains that she doesn’t have time to bathe Caddy before bed. Mr. Compson comes in and Caddy asks him if Mrs. Compson is sick, but he says she... (full context)
June Second, 1910
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...to when they needed her. His memories keep returning to the smell of honeysuckle, and Mr. Compson talking about virginity and women’s “affinity for evil.” (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...only Jason was more Bascomb (her family) than Compson, and how she once argued with Mr. Compson and begged to be allowed to leave and take Jason with her. (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
Quentin thinks again about virginity, and about Mr. Compson saying that Quentin was only upset with Caddy because he himself was a virgin. Quentin... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
...vain. She was also worried about Benjy being sent to the asylum in Jackson when Mr. Compson dies. (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Sin and Sexuality Theme Icon
...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 Quentin’s despair over Caddy would soon... (full context)
April Sixth, 1928
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Jason is still bitter that Mr. Compson never sent him to Harvard like his brother Quentin, and Jason remembers when his father... (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
Jason then remembers Mr. Compson taking in the baby Miss Quentin, even though Mrs. Compson had disowned Caddy. In the... (full context)
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
...to the next letter from Caddy. He then shifts into a memory of the day Mr. Compson was buried, when Jason encountered Caddy after their mother had gone home. Caddy offered to... (full context)
Appendix: Compson: 1699-1945
Time, Memory, and the Past Theme Icon
Decline and Corruption Theme Icon
Words and Language Theme Icon
...plantation fell into disrepair and began to be mortgaged off. The appendix then moves to Jason III , the father in the novel, who sat all day with his decanter of whiskey... (full context)