The Sound and the Fury Study Guide (Choose to Continue)


The sound and the Fury: Characters

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Benjy (Maury originally, also referred to as Ben in Chapters Three and Four)

Benjy is the first-person narrator of Chapter One and is aged 33 (in 1928). It is his birthday on the day it is set, and his mental age is that of a young child and is disregarded by many in his family. Through the use of stream consciousness his thought processes are revealed, however, and it becomes apparent that his memories are coloured by the kindness and cruelty of others and his love for the now absent Caddy is marked by his makeshift graveyard.


Caddy (Candace)

Caddy is the only one of her siblings (Benjy, Jason and Quentin (male)) who does not narrate a chapter in the first person and this is a reminder that after her failed marriage she is no longer seen as being a part of the family. As a child and young woman, we see through the eyes of others that she was independent and strong and also gentle with Benjy.


Caroline (Mother, Mrs Compson)

Throughout the novel, the children’s mother alternates between telling others how sick she is, then saying she is a burden and also insisting that Jason is her only comfort. She is characterized as selfish and a party to the disintegration of her family.



Dilsey is the matriarch of the servants and of the house in all but name. She is the one who cares for the children and attempts to bring order to the household. Chapter Four focuses on her for the most part and her gentleness toward Benjy becomes all the more apparent here. She is one of the few in the novel that demonstrates the ability to love.



Frony is the daughter of Dilsey and mother of Luster. She is a contemporary of Benjy, Caddy, Jason and Quentin.


Jason (father)

The father plays a minor role and his death from alcoholism is a metaphoric reflection of his ineffectual influence. It is also of note that he gives his son Quentin a watch that used to belong to his father as well as a nihilistic philosophy about the passing of time.


Jason (son)

Jason is his mother’s favored child and is never portrayed in a positive light. He is the first-person narrator of Chapter Three, which is the most ordered in terms of chronology, and here he vents his misogyny and racism as wrath with women and African Americans. Even as a young child, it is made apparent that he was the first to tell on the others for misdemeanours and holds on to his malice into adulthood.




The son of Frony and grandson of Dilsey, he is supposed to take care of Benjy in the present day of the novel but is seen to be cruel in his treatment of him and it is as though he is passing down the contempt that he receives as an African American man in the deep South.


Quentin (female)

Quentin is the daughter of Caddy and her father is presumed to be Dalton Ames**. She is raised by the Compsons after her mother is thrown out by her husband on realizing she is pregnant with another man’s child.


Quentin (male)

Quentin is the first-person narrator of Chapter Two and the brother of Quentin, Caddy and Jason. This chapter is set in 1910 and gives the build up to his suicide. His love for Caddy is seen to overspill and his claims of incest with her are understood to be a fiction.



The husband of Dilsey and servant of the Compsons.


T. P.

One of the sons of Dilsey and Roskus.



One of the sons of Dilsey and Roskus.


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