Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Jason Lycurgus Compson (III)
Jason Lycurgus Compson (III), the grandson of a Mississippi governor, son of a Confederate general, and father to the last of the Compsons. Like his illustrious ancestors, his name suggests his passion, the classics. Unlike his forebears, he is unable to make a living or to fulfill his deepest ambition, the study of the Greek and Latin epigrammatists, but his stoic philosophy, culled from his reading, stands him in good stead. He speaks wisely, does little, drinks much, and is weary of his complaining wife, his wayward daughter, and his bickering sons.
Caroline Bascomb Compson
Caroline Bascomb Compson, his wife, who resents the Compson lineage and feels that hers is more glorious. A neurotic woman with psychosomatic symptoms, she complains constantly of her grievances and ills. Reluctant to face reality and rejoicing that she was not born a Compson, she indulges her fancies and pretends to be an antebellum Southern gentlewoman. Her fortitude in tragedy is even more remarkable for all her complaining, but she victimizes her children and devoted servants to maintain her resentment and illnesses.
Candace Compson, their only daughter, affectionate, loyal, and libido-driven. She is called Caddy, a name that results in great confusion for her idiot brother, whose playground is the pasture sold to a golf course. She is devoted to her dead brother, her weak-minded brother, her own illegitimate daughter, and her loving father. She is at odds with her mother, her vengeful brother Jason, and several husbands. So promiscuous is she, even urging her sensitive brother Quentin to abortive intercourse, that she does not really know who is the father of her child. As an adventuress, she travels widely, and in the postlude to the novel she appears as the consort of a Nazi officer in Paris.
Quentin Compson, her beloved brother for whom she names her child even before the baby’s birth. Obsessed by a sense of guilt, doom, and death, he commits suicide by drowning in June, 1910, two months after his sister’s marriage to a man he...
(The entire section is 891 words.)
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