Study Guide

The Sound and the Fury

by William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury Characters

Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)

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

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

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.)

The Sound and the Fury Characters

The novel's oldest character is Damuddy, the mother of Caroline Compson and grandmother of Benjy, Caddy, Quentin, and Jason. Although she...

(The entire section is 1458 words.)

The Sound and the Fury Character Analysis

Benjamin Compson

Benjy is the youngest of the Compson brothers. He had orignally been named after his uncle Maury, but when the Compsons discover that he is...

(The entire section is 274 words.)

Caddy Compson

Caddy is the central character of the novel, even though none of the narration is seen through her eyes. In each of the three sections that...

(The entire section is 261 words.)

Jason Compson IV

The middle son of the Compson family. After his brother Quentin's suicide and the death of his father, Jason is the head of the family....

(The entire section is 342 words.)

Quentin Compson

The eldest son of the Compsons. Quentin's monologue, the second section of the book, takes place on June 2,1910, while he is a student at...

(The entire section is 271 words.)

Dilsey Gibson

The Compson housekeeper, who is seen to be the most positive character in the novel. Dilsey is the person who nurtures the Compson children,...

(The entire section is 259 words.)

Other Characters

Dalton Ames
One of Caddy's lovers who may have made her pregnant. In his monologue, Caddy's brother Quentin remembers his failed...

(The entire section is 1244 words.)