Why was Benjy’s name changed in The Sound and the Fury?

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boryung | Middle School Teacher

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Benjy's name was originally Maury, after his uncle. When his severe mental retardation was discovered, however, his name was changed from Maury to Benjy. His mother, Mrs. Compson, seems to have made that decision, the reason being that she wanted to avoid bringing shame upon the family. Mrs. Compson is very proud of her side of the family, the Bascombs. There are many scenes in which she is offended when her husband looks down on the Bascombs, who are apparently of lower social status than his side of the family, the Compsons. Later there are scenes in which the Compsons' servants discuss the name changing as something ominous and portentous that bodes ill for the Compson family.

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