Caddy Compson: a Foil for Three Brothers

1715 WordsApr 1, 20117 Pages
Caddy Compson: A Foil for Three Brothers In William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury one character unifies the story, Caddy Compson. She is central to the story and Faulkner himself said that Caddy was what he “wrote the book about” (“Class Conference” 236). However many of the criticism’s of the novel find Caddy less interesting than Faulkner’s other characters: Quentin, Jason, and Benjy, and there are less critical analyses that deal primarily with Caddy because as Eric Sundquist is quoted in Minrose Gwin’s criticism “Hearing Caddy’s Voice” she is a “major character in literature about whom we know so little in proportion to the amount of attention she receives” (407). There is little question however that Caddy is a…show more content…
Later in Quentin’s section an assortment of different dialogue scenes between Caddy and Quentin show how she created a function for him. Images of pain (Quentin's broken leg) and frustration (sex play with Natalie, smells of the honeysuckle near Caddy and her lovers) show the larger problem—Caddy’s pregnancy and her need for marriage. Caddy personifies the confusion and “despair” that Quentin has with his own role within the family and “the desire for relief and shelter becomes desire for escape” from the role he plays (Minter 352). A scene replete with Quentin’s frustration occurs not in a conversation with Caddy, however, but in the compelling glimpse of the family relationship: "if I'd just had a mother so I could say Mother Mother," (Faulkner 109), prefacing the moment after the wedding: After they had gone up stairs Mother lay back in her chair, the camphor handkerchief to her mouth. Father hadn't moved he still sat beside her holding her hand the bellowing hammering away like no place for it in silence. When I was little there was a picture in one of our books, a dark place into which a single weak ray of light came slanting upon two faces lifted out of the shadow. You know what I'd do if I were King? she never was a queen or a fairy she was always a king or a giant or a general I'd break that place open and drag them out and I'd whip them

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