The Sound and the Fury

by: William Faulkner

Mrs. Caroline Compson

Mrs. Compson’s negligence and disregard contribute directly to the family’s downfall. Constantly lost in a self-absorbed haze of hypochondria and self-pity, Mrs. Compson is absent as a mother figure to her children and has no sense of her children’s needs. She even treats the mentally disabled Benjy cruelly and selfishly. Mrs. Compson foolishly lavishes all of her favor and attention upon Jason, the one child who is incapable of reciprocating her love. Mrs. Compson’s self-absorption includes a neurotic insecurity over her Bascomb family name, the honor of which is undermined by her brother Maury’s adulterous behavior. Caroline ultimately makes the decision to change her youngest son’s name from Maury to Benjamin because of this insecurity about her family’s reputation.


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