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wouldn’t lay my hand on her. The bitch that cost me a job, the one
chance I ever had to get ahead, that killed my father and is shortening
my mother’s life every day and made my name a laughing stock in
the town. I wont do anything to her.
In this quotation, in the final section of the novel, Jason explains to the sheriff why he is chasing after Miss Quentin. Jason is characteristically sarcastic and demonstrates the self-pitying notion that he is a victim. He resents Caddy for divorcing Herbert Head and costing Jason the bank job Herbert had promised. Jason has spent much of his adult life in this way, resentful of others and cruel in return. Jason is furious that Miss Quentin has escaped with his money, and proceeds to blame her for all the family’s misfortune.
He is stung by the knowledge that he has been dependent on Miss Quentin’s presence as a source of stolen money. Jason knows that he will never truly succeed because he never takes responsibility for his own failures. The irony here is that when Jason says he will not do anything to Miss Quentin, his words are really true: she is now beyond his grasp, which deepens his frustration.
Ace your assignments with our guide to The Sound and the Fury!