About the Book

Book Protagonist: Dilsey, the Compson children
Publication Date: 1929
Genre: Classic, Literary Fiction

Character List

The Sound and the Fury

By William Faulkner

In 'The Sound and the Fury,' William Faulkner crafts an interesting hodgepodge of characters that liven the story.

‘The Sound and the Fury’ plays host to very interesting characters who shed light on the fundamental nature of man.

Jason Compson III

Until his death from drunkenness in 1912, he served as the household’s chief. Mr. Compson is the husband of Caroline and the father of Quentin, Caddy, Jason IV, and Benjy. He is also a University of the South-educated attorney who harbors pessimistic, drunken views that torture his son Quentin. Jason Compson III adores his kids, but he has lost most of his effectiveness in life, which he views as pointless and fruitless.

Mrs. Caroline Compson

She was once known as Caroline Bascomb and is Jason Compson III’s wife. She is a self-absorbed hypochondriac who is obsessed with seeming to be morally upright. Caroline is troubled by her neuroticism, which makes it difficult for her to provide for her kids healthily. She, except for Jason, has never shown affection for any of her children and seems to just appreciate him because he resembles her family.

Quentin Compson

The second chapter of the book is narrated by the eldest Compson child. Quentin is passionate and neurotic, he kills himself as the tragic conclusion of his father’s pessimistic ideology and his inability to handle his sister’s promiscuity. Just before his first year at Harvard comes to an end, he drowns himself to death.

Caddy Compson

The only daughter and second-oldest child of the Compson family. Caddy, who goes by the name Candace, is close with her brother Quentin. She engages in promiscuity, conceives outside of marriage, and later marries and divorces Herbert Head in 1910. She is caring while being resolute. Quentin’s best friend and the only true carer for Benjy. Caddy, in Faulkner’s opinion, is the book’s real hero. Caddy never finds her voice; instead, her brothers’ feelings for her help shape who she becomes.

Jason Compson IV

The third chapter of the book’s narrator. Jason is an extremely cynical, mean-spirited, and petty third child who is tormented by financial debt and sexual frustration and is bitter and openly bigoted. In 1912, he takes on the role of home leader while also working at Earl’s farming supply shop. has long been stealing Miss Quentin’s child support payments.

Benjamin ‘Benjy’ Compson

The opening chapter of the book is told from the perspective of the youngest Compson child. When he is found to be intellectually challenged in 1900, his name is changed from Maury Compson to Benjamin. He is a continual source of humiliation and sorrow for his family, particularly his mother. The only family member that truly cares about him is Caddy. Luster occasionally expresses concern for him, albeit reluctantly, but typically out of duty. Has a “sixth instinct” about people that is almost animal-like; for example, he was able to tell Caddy had lost her virginity just by smelling her.

Miss Quentin

After Caddy’s divorce, the Compsons nurture Caddy’s illegitimate daughter. Miss Quentin, a disobedient, immoral, and pitifully sad young woman, eventually takes money from Jason and flees the city with a performer from a traveling minstrel show.

Dilsey Gibson

The head of the family of servants, which also includes her own three children, Versh, Frony, and T.P., as well as her grandson Luster (Frony’s son), who looks after Benjamin all of his life. a witness to the decline of the Compson family. Dilsey is a devout, independent woman who guards the Compson family and acts as a calming influence.


Husband of Dilsey and servant to the Compsons. Roskus has a terrible case of rheumatism. He becomes increasingly infirm and dies between 1912 and 1913.


At Caddy’s wedding, T.P., one of Dilsey’s kids, clashes with Quentin after drinking alcohol with Benjy.


Dilsey’s other son and Benjy’s guardian.


Dilsey’s child. Frony, who works in the Compsons’ kitchen, is also Luster’s mother.


Son of Frony and grandson of Dilsey. Despite being just half Benjy’s age in 1928, Luster is a young boy who watches after and amuses him.

The Man with the Red Tie

The enigmatic man Miss Quentin purportedly elopes with.


The Compson children’s grandma who passed away when they were young.

Uncle Maury Bascomb

Brother of Mrs. Compson, supported financially by his brother-in-law. Uncle Maury is originally the inspiration for Benjy’s name, but Benjy’s illness and Caroline’s self-consciousness over her family name persuade her to change the boy’s name.

Mr. and Mrs. Patterson

Next-door neighbors of the Compsons. Before Mr. Patterson intercepts a note that Uncle Maury had given to Mrs. Patterson, Uncle Maury is having an affair.

Old Man with the Traveling Show

When searching for Miss Quentin at the railway cars of the traveling performance, Jason threatens an elderly man. The man then uses a hatchet to strike Jason.

Man at Stables

When Quentin visits the livery stables to try to locate Anse and give him custody of the young girl, a guy there advises him to take the child to the residence of the “furriners.”


Natalie is Quentin’s girlfriend, and when they were all younger, Caddy was envious of her love for him.

Reverend Shegog

On Easter Sunday, the Reverend Shegog delivers the sermon at the African American church, stirring the congregation’s feelings and reviving their faith, especially Dilsey’s.


When Jason goes to the sheriff to ask him to pursue Miss Quentin, the sheriff declines, seemingly realizing that the money she has taken was originally hers.

Vernon and Myrtle

When Jason storms to demand justice, Vernon and Myrtle are already there at the sheriff’s residence. The embarrassed pair hastily exits the situation.


 Who commits suicide in ‘The Sound and the Fury’?

Quentin Compson. He jumps over the bridge at the Charles River because he is distraught about his sister’s promiscuity.

Who is the most repulsive character in ‘The Sound and the Fury’?

It is Jason Compson IV. He is a bitter racist who is mean-spirited and cruel to his family and friends. He steals Miss Quentin’s funds for upkeep.

What was the relationship between Jason III and Quentin in ‘The Sound and the Fury’?

Jason III was Quentin’s father. Jason III is a pessimist and cynic, and his philosophy of life is opposed to Quentin’s nostalgic ideals about the Old South, on chivalry and honor. It is a source of anguish to Quentin.

Why was Benjy renamed in ‘The Sound and the Fury’?

Benjy was renamed because he was named after his Uncle Maury Bascomb. Benjy’s mother, Caroline — a neurotic — renamed her son to prevent Maury Bascomb from sharing his name with a mentally challenged child.

Charles Asoluka
About Charles Asoluka
Charles is an experienced content creator, writer, and literary critic. He has written professionally for multiple reputable media organizations. He loves reading Western classics and reviewing them.
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