Caroline Compsons Obsession Wi Essay

846 words - 3 pages

In William Faulkner's novel, The Sound and the Fury, Caroline Compson focused directly upon appearances. Mrs. Compson never allowed herself to forget that her family wasn't as good as her husband's. Marrying into a higher class altered her perception of society. She searched for the acquisition of material objects in her life, always afraid of how others looked upon her family. Mrs. Compson cared more for appearances than for reality. Her obsession with sounds and appearance greatly altered the life of her children. She shifted her responsibilities as a mother onto the black housekeeper Dilsey, because she was unable to handle the appearance of her own family. Mrs. Compson felt a great burden placed upon her life after the birth of her fourth child Benjy. At birth Benjy appeared normal, though he never fully mentally developed. When Mrs. Compson learned of her sons disability her entire life shattered. She wondered how anyone could accept her or her son now. The mother's obsession with sound and appearances led to the following, "Reckon Maury going to let me cry on him a while, too. His name is Benjy now, Caddy said. How come it is, Dilsey said. He aint wore out the name he was born with yet, is he. Benjamin came out of the bible, Caddy said. It's a better name for him than Maury was."(Faulkner 58) Mrs. Compson felt that Benjy did not deserve the family name of Maury. In her eyes he was not her son. She found it impossible to love a feeble child.Caroline Compson's fixation upon sound and appearance led to the death of Quentin. She forced Harvard upon her son. Mrs. Compson felt that she would be looked upon as an important person if she could say her son attended Harvard. She had no concerns over what effects sending Quentin to Harvard had on the rest of her family. She only concentrated on sounds. The following quote showed how Quentin felt about the situation."Harvard is such a fine sound forty acres is no high price for a fine sound.A fine dead sound we will swap Benjy's pasture for a fine dead sound."(Faulkner 174) The fact that they sold the pasture, the only thing Benjy loved, for Quentin to go to school haunted him. His mother's obsession with sounds cost him his life. Quentin could not deal with the pain. He saw suicide as his only way out. Quentin never wanted to attend Harvard. The idea of her son at Harvard demonstrated her...

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