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The Sound and the Fury
by William Faulkner
Benjy Compson Timeline and Summary
Benjy waits for Caddy by the gate. He watches as Caddy muddies her drawers. On the same night, he watches as Caddy climbs up into a tree to watch Damuddy’s funeral. Caddy comes down from the tree smelling like trees. Benjy is told that his name is no longer Maury – it’s Benjy. He listens as Caddy and Dilsey discuss his name change. Benjy goes with Caddy to deliver a letter from Uncle Maury to Mrs. Patterson. Later, he tries to deliver a letter on his own. Mr. Patterson catches him. Mrs. Patterson gets angry at Benjy and sends him away in a rage. When Benjy returns home, Uncle Maury hits him. Caddy uses perfume, and Benjy notices that she doesn’t smell like trees anymore. He gets upset, pushing her and screaming. Realizing why Benjy’s upset, Caddy gives her perfume to Dilsey. Benjy finds Caddy in the swing with a boy. He starts to bellow; the boy makes fun of him. Caddy runs away with Benjy, angry that the boy was mocking Benjy. She promises Benjy that she’ll wash her mouth out with soap and never kiss boys again. Benjy has to sleep all by himself. He’s been told that he’s too old to sleep with Caddy. He starts bellowing; Caddy comes in and sleeps with him. Benjy drinks sassprilluh at Caddy’s wedding. The world starts to spin, which makes him really, really unhappy. Quentin comes in and finds him, then gets angry at T.P. for getting Benjy drunk. Caddy leaves. Benjy runs along the gate every day, waiting for Caddy to come home. One day, he finds the gate open just as a group of girls walks past. The girls come up to him, thinking the gate is closed. He reaches out to them, "trying to say." The girls freak out. Benjy is castrated as a result. Benjy sees Miss Quentin down at the swing with the man in the red tie. He thinks she might be Caddy. Quentin gets furious and lashes out at Dilsey for allowing Benjy out. Benjy and Luster search for Luster’s missing quarter by the golf course. Whenever Benjy hears the word "caddie," he begins to moan. Dilsey takes Benjy to church. At church, people talk about a white man being in a black church. Dilsey tells Frony to ignore them. Benjy and Mrs. Compson get ready to go to the graveyard to visit Quentin and Mr. Compson. Mrs. Compson decides not to go; Luster drives Benjy alone. Luster decides to have some fun: he whips the horse and starts trotting towards the town center. Once they get to the center of town, Luster takes the carriage the wrong way. See, Benjy’s used to the carriage moving clockwise around the square. Today, though, it goes counter-clockwise. Benjy freaks out. He stands up in the carriage and begins to bellow. Jason sees the carriage and comes running over. He’s furious at Luster. Jason turns the carriage around. As soon as it’s going the "right" way, Benjy calms down. He watches the shapes flowing in the same order that they always do.