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The Sound and the Fury
by William Faulkner
Caddy Compson Timeline and Summary
Caddy un-snags Benjy’s shirt. They crawl through the fence together, Caddy guiding Benjy all the way. Caddy tells Benjy to keep his hands in his pockets. It’s cold out. It’s also Christmas. As Caddy says, no one wants to be hand-less on Christmas day. Uncle Maury wants Caddy and Benjy to deliver a letter to one of his lovers, Mrs. Patterson. It’s a Christmas present. Benjy’s in the water with Caddy when Roskus comes to get them for dinner. Caddy squats down and gets her dress wet. Versh says that her mom will whip her for getting wet. Caddy argues that she won’t get whipped. After all, she’s seven. She should know. Quentin, her brother, says she will. He knows more. He goes to school. Declaring that she’s going to run away, Caddy says that she doesn’t care if she gets whipped or not. Caddy tells Frony and T.P. that everyone has to mind her the night Damuddy dies. Caddy wants to see what’s going on in the main house. She gets Versh to boost her up into the tree. Benjy watches as Caddy’s muddy drawers disappear up into the tree. Frony whispers up to Caddy to ask what she sees. Caddy explains to Maury that his name’s been changed to Benjy. Caddy tries to hug Benjy when she doesn’t smell like trees (she’s wearing perfume). Benjy, of course, bellows. Caddy can’t quite figure out what the problem is. Jason sneers at her dress, saying that Benjy’s probably bellowing because she’s become so prissy. Caddy tries to get Benjy to tell her what the problem is. Benjy hears water in the bathroom. When Caddy comes out, she smells like trees. Caddy understands. She blames herself for not listening to Benjy. Together, the two go downstairs and give the perfume to Dilsey. Caddy sits on a swing with her boyfriend, Charlie. Benjy finds them and gets angry. Of course, he can’t say anything, but he bellows. Charlie gets mad, too, wondering why Benjy’s allowed to roam about without anyone to look after him. Caddy tries to push Charlie away. He pulls her to him. Benjy notices how fast Caddy breathes. Caddy breaks away from Charlie and runs with Benjy into the house. She washes her mouth out with soap. Caddy runs off with Dalton Ames. Quentin finds Caddy down in the branch (that’s a stream, remember?). She’s lying down with her legs in the water. Quentin asks her over and over if she loves the man. Caddy doesn’t say anything, but she puts Quentin’s hand over her heart, where he feels her blood throbbing. Quentin suddenly pulls out a knife and threatens to push it into Caddy’s throat. Caddy sees Dalton. She runs up to him, and Quentin sees their bodies blur together. Caddy tells him to go back to the house, but Quentin says he’s going for a walk. He comes back, and Caddy’s alone. As they walk, Quentin pushes her to find out how she feels about her lover. He threatens to kill Caddy a few times. They’re both crying. Caddy insists that she’s bad. Caddy gets pregnant. She leaves, then comes back with a fiancé, Herbert Head. Herbert mentions to Quentin that he once thought Quentin was Caddy’s lover, not her brother. He’s all she ever talks about. Herbert’s smarmy. Quentin urges Caddy not to marry Herbert: she’s sick, so she can’t marry him. Caddy says she has to – otherwise, Benjy will be sent to Jackson. (Jackson is where the mental institution is.) Quentin asks Caddy if there have been many men for her. She’s distracted; she says there have been too many, then asks him to look after Benjy again. Quentin tells Caddy that he wants to run away with her and Benjy. She scoffs – there’s no money. Besides that, their father is drinking himself to death. Caddy gets married and leaves. Soon after she has her baby, however, Herbert realizes that he’s not the father. He leaves Caddy. Caddy sends her daughter, Quentin, to Jefferson to be raised by her mother. She sends lots of money to Quentin, but Jason steals most of it. Mrs. Compson refuses to mention Caddy’s name in the house. Caddy shows up at her father’s funeral. No one had told her about his death – she just read it in the paper. Jason notices that someone’s put expensive flowers on his father’s grave – and on Quentin’s. Angry that Caddy showed up, Jason boasts that no one even speaks her name at the house. Caddy offers to pay Jason fifty dollars for a sight of her daughter. Jason, ever the businessman, asks for one hundred. After some haggling, she agrees. Jason tells her where to stand, and then he gets Quentin and the buggy. When they pass Caddy, Jason whips the horses so that they fly by her. Jason watches with delight as Caddy runs frantically after the buggy. The next day, Caddy shows up at the store. Jason’s furious. She should know better than to come into the town. Caddy wants to see her baby, but Jason refuses. He threatens to tell Mother she’s here if she doesn’t leave immediately. Unable to do anything, Caddy leaves. Jason realizes that Dilsey will probably let her into the house, so he rushes home. Sure enough, she’s been there. He can tell by the way that Benjy is bawling. She sends Quentin fifty dollars, which Jason takes. Caddy sends Jason a letter insisting that Jason telegraph her about Quentin’s well-being.