Compson Ancestors

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Display Name: 
Compson Ancestors
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Compsons, Unspecified Family Ancestors
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Peripheral
Vitality: 
Dead
Family: 
Compson
Biography: 

In the "Appendix, Compson:1699-1945" that Faulkner wrote in 1946, seventeen years after The Sound and the Fury was first published, he traces the Compson patrimony all the way back to Scotland in the 18th century. The 1929 novel, however, contains only a few references to the family history; Jason thinks, for example, about the "governors and generals" in the family past (230), and Quentin thinks that "one of our forefathers was a governor and three were generals" (101). It's likely that the Compson that Mr. Compson mentions as his father's "father" (76) was the governor. The Compson Quentin calls "Grandfather" (76) was a Confederate General, but we have no further information about the other two generals. Also in the "Appendix" Faulkner stresses the economically tenuous origins of the family prior to their migration to Mississippi, but in the novel itself the emphasis is on their upper class status in the past. Jason thinks, for example, about how "my people owned slaves here" (239), and Quentin has a vision of Grandfather "on a high place" (176).

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Group
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