Compson Place: Benjy's Graveyard in The Sound and the Fury (Location)

Display Label: 
Benjy's "Graveyard"
Type: 
YoknapatawphaInset
Authority : 
Context (text, as interpreted)
X: 
1668
Y: 
1128
Description: 

There are a great many cemeteries in Yoknapatawpha. The site that Dilsey and Luster both refer to as Benjy's "graveyard" is among the most unusual (55, 56). It is under "a clump of cedar trees near the fence" (314). Benjy visits it in both the first and fourth sections of the novel, and probably on most other days as well. In the novel's fourth section the narrator provides this description: Luster "came upon Ben squatting before a small mound of earth. At either end of it a small container of blue glass that once contained poison was fixed in the ground. In one was a withered stalk of jimson weed. . . . moaning he sought vaguely about and found a twig and put it in the other bottle" (315). Benjy himself has no name for place, and no way to articulate even to himself why it is so important. It does not seem that anything is actually buried there, but as a structure it seems to give him some way to cope with chaos and loss. At least, when Luster hides one of the bottles behind his back, Benjy becomes hysterical.

Role: 
Site of Event
Status: 
Continuous
5479

Location