Quentin

Text: 
Display Name: 
Quentin
Sort Name: 
Quentin
AKA: 
Quentin Compson III
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Alive
Family: 
Compson
Origin: 
Yoknapatawpha County
Narrator: 
First Person
Biography: 

Although the narrator never identifies himself, he is once referred to as "Quentin" by another character (186). Almost certainly Faulkner meant Quentin Compson, whom readers of The Sound and the Fury or Absalom, Absalom! know well, and whom Faulkner used to narrate at least two other short stories. In "Lion," Quentin looks back from an unspecified later time to when he was a sixteen-year-old novice hunter in Major de Spain's camp. Intelligent and observant, he scrupulously obeys the instructions and assignments he receives from the seasoned hunters, including not only Major de Spain, but also Uncle Ike McCaslin and his own father. His disciplined attention to detail serves him well both in hunting and in story-telling, as he provides an eloquent and comprehensive account of the terrain of the big woods, the men of the camp, and especially the dog, Lion, and the bear, Old Ben, who are understood to be more important than any human character in the story. After the dramatic and decisive confrontation between Lion and Old Ben, Quentin reflects on Major de Spain's and Boon Hogganbeck's contrasting decisions about hunting. One unanswerable question raised by this story, and the other two that Quentin narrates, is how Faulkner intends readers to understand the apparent fact that Quentin is telling the story sometime after the date of his suicide in The Sound and the Fury.

Note: 
The Quentin who narrates "LIon" differs substantially from Quentin Compson III in <em>The Sound and the Fury</em>, as the former appears to be an ideal hunting novice, while Quentin of the novel is deeply anguished by his inability to accept the world as he sees it. Additionally, Quentin in "Lion" tells his tale with a maturity that he also shows elsewhere, as in "That Evening Sun," where his age is well past that of the 19-year-old Quentin Compson who commits suicide in <em>The Sound and the Fury </em>..
Ethnicity: 
Scottish
Individual or Group: 
Individual
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Character