Character Keys

Displaying 1 - 100 of 3731

Add a new Character Key

Codesort descending title biography
1 John Sartoris I

The first published Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust, begins by conjuring up the spirit of Colonel John Sartoris. Dead since 1876, he haunts much of that text and many of the others; the 21 texts he appears in is the most of any inhabitant of Faulkner's imaginative world. As Faulkner acknowledged, his story is basely on the life and death of Colonel William Falkner, the author's great-grandfather. His fictional biography is established in that first novel. He came from Carolina to Jefferson around 1837, where he built a large cotton plantation four miles north of town.

2 Colonel John Sartoris' Mother

The mother of John and (the first) Bayard Sartoris and Virginia Du Pre is never named, and only mentioned in three texts, each time briefly. "There Was a Queen" notes that the "Cal-lina" (Carolina, probably South) mansion she lived in was burned down by the Yankees during the Civil War (732).

3 Bayard Sartoris I

This is the first of the four 'Bayards' on the Sartoris family tree. When Colonel John Sartoris' sister Virginia (Aunt Jenny) Du Pre comes to Yoknapatawpha from Carolina, she brings with her the story she loves to tell the younger members of her family about her bother Bayard's death in the Civil War. To her, at least, and in these stories, this Bayard is an incredibly romantic figure, likened to "Richard First . . . before he went crusading" (11). During the Civil War he is Gen. J.E.B.

4 Bayard Sartoris II

This Bayard Sartoris, the second on the family tree, is the son of Colonel John. In many of the eighteen texts in which he appears he is often called "Colonel Sartoris" too, even though he never fought in any war. In the larger story of Yoknapatawpha he is a transitional figure between the heroic past, when his father fought Yankees and built railroads, and modernity. His greatest achievement is to establish a bank in Jefferson, though it ultimately ends up in the hands of a Snopes.

5 John Sartoris II

Bayard Sartoris names his only son John, after his father the Colonel. This John II is a very minor character, even in Flags in the Dust, the only text to describe him or rather his life in any detail. He married Lucy Cranston, with whom he fathered the twin sons, Bayard (III) and John (III), who are both important characters in that first Yoknapatawpha fiction. Unlike his father, he followed the family's military tradition, fighting for the U.S. in the Spanish-American War. He died in 1901, succumbing to yellow fever and a wound suffered during the war.

6 Bayard Sartoris III

Although this Bayard, the third on the Sartoris family tree, has a son, The Mansion, the second to last text Faulkner published, is not wrong to call this Bayard "the last Sartoris Mohican" (210). He appears or is mentioned in seven texts.

7 John Sartoris III

Johnny Sartoris, the twin brother of Bayard, is one of the two Sartoris ghosts who haunt the present in Faulkner's first Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust. Confederate Colonel John haunts all his living descendants. 'British' aviator Johnny is instead the shadow that his brother cannot emerge from. He is remembered very fondly by the novel's other characters, and with a great deal of survivor guilt by Bayard. Before World War I Johnny attended the University of Virginia and Princeton University.

8 Benbow Sartoris

The country boy who narrates "Shall Not Perish" notes that Sartorises "still lived in our county" in 1942 (112). In the collected fictions, however, there is only one Sartoris left by that time, the son of Bayard Sartoris III and Narcissa Benbow who was born on the same day his father died in 1920, at the end of Flags in the Dust, and given his name as his mother's attempt to avoid the apparent curse on the various Bayards and Johns in the Sartoris line of succession.

9 Bayard Sartoris IV

This is the only child of young Bayard's short-lived marriage to Caroline White. According to Jenny Du Pre, Caroline named him Bayard "nine months before it was born" (51). He and his mother both died while Bayard was in France, though Flags in the Dust does not explain the cause.

10 Mrs. John Sartoris

Colonel John Sartoris' wife and (Old) Bayard's mother is a very elusive figure. In the Unvanquished series it emerges that her maiden name was Millard, and it can be assumed that she originally came from Memphis (where Rosa Millard and her husband lived before the Civil War). In "My Grandmother Millard" Bayard notes that Cousin Melisandre is married in the same wedding dress that both her grandmother and mother wore at their weddings, and says that "Mother wasn't much older than Cousin Melisandre even when she died" - and Melisandre is a very young woman (698-99).

11 Dennison Hawk I

Like John Sartoris, Dennison Hawk was a large plantation- and slave-owner who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War; he was killed at the Battle of Shiloh. He never appears directly in the fictions, but is mentioned in "Raid" and "Skirmish at Sartoris" and again in The Unvanquished. His Alabama plantation, Hawkhurst, was burned by the Yankees sometime after his death. He is the husband of Louisa, who is Granny's sister, and hence he is Bayard's uncle as well as Drusilla's and Denny's father.

12 Drusilla Hawk Sartoris

Although she only appears in the Unvanquished stories, Drusilla Hawk Sartoris is one of the more memorable women in the Yoknapatawpha fictions. She was born in Alabama into the plantation aristocracy, where her role as a lady seemed clearly defined - until the Civil War gave her the opportunity to redefine it.

13 Colonel John Sartoris' Daughter 1

Like their mother, John Sartoris' two daughters are almost invisible members of the family. This is the older of the pair, Bayard's older sister. She is twenty-two when Jenny Du Pre arrives in Mississippi in 1869; beyond that she is not named or described. From one of Will Falls' stories in Flags in the Dust we learn that she and her younger sister were sent to Memphis during the Civil War; the narrator tells us later that she is planning to marry in June, 1870.

14 Colonel John Sartoris' Daughter 2

Faulkner's first Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust, explicitly mentions the two daughters of Colonel John Sartoris. This is the younger one, who is two years younger than Bayard; with her older sister she was sent to Memphis during the Civil War, but is back at the Sartoris plantation at Christmas time, 1869, to hear Aunt Jenny tell the story of "Carolina" Bayard's death. Other than that, like her sister she remains very elusive as a character.

15 Rosa Millard

Rosa Millard - "Granny" to two boys, one white and one black - is one of Faulkner's most formidable old women. As John Sartoris' mother-in-law, she runs his plantation while he's away fighting in the Civil War.

16 Virginia Sartoris Du Pre

Virginia Du Pre - or as she is called more frequently, Aunt Jenny - is the sister of Colonel John and the first in the series of formidable dowagers in the Yoknapatawpha fictions. She traveled to Yoknapatawpha a few years after the end of the Civil War that saw her father and husband killed and the family mansion in Carolina burned down. She brought with her a handful of flower cuttings from the ancestral estate which in Mississippi's less congenial soil she nurtures into an equally lush garden.

17 Millard

First mentioned but not named by Will Falls in Flags in the Dust when he mentions that Bayard's two sisters went to stay with his "gran'pappy" in Memphis during the Civil War (20), he comes into a little more focus in "My Grandmother Millard" when Bayard notes that his grandmother's dead husband owned a "supply house" in Memphis, where he knew Nathan Bedford Forrest (688). One of his customers was Nathan Bedford Forrest, who (although the story never mentions it) was a well-known Memphis planter and slave-dealer at that time.

18 Louisa Hawk

This sister of Rosa Millard appears or is mentioned in three of the Unvanquished stories. When she first appears, in "Raid," she is named "Louise"; her husband and son have both been killed in the Civil War, and the large Dennison plantation has been burned by the Yankees. Louise tries, ineffectually, to keep her daughter Drusilla from helping Rosa conduct her non-military raid on the Union troops in the area.

19 Du Pre

The husband of Virginia Sartoris (Aunt Jenny) is a man named Du Pre. According to The Unvanquished, one of the two fictions in which he is mentioned, he was "killed at the very beginning of the War, by a shell from a Federal frigate at Fort Moultrie" (235). Fort Moultrie was one of the forts in the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina, and it's very likely that Du Pre, like the Sartorises, was from "Cal-lina" - as Elnora calls it in "There Was a Queen," the other text in which Jenny's husband is mentioned (732).

20 Dennison Hawk II

Drusilla Hawk's brother Denny - a nickname for Dennison, their father's name - is ten years old when he first appears, in "Raid." He lives at his family's plantation, Hawkhurst, in Alabama, and shares his cousin Bayard's fascination with the railroad. His small size is used as a point of reference in "The Unvanquished," but he himself does not appear in that story. In "Skirmish at Sartoris" he accompanies his mother on her trip to Yoknapatawpha, and on the day of the election, without her permission, goes into town with Ringo.

21 Mrs. Bayard Sartoris

Old Bayard's wife, the grandmother of Young Bayard and Young John Sartoris, is never named, and mentioned only in passing in Flags in the Dust, when that novel sums up the history of the parlor in the Sartoris mansion over the decades. We're told that she and her daughter-in-law and Miss Jenny clean the room "thoroughly" twice a year. There are exactly two words devoted to her: "his wife" (55).

22 Lucy Cranston Sartoris

In Flags in the Dust, Lucy nee Cranston is the wife of John Sartoris, II and mother of twins, Bayard and John. Little else is known about her, except that on her sons' seventh birthday she gave them both a copy of the New Testament with a written inscription.

23 Caroline White Sartoris

In Flags in the Dust, Caroline White is the Memphis girl who met and married (Young) Bayard Sartoris when he was teaching flying lessons in that city. She is identified mainly by her "wild bronze swirling" hair (45), but she is also recognizably a modern woman: she has no proper ideas about "keeping house," at least according to Jenny (51), and the narrator refers to "the brittle daring of her speech and actions" (73). She and her newborn son died, perhaps of influenza, in 1918, while her husband was fighting overseas in World War I.

24 Earliest American Sartoris

In Flags in the Dust Jenny Du Pre refers to the man who built the plantation where she grew up in "Carolina" (whether North or South is never specified) as her "great-great-great-grandfather" (50). That many generations back would make him more or less a contemporary of the fathers and mothers of America's 'Founding Fathers.'

25 Judge Benbow

As a family the Benbows are one of the oldest and most prominent in Jefferson, but the fictions don't provide much detail about the first several generations in town. "Judge Benbow" is mentioned in three fictions from the middle of Faulkner's career. In Absalom! he is mentioned twice: first as a paragon of genteel manners (35), and later as the unofficial executor of the (non-existent) "Estate of Goodhue Coldfield" who chivalrously takes care of Rosa over the years (172); he also has a son named Percy.

26 Francis Benbow

Francis Benbow is the father of Will Benbow, and grandfather of Horace and Narcissa. He is only mentioned in Flags in the Dust, where the narrative notes that he brought back a lantana tree "from Barbados in a tophat-box in '71 [i.e. 1871]" (164). When he went to the island, however, or what he did there, is not explained.

27 Percy Benbow

In the Yoknapatawpha fictions as a group, the Benbows are among the county's oldest and most prominent families, but the reference in Absalom! to Judge Benbow's son is "Percy" is the only mention of this character in the canon (172). Chronologically it is possible that Percy is brother of Will Benbow, the Benbow who is the father of Horace and Narcissa Benbow, major figures in Flags in the Dust (1929) and Sanctuary (1931), but that is speculation.

28 Will Benbow

Will Benbow is presumably the only son of Francis. He is mentioned in Flags in the Dust and Sanctuary. He married Julia, with whom he had two children, Horace and Narcissa, and practiced law in Jefferson. He died a few years before the U.S. entered World War I. Narcissa remembers him in the first novel as "a darkly gallant shape" - "a being something like Omnipotence but without awesomeness" (172). He is not mentioned by name in Sanctuary, but only appears in Narcissa's references to "my father and mother" (118) and "our father and mother" (184).

29 Julia Benbow

Julia Benbow, the wife of Will Benbow, and mother of Horace and Narcissa, is mentioned in both Flags in the Dust and Sanctuary. According to the first novel, she died when Narcissa was seven years old. Narcissa remembers her as "a gentle figure . . . like a minor shrine, surrounded always by an aura of gentle melancholy and an endless and delicate manipulation of colored silken thread" (172). She is not named in the second novel, and appears only in Narcissa's references to "my father and mother" (118) and "our father and mother" in conversations with Horace (184).

30 Narcissa Benbow Sartoris

Narcissa is born into one of Yoknapatawpha's leading families and marries into another. She plays a major role in three early fictions, which together even form a kind of asymmetrical trilogy. In Flags in the Dust she is the most eligible young woman in Jefferson before she becomes Mrs. Bayard Sartoris. In that novel her role is essentially passive, as she is courted or stalked by men from three very different classes; by the end of it she is a young widow with a newborn son, whom she names Benbow Sartoris.

31 Horace Benbow

In the larger narrative of Yoknapatawpha Horace Benbow's place is a curious one. One of the two central characters in the first Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust, Horace becomes the first major recurring character in the canon when Faulkner casts him as the protagonist of Sanctuary. After that second appearance he essentially disappears.

32 Joby 1

Joby is the oldest among the family of enslaved people who serve as the 'house slaves' of the Sartoris family in two novels and more than half a dozen short stories. He first appears, very briefly, in Flags in the Dust, in the stories Jenny tells about the old days on the plantation; there he is "Simon's grandfather" who helped bury the white family's silver under "the ammoniac barn floor" to hide it from Yankees during the Civil War (37).

33 Louvinia

Born into slavery, Louvinia appears in two novels and seven stories as the cook at the Sartoris plantation and, along with her husband Joby, the head of the enslaved family that serves the Sartorises over many generations. When we first meet her, in the story Will Falls tells in Flags in the Dust about the day the Yankees arrived at Sartoris hoping to capture Colonel John, Louvinia is "shellin' a bowl of peas fer supper" (20); she helps her master escape out the back door.

34 Simon Strother

Simon first appears, in Flags in the Dust, as the elderly father of Elnora and Caspey and the coachman and butler at the Sartoris place where he has lived his whole life. He is defined by his loyalty to both the Sartorises and his own appetites. The grandson of Joby, Simon was born a slave, but he has only good memories of the old plantation, and still calls Colonel Sartoris "Marse John" when he talks to him, and he still talks to him although "Marse John" has been for forty years (112).

35 Loosh

Loosh - or Lucius, as he's called in "My Grandmother Millard" and, presumably, as he was actually named - appears or is mentioned in four of the Unvanquished stories as well as "My Grandmother." Biologically, he is the son of Joby and Louvinia, the husband of Philadelphy, and the uncle of Ringo. Thematically, he is the only slave on the Sartoris plantation (and one of the few in the Yoknapatawpha fictions) who openly rebels against his enslavement.

36 Ringo

Ringo - short for Marengo, the name of Napoleon's horse - was born into slavery as a member of the black family that has served the Sartorises for several generations. He appears in all the stories that Bayard Sartoris narrates, as a major character in the seven that were collected in The Unvanquished and a somewhat reduced one in the later "My Grandmother Millard." Even as a slave he occupies an intimate place in the Sartoris family, as both Bayard's personal servant and his friend.

37 Euphrony Strother

Euphrony is briefly mentioned in Flags in the Dust as Simon's dead wife, which presumably also makes her the mother of Elnora and Caspey (300). Since Elnora is described by the narrator as a "tall mulatto woman" (9), it seems to follow that Euphrony must have had a sexual relationship with a white man, but this novel makes no attempt to explore that issue. On the other hand, in "There Was a Queen" Elnora's mother is not named, but her (white) father is identified as Colonel John Sartoris. Again, however, no more is said about that.

38 Elnora Strother

The very first time Elnora appears in the very first Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust, she is described as "a tall mulatto woman" (9). Although that term is no longer in use, Faulkner's contemporaries knew it meant a person with one white and one black parent.

39 Joby 2

This Joby is Elnora's son and the (presumably) older brother of Isom and Saddie. The only information we have about him is that he has "gone to Memphis to wear fine clothes on Beale Street" (727). He plays no role in the plot of the story. (There is another Joby in the Strother family - during the Civil War he is a slave and afterwards a servant of the Sartorises - but he is the great-grandfather of this Joby. This Joby only appears in "There Was a Queen.")

40 Saddie

One of Elnora's three children in the short story "There Was a Queen," Saddie works as Miss Jenny's caretaker, "tending her as though she were a baby" (728). "Saddie" may be a corruption of 'Saturday.' She sleeps in the big house, "on a cot beside Virginia Du Pre's bed" (728). Genealogically, she is Miss Jenny's great-niece, the illegitimate granddaughter of her brother John, though that relationship is not discussed by any of the characters. (In the earlier novel Flags in the Dust, Elnora has only one child - Isom.)

41 Isom Strother

Isom is Elnora's only child in Flags in the Dust, "a negro lad lean and fluid of movement as a hound" (20). He is responsible for a number of chores around the Sartoris household, but most enjoys wearing Caspey's military uniform and taking the wheel of Bayard's car. There is no hint of how, if at all, he is being educated. He is at the wheel of a car again ten years later in Sanctuary, where he is "the negro driver" who works for Narcissa Sartoris (110) - and the only member of the Strother family who is included in the novel.

42 Philadelphy

Philadelphy - almost certainly a corruption of "Philadelphia," the name she has in "My Grandmother Millard" (668) - is, like her husband Loosh, a slave on the Sartoris plantation. She is what is sometimes called a 'house slave,' i.e. one of the slaves who work inside the white family's mansion rather than in the cotton fields. We see her serving as a maid in "My Grandmother Millard," which Faulkner wrote half a dozen years after The Unvanquished was published.

43 Caspey Strother

In Flags in the Dust Caspey is the son of Simon Strother and the brother of Elnora. He is also one of the five men in the novel who are returning from France after the end of World War I. Caspey served in a non-combatant role with the U.S. Army over there; when he returned home to Jefferson, he brought with him some wildly exaggerated tales about his military service, and a set of new ideas about racial equality which made his family very nervous and drove Old Bayard to knock him down with a stick of stove wood.

44 Quentin Compson I

When Faulkner creates four earlier generations of Compsons in the "Appendix" he wrote in 1945, Quentin MacLachan Compson - the great-great-great grandfather of the Quentin Compson who appears in The Sound and the Fury - is the first one who is given a first name. This Quentin I is the "son of a Glasgow printer, orphaned and raised by his mother's people" (326) in the Perth Highlands.

45 Charles Stuart Compson

According to the early genealogy that Faulkner's 1946 "Appendix" creates for the Compson family, Charles Stuart Compson is the first member to be born in the new world. Named after Charles Stuart the Young Pretender, for whom his father fought in Scotland, Charles Stuart Compson served under the British commander Banastre Tarleton in the American Revolutionary War; Charles Stuart was thus part of the military serving the monarchy his father had formerly opposed.

46 Jason Compson I

Requiem for a Nun identifies the first member of the family in Yoknapatawpha as "a man named Compson" (11) - but which Compson? Faulkner's fictions answer that question three different ways; there is no way to reconcile them, but this Compson is probably the one with the best claim. In the prose introduction to Act I of Requiem, which actually takes place in the earliest days of the frontier settlement that will become Jefferson, the "Compson" who takes charge of a tense situation is not given any first name.

47 Quentin Compson II

There are a few references to Quentin's great-grandfather in the early fictions about the family. In The Sound and The Fury Mr. Compson mentions him when he gives Quentin his grandfather's watch (76). In "A Justice" Sam Fathers tells Quentin the "your great-grandpappy" bought him and his mother as slaves (344).

48 Jason Lycurgus Compson II

General Jason Compson, the grandfather of Quentin, Caddy, Jason and Benjy, appears in thirteen different texts, the most of any Compson. Given Faulkner's willingness to sacrifice consistency to the needs of a particular story, it's not surprising that it's hard to pull all his appearances into one cumulative biography.

49 Jason Compson III

The third Compson named Jason and the father of Quentin, Caddy, Jason and Benjy was born around the time the South was defeated in the Civil War and as a result, his story suggests, grew up to become what Faulkner's "Appendix Compson" calls a "cultured dipsomaniac" (335). His story, however, is never directly told. Instead, his character is defined chiefly by his role in the life and death of his oldest son, Quentin. "Father said" is a phrase that sounds again and again from the first to the penultimate page of Quentin's section in The Sound and the Fury (76, 178).

50 Quentin Compson III

Quentin Compson is a major character in two of Faulkner's greatest novels, The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom!, and the narrator of four early short stories. He is also the oldest son in one of the most prominent Yoknapatawpha families but born after the South's defeat in the Civil War and at the end of the 19th century, and so has to try to grow up in a modern world that that has no place for him.

51 Candace Compson

Speaking outside the pages of his art, Faulkner called Caddy Compson his "heart's darling," and The Sound and the Fury his attempt to draw her "picture." It's a very modern portrait, however, defined by her absence everywhere in the novel except in the minds of her three brothers, each of whom attempts to fill the absences at the center of his own life with what he tries to make her represent or (to use the term that is both there and absent in the novel's Shakespearean title) to 'signify.' On her own terms, Caddy almost too good to be believable.

52 Jason Compson IV

In "Appendix Compson" Faulkner calls Jason the one "sane" male Compson (338). Readers of The Sound and the Fury, aware of his extraordinary mental cruelty to his siblings and his niece, not to mention his bigotries and venalities, are likely to use an even harsher term. But if we set his story in the context of the past that matters most in this novel, the Freudian landscape of compulsions and projections, it seems more accurate to say that Jason is as much the victim of his childhood as any of those siblings.

53 Benjamin Compson

Benjy Compson is one of the most original characters in American literature. To Mrs. Compson, who originally named him Maury in honor of her brother, Benjy's severe mental handicap is shameful, and a reason to change his name to Benjamin - apparently on her son Quentin's suggestion, though tellingly he gets the Biblical significance of the name Benjamin wrong.

54 (Miss) Quentin

It's not easy to know what to call Yoknapatawpha's one female "Quentin" - of two in The Sound and the Fury and of four altogether on the Compson family tree. She's the daughter of Caddy, but even Caddy seems not to know who her father might be (many readers and even quite a few scholars assume it's Dalton Ames, the man who took Caddy's virginity in that novel, but Caddy tells the other Quentin in the novel that before she married she had "too many" lovers, 115). Caddy named her Quentin in honor of her brother, who committed suicide before his niece was born.

55 Caroline Bascomb Compson

In The Sound and the Fury Caroline Compson is the sister of Maury Bascomb (Uncle Maury), the wife of Jason Compson III, and the mother of Quentin, Candace, Jason and Maury|Benjamin. She is probably also the daughter of the woman called "Damuddy" whose death is the earliest event (and loss) in Benjy and Quentin's memories. A bed-ridden neurotic and a hypochondriac, Caroline seems hopelessly preoccupied with herself. She is obsessed with the social standing of the Bascomb family and largely oblivious to the misery of her own.

56 Mrs. Jason Compson II

The wife of General Compson first appears in the mid-1930s in at least four of the Unvanquished stories and the novel Absalom, Absalom! In the stories she appears mainly in the pieces of a lady's equipment that she lends Rosa Millard on two occasions: a hat, a shawl and a parasol.

57 Mrs. Quentin Compson II

The "Mrs. Compson" who appears in "Skirmish at Sartoris" as both a short story and a chapter in The Unvanquished is a hard character to identify. Throughout the other four Unvanquished stories that mention "Mrs. Compson" it seems clear that she is married to General (Quentin) Compson, who is off fighting the Civil War until the final story, "Odor of Verbena," when he makes a brief appearance (245). But in "Skirmish at Sartoris," readers are told that the "only husband [Mrs.

58 Damuddy Bascomb

The grandmother whom the Compson children call "Damuddy" in The Sound and the Fury does not appear elsewhere in the fictions. The day of her death, in the summer of 1898, is the earliest scene in Benjy and Quentin's memories. The novel does not explicitly say that she is their maternal grandmother, but Mrs. Compson's reaction to her death and Damuddy's association with Jason - until Damuddy got "sick," for example, Jason apparently slept in her bed with her (26) - suggest she is a Bascomb rather than a Compson.

59 Father of Quentin MacLachan Compson

In the "Appendix" to The Sound and the Fury that Faulkner published in 1946, the family line begins with this man: a printer in Glasgow, Scotland, who is the father of Quentin MacLachan Compson. Apparently he died when his son was still a child (326).

60 Mother of Quentin MacLachan Compson

In the "Appendix" to The Sound and the Fury that Faulkner published in 1946, the mother of Quentin MacLachan Compson I apparently dies early in his life. He is an "orphan" who is raised by her family in "the Perth highlands" (326).

61 Dilsey Gibson

Dilsey is the matriarch of the Gibson family and the source of whatever emotional stability there is in the Compson family. A major character in The Sound and the Fury, she is married to Roskus, the mother of Versh, Frony, and T.P., and the grandmother of Luster. She is a devout Christian, a loyal servant and a very caring human being. As a character she is both related to the "mammy" stereotype and one of Faulkner's most dignified and impressive creations.

62 Roskus Gibson

In The Sound and the Fury Roskus is husband to Dilsey and father to Versh, T.P., and Frony. He drives for the Compsons while also caring for the farm animals, although over the years his rheumatism makes that increasingly hard. He is slightly less loyal than his wife to the white family he works for, complaining that there "aint no luck on this place" (29). Dilsey reproaches him for giving their son Versh "them Memphis notions" - that is, presumably, encouraging Versh to leave Yoknapatawpha (31).

63 Versh Gibson

In The Sound and the Fury Versh Gibson is the first-born son of Roskus and Dilsey. In the earliest scenes that Benjy remembers, he works as Benjy's caretaker. Sometime before his father's death he has moved from Yoknapatawpha to Memphis; Dilsey blames her husband for his "bad luck talk" that "got them Memphis notions into Versh" (31). He is mentioned again, briefly, in "That Evening Sun," but otherwise does not appear again in the fictions - not even in "Appendix Compson," where his mother, sister, brother and nephew are described living in Memphis in the early 1940s.

64 T.P. Gibson

T.P. (Faulkner never explains what the initials stand for) is the second son of Dilsey and Roskus, and like them lives as a servant on the Compson place in The Sound and the Fury. As a young man he takes his brother Versh's place as Benjy's caretaker, and helps his father with the Compsons' horses and cow. In 1910 he gets memorably drunk on the champagne - "sassprilluh," T. P. calls it (37) - that has been bought for Caddy's wedding. In 1928 he no longer lives on the Compson property, but still drives the carriage for Mrs. Compson's Sunday afternoon trips to the cemetery.

65 Frony Gibson

Frony Gibson is a member of the black family that lives on the Compson place as servants, and the daughter of Roskus and Dilsey. In The Sound and the Fury she appears in Benjy's memories as a child about the same age as Quentin and Caddy Compson, and in the last section as an adult who still lives close enough to Dilsey to walk to church with her mother on Easter Sunday. She is also Luster's mother, though the novel does not indicate if she has a husband or if, like Caddy's daughter, Luster was conceived out of wedlock.

66 Luster

Luster is Frony's son, and in The Sound and the Fury the teenager who takes care of Benjy Compson in 1928. While he clearly resents the demands of that job, and can be intentionally and inadvertently cruel to the helpless Benjy, he performs the task as well as he can. That much is clear. There are, however, several unanswerable questions associated with his character. The novel gives no indication who his father is, or what, if Frony is married, Luster's last name is. And Luster's next appearance, as the servant who accompanies Mr.

67 Unnamed Husband of Frony

This man is the "pullman porter" mentioned in "Appendix Compson" whom Frony Gibson marries and moves to St. Louis to live with (343). He may be dead - that would be one explanation for the fact that Frony later moves to Memphis "to make a home for her mother" (343) - but the text does not say so, nor does it give him a name. It's also possible that this character is the man whom Dilsey refers to as Luster's "pappy" in The Sound and the Fury (59), though there's not enough textual evidence to establish that connection.

68 Unnamed Father of Luster

In The Sound and the Fury Dilsey refers to someone she calls "pappy" when she threatens Luster: "You just wait till your pappy come home" (59). This is the novel's only reference to the man who is Luster's father. In the account of the Compsons and the Gibsons that Faulkner wrote 16 years after The Sound and the Fury was published - familiarly known as "Appendix Compson" - Faulkner says that Frony "married a pullman porter and went to St Louis to live" (343).

69 Virginius MacCallum's Father

The only detail about Virginius MacCallum's ancestry provided in Flags in the Dust is that he received a mule from his father when he first got married. That one detail, however, makes it likely that his father also lived in Yoknapatawpha, and that he was a small farmer.

70 Virginius MacCallum I|Anse McCallum

The patriarch of the family that first appears in Flags in the Dust as the MacCallums and then re-appears in the 1940s as the McCallums also has two first names: Virginius (in Flags) and then Anse (in The Hamlet and "The Tall Men"). At the start of the Civil War he walked from Mississippi to Virginia to enlist (because his mother came from Virginia) and served til the surrender at Appomattox.

71 Buddy MacCallum

The youngest of the sons in the MacCallum|McCallum family is Buddy. He first appears in Flags in the Dust as a kind of foil to Bayard Sartoris: both have served in World War I - Buddy has a combat medal to show how well he fought - but Buddy is not a member of any 'lost generation.' He returns to Yoknapatawpha, resumes his place in the yeoman family (though he doesn't display the medal, in deference to his un-reconstructed ex-Confederate father who refuses to believe his son fought in a "Yankee" army, 342), and continues his life as a countryman and avid hunter.

72 Henry MacCallum

Henry is the second of Virginius MacCallum's six sons in Flags in the Dust and the only one who doesn't appear with the other five in "The Tall Men." In view of that absence, the descriptions of his character in the novel in which he does appear are significant. He is "squat" and "slightly tubby," with "something domestic, womanish" about him (335). Unlike his brothers, he spends "most of the time" inside: he superintends the kitchen, is "a better cook" than the black woman who is the family's official cook, and is locally famous for the quality of his homemade whiskey (335).

73 Jackson MacCallum

The eldest of the sons in the MacCallum|McCallum family, Jackson is named for the Confederate general, Stonewall Jackson, under whom his father served in the Civil War. He appears as a minor character in two texts. In Flags in the Dust he is described as "a sort of shy and impractical Cincinnatus" (337). Much to his father's disgust, he is attempting to transform hunting by interbreeding a fox and a hound.

74 Rafe MacCallum

One of the six sons of Virginius MacCallum in Flags in the Dust, and of the five sons of Anse McCallum in "The Tall Men," and the twin brother of Stuart, Rafe appears in more texts - five - than any of his brothers. In Flags he is an old friend of the Sartoris twins, John and Bayard, and tries to help Bayard with his pain by offering homemade whiskey and a chance to talk about the war. He is only mentioned in As I Lay Dying as the twin brother of the MacCallum (Stuart) whose first name Samson can't remember (119).

75 Stuart MacCallum

One of the six sons of Virginius MacCallum in Flags in the Dust, and of the five sons of Anse McCallum in "The Tall Men," and the twin brother of Rafe, Stuart is named after the famous Confederate cavalry general, J.E.B. Stuart. He also appears in As I Lay Dying, but not as Stuart - because Samson cannot remember his first name. Like his brothers, he is a 'tall man': honorable, strong, stoic.

76 Mrs. Carter MacCallum

Virginius MacCallum's mother is not mentioned in Flags in the Dust, but in "The Tall Men" - where that character is referred to as "Old Anse" - this woman is identified as "a Carter," which explains his determination "to go all the way back to Virginia to do his fighting" at the start of the Civil War (54). (The Carter family name is one of the oldest in Virginia, dating back to the early 17th century.)

77 Mrs. Virginius MacCallum 1

In Flags in the Dust Virginius MacCallum has two wives. Both have died before the novel takes place. The first of them was clearly a country girl of humble origins: her dowry consisted of a clock and "a dressed hog" (332). The novel does not mention anything else about her, but what it says later about the second wife - Buddy's mother, from whom he gets his coloring - suggests this wife was the mother of Virginius' five other sons: unlike Buddy, for instance, they all have "brown eyes and black hair" (354).

78 Mrs. Virginius MacCallum 2

Virginius MacCallum is married twice in Flags in the Dust. The novel says very little about his deceased second wife, except that Buddy, Virginius' youngest and her only son, inherited his "hazel eyes and reddish thatch" of hair from her (354).

79 Anse MacCallum II

Anse McCallum is one of Buddy McCallum's twin sons in "The Tall Men": "two absolutely identical blue-eyed youths" (49) who are mentioned together as "the twin McCallum nephews" of Rafe in "Knight's Gambit" (210). He also appears, but without any mention of his twin brother, The Town. In the first story he and his brother Lucius have identical histories. They are "wild as spikehorn bucks" as children (55). Later, they go to the agricultural college to learn how to raise whiteface cattle.

80 Lucius MacCallum

Lucius McCallum is one of Buddy McCallum's twin sons in "The Tall Men, "two absolutely identical blue-eyed youths" (49), and is mentioned as one of the "the twin McCallum nephews" of Rafe in "Knight's Gambit" (210). In the first story he and his brother Lucius play have identical histories. They are "wild as spikehorn bucks" as children (55). Later, they go to the agricultural college to learn how to raise whiteface cattle.

81 Lee MacCallum

One of the six sons of Virginius MacCallum in Flags in the Dust, and of the five sons of Anse McCallum in "The Tall Men," Lee is described in the novel as the "least talkative of them all"; his face is "a dark, saturnine mask" and his eyes are "black and restless," with "something wild and sad" lurking in them" (334). He plays almost no part in the events in the short story. Like most of the MacCallums, he is named for a prominent Confederate - Robert E. Lee.

83 Thomas Sutpen's Father

Sutpen's father moves back to coastal Virginia after his wife's death, where he works ("or maybe supposes" to work, 185) on a large Tidewater plantation. He is characterized in Absalom! mainly by his habitual drunkenness, and his "harsh" belief in "his own worth" and "his own physical prowess" (186) - virtues that he seeks to establish by "whupping" a slave from a neighboring plantation (187).

84 Thomas Sutpen's Mother

As evoked in Absalom!, Thomas Sutpen's mother was "a mountain woman," "bred in the mountains," but in her case the mountains were in Scotland (195). According to Sutpen, she "never did quite learn to speak English" (195). Her husband calls her "a fine wearying woman," and it is suggested that she made him move from coastal Virginia to the mountains (180). Her death precipitates the husband's decision to return east; since there is an infant in the family when the move starts, it seems likely that she died in childbirth.

85 Thomas Sutpen

As the central figure in one of Faulkner's greatest novels, Absalom, Absalom!, Thomas Sutpen is a very different character, depending on which of the novel's story-tellers is telling his story. On the opening pages, for example, he is a dominant if demonic force that, according to Miss Rosa, is responsbile for destroying the culture of the Old South. When he gets to tell his own story, however, as transmitted through three generations of Compsons, he appears as a traumatized small boy who is himself determined if not destroyed by the culture of the Old South.

86 Thomas Sutpen's Brother 1

Thomas Sutpen comes from a large family, though Absalom! doesn't say exactly how large. He has at least two older brothers: these "two older boys" leave home "some time before" their mother dies and their father moves the family east (181). This is the brother who "had been as far West as the Mississippi River one time" even before the family left the mountains (183).

87 Thomas Sutpen's Brother 2

This is one of the Sutpen family's "two older boys" (that is, older than Thomas) who leave the family's home in the mountains "some time before" their mother dies and their father moves the family east (181).

88 Thomas Sutpen's Sister 1

Thomas Sutpen has at least two sisters: according to the narrative in Absalom!, "one of the sisters" altered their father's hand-me-down clothes to fit the young Thomas (185). This entry is for the "sister" who, during the family's move from the mountains to the Tidewater region of Virginia, gives birth in "a cowshed" to an illegitimate child (183), and gets pregnant again, though "still unmarried" (181), while they are still traveling.

89 Sutpen Infant 1

At the time the Sutpens begin traveling east in Absalom!, this youngest member of the family "couldn't even walk yet" (180). The novel's sequence of events implies that his mother died giving birth to him or her, and that death precipitated the father's decision to move back to Tidewater - but that isn't made explicit.

90 Sutpen Infant 2

This is the first of the two illegitimate Sutpen children in Absalom! that one of Thomas' older sisters gives birth to during the family's journey across Virginia; he or she was born in "a cowshed" (183).

91 Sutpen Infant 3

This is the second of the two illegitimate Sutpen children that one of Thomas' older sisters gives birth to before the family reaches the end of their journey in the Tidewater area of Virginia.

92 First American Sutpen

"The first Sutpen" in North America, according to Quentin's narrative in Absalom!, "probably" arrived in Jamestown on a "ship from the Old Bailey" - i.e. a ship transporting convicted criminals from London to the British colony of Virginia (180).

93 Sutpen Ancestors and Descendants

After the young Thomas Sutpen is turned away from the front door of the Tidewater plantation house in Absalom!, he suddenly recognizes his responsibility to "all the men and women that had died to make him" and "all the living ones that would come after him when he would be one of the dead" (178).

94 Eulalia Sutpen Bon

In Absalom! the first wife of Thomas Sutpen and the mother of Charles Bon is not given a name until the "Genealogy" that appears after the narrative proper, where she is identified as "Eulalia Bon" (307). She is the "Haiti-born" daughter of a French sugar planter (268). When she first appears in the narrative, it is as "a shadow that almost emerged for a moment and then faded again" (199) - the elusiveness of this is entirely appropriate.

95 Charles Sutpen Bon

In Absalom! Charles Bon is the son of Sutpen's first marriage and part Negro - although those facts are not known for most of the novel or to anyone in Yoknapatawpha except his father, his half-brother and Quentin Compson, and in the end they may not even be 'facts' at all. Such is the ambiguous nature of Absalom! as a story about the way people construct stories and histories.

96 Charles Etienne Saint-Valery Bon

In Absalom!, the "little boy" in the picture that is found on Charles Bon's body (75) is Bon's "sixteenth part negro son" (80); his grandiloquent name is Charles Etienne Saint-Valery Bon. When Judith and Clytemnestra bring him from New Orleans to Sutpen's Hundred after his mother dies, Judith tells him to "Call me Aunt Judith" (169), perhaps without realizing that he is in fact her half-nephew and her father's grandson.

97 Mrs. Charles Bon

While almost nothing is certain in Absalom, Absalom!, it is particularly difficult to know how to identify this character. When she first appears in the narrative she is first called "the other woman" (other than Judith, that is) whose photograph Charles Bon is carrying when he is killed (71). Mr. Compson calls her "the octoroon mistress" (75), Bon's "eighth part negro mistress" (80), and "a hereditary negro concubine" (168). Shreve (who as a non-Southerner is unfamiliar with the caste term "white trash," 147) refers to her as "the octoroon" (249, 286).

98 Clytemnestra

In Absalom! Clytemnestra (Clytie) is the daughter of Thomas Sutpen and one of the two enslaved women he brings with him to Yoknapatawpha. She is first mentioned by Rosa, as the "negro girl" with a "Sutpen face" beside Judith Sutpen, Clytie's half-sister (22); later Rosa refers to her "Sutpen coffee-colored face" (109). Sutpen "named [Clytemnestra] himself," after a legendary Greek queen, though Mr. Compson "likes to believe" that Sutpen "intended to name her Cassandra," after another figure from Greek tragedy (48).

99 Henry Sutpen

In two of the three texts in which this son of Thomas Sutpen is mentioned, he is not named and his story is relatively uncomplicated. In "Wash," the prequel to Absalom!, he was "killed in action" during the Civil War (538). In The Unvanquished, published soon after Absalom!, the narrator writes that Sutpen's "son killed his daughter's fiance on the eve of the wedding and vanished" (222). In Absalom! itself, however, he is given the name Henry, and his action provides the narrative with the mystery that haunts it from beginning to end.

100 Judith Sutpen

Sutpen's daughter Judith first appears in the prequel to Absalom!, the short story "Wash"; though her character is barely sketched, her actions often anticipate her story in the novel. As "Miss Judith" she lives alone in the big house on the Sutpen plantation during much of the Civil War, after the deaths of her mother and brother and while her father is away fighting (541).

101 Unnamed Haitian Planter

The "French sugar planter" (199) who in Absalom! becomes Sutpen's "first father-in-law" (268) after Sutpen saves him and his plantation from a slave rebellion is not described in any detail. Since his daughter is described as "Haiti-born" (268), it seems likely that he himself is originally from France. He is apparently a widow, telling Sutpen that his daughter's "mother had been a Spanish woman" (283).

Pages