Compson Inset: House (Location Key)


Built before the Civil War as the "big house" of a prosperous plantation, the Compson house has been slowly deteriorating almost ever since. When the third-person narrator of The Sound and the Fury describes it in the novel's last section, we see it from the outside as a "square, paintless house with its rotting portico" (298). After Mr. Compson's death, Mrs. Compson says, "I was forced to sell our furniture" (262), so inside the house is also defined by the contrast between what it once was and its present dilapidation. Benjy, who registers "the tall dark place on the wall" where a big mirror once hung (61), memorably sums up the house's affect when he describes going inside on a December day this way: "We ran up the steps and out of the bright cold, into the dark cold" (7). (See also the entry for the Compson Place in this index.)

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Compson Inset: House
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Compson Inset: House