General Compson's appearance in this novel, the thirteenth different time he has appeared, makes him the last Compson Faulkner ever describes. In his first appearance, in The Sound and the Fury (1929), his grandson Quentin imagines him standing "on a high place" (like a monument) in his Confederate General's uniform, "and Grandfather was always right" (176). In this final appearance in Faulkner's last book, he has been taken off that pedestal. According to The Reivers, he had commanded troops "not too unsuccessfully as a colonel at Shiloh, and again not too unsuccessfully as a brigadier during Johnston's retreat" (20; note how this echoes and slightly softens the way Faulkner represents the General's Civil War record in the earlier "Appendix Compson"). In The Sound and the Fury it's Benjy who needs a guardian, but in this novel it's the General: he inevitably gets lost within ten minutes of leaving the hunting camp and he's too deaf to hear the horn the other hunters blow to call him in. This is happening in The Reivers some years before 1910, when Quentin puts him on that metaphorical pedestal, but over three decades later in Faulkner's career. While it may just be "General Compson" who has changed so dramatically, perhaps what has really changed is the way Faulkner sees the Southern past that the Compson family has represented.

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Compsons in The Reivers
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General Compson - The Reivers