Mrs. Compson

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Mrs. Compson
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Compson, Mrs.
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She is never given any name but Mrs. Compson. She is a close friend of Granny Millard, and loans her various items - a hat, a parasol - with which to maintain her gentility during the privations of the Civil War; later she extends her kindness to Bayard and Ringo after Rosa's death. Bayard says she is "was older than Granny" (193). The Compson family is one of the most important in the Yoknapatawpha fictions. But there is some confusion about the "Mrs. Compson" who appears in five of this novel's chapters. Chronologically, she should be "Mrs. Jason Compson II" - the wife of the General Compson who is the grandfather of the children in The Sound and the Fury and to whom Judith Sutpen delivers a letter during the War in Absalom, Absalom! And in four of those five stories, that seems to be the case. But in one story - "Skirmish at Sartoris" - Bayard notes that her "only husband" had been "locked up for crazy a long time ago" (193), and this cannot the General. Faulkner himself may simply be confused, but the way we have chosen to reflect this inconsistency in the data is to create "Mrs. Compson(2)" for the character who appears in that one story; she has a separate entry. But in every other respect this 'other' Mrs. Compson seems identical with this original one. Like her hat and parasol, she stands for lady-like decorum. She feels the same dismay as Louisa, Mrs. Habersham and the other ladies of Jefferson about Drusilla's unconventional behavior.

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