Mrs. Quentin Compson II

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Mrs. Quentin Compson II
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Compson, Mrs. Quentin II
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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. Compson] had ever had had been locked up for crazy a long time ago" (193), and that cannot be the general. Faulkner may just have completely forgotten about General Compson when he wrote that, but we have decided to assume that this husband is the general's father, Quentin Compson II. However, the confusion Faulkner creates here cannot resolved. The only way to provide this institutionalized "husband" with a wife is to add a second "Mrs. Compson" to the Unvanquished stories, which is what we are doing - but it has to be added that the "Mrs. Compson" here (who brings Aunt Louisa's letter out to John Sartoris) seems exactly like the "Mrs. Compson" in those other four stories and chapters.