Unnamed Slave at Compsons' 1

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Unnamed Slave at Compsons' 1
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Unnamed Slave at Compson's 1
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This slave appears in the only scene in The Sound and the Fury from the time that the Compsons owned slaves - what Versh calls the "old time" (69). He appears in the story about Grandfather Compson and one of his slaves that Dilsey told Versh, as Versh repeats it to Benjy (who of course cannot understand it at all). According to the story, because Benjy's Grandfather changed the man's name (a common practice during slavery), the man became both a preacher and a "bluegum" (69). Versh doesn't explain what he means by that, though according to dictionaries of American and African American slang, a bluegum is a black person whose lips and/or gums look purple or blue. Being a bluegum apparently gives one a dangerous power: when this man looks at any "family woman" - i.e. enslaved women who are pregnant - her child is "born bluegum"; later this man is eaten by those "bluegum chillen" (69).