Caddy Compson

Why Caddy’s Point of View is not Expressed

There are several narrative points of view in this novel, and yet the central character, Caddy, does not have a section devoted to her thoughts and opinions. Based on her relationships with the narrators in these sections, we can determine why Faulkner chose to never have Caddy represented except in memory.  In the case of Benjy, Caddy is portrayed as the mother figure to Benjy. Throughout his section Benjy is continuously dealing with the absence of his “mother”, Caddy. If Faulkner had chosen to give us Caddy’s point of view in the novel, the entirety of Benjy’s section would be unnecessary. It is important to display the absence of Caddy through the eyes of someone who cannot grasp the full realities of the reasons behind her departure. Benjy is constantly looking for something to fill the void that Caddy has left and clings to objects that remind him of her.  As a reader it is important for us to see the daily routine of Benjy revolves around the lack of Caddy. Had Caddy been spoken for in this novel, we may not have been able to see the dysfunction of the Compson family. In the Quentin section, Caddy again can represent the motherly role for Quentin. Whilst there are several portions that allude to incent between the brother and sister pair, Quentin, even though the elder, followed Caddy’s lead even when they were young. This bond suggests Caddy’s motherly role towards him. Quentin also has a constant desire to keep Caddy from trouble or harm, and it is my belief that the idea of being in solitude together is a way for Quentin to do this. If Caddy’s view was expressed in dealing with Quentin, we may not get the true desire of Quentin’s need of solitude and the escape of time. The Jason section of the novel also deals with the lack of presence of Caddy but in a different manner, mostly concerning her daughter Quentin. Jason’s character, even young, believed in following the rules and the importance of a woman’s role. Caddy was never one to follow the laws of society. When Jason is forced to deal with Caddy’s mistakes, Quentin, he is angered that his roles and rules are being broken. Considering Quentin’s nature is almost a repetition of Caddy’s, Jason again has to deal with the fear of Caddy’s mistakes being repeated. Jason’s only control he has is the money Caddy sends her daughter. When Quentin steals this money, Jason’s authority is compromised again. The point of view of Caddy would be detrimental in this section. We are aware of Caddy’s opinion of where the money should go and what her intentions are, however if her own opinions were expressed, the ruling hand Jason attempts to have over Quentin would be compromised. Overall, Faulkner’s choice of leaving out Caddy’s own narrative is an important factor because had it been incorporated it could have complete changed the tone and meaning of the book. The entire essence of the book is individuals dealing with Caddy’s issues without Caddy’s presence, and it is important to see that it was with reason her views are not expressed.

Published on May 4, 2009 at 1:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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