Understanding Benji

Benjamin’s mindset:

 

The very first chapter is narrated by Benji Compson, and may be quite tough to chew at first due to the things he says and the way he states them.  At first when you read his narrative you feel rather lost, but reading and rereading you discover there is really so much more to simply what he is actually telling you.  The novel seems to really be told backwards to truly understand what is really taking place due to the fact that you discover Benji is really a 32 year old, mentally impaired man who is obsessed with his sister, and can not put a time on what is taking place in the present and what he has already experienced (flashbacks).  The flashbacks Benji has makes the novel at times confusing, mainly for the reason that you have no warning when his mind is jumping from the present to the past.

 

However, there is some hopeful guidance for understanding Benji’s mind.  Keeping in your mind at all times when reading the first chapter, remember that Caddy (his sister) is his everything.  Remember that his actually mother has very little emotional connection to any of her children, and that someone of Benji’s mindset would need a lot of attention from some sort of caregiver.  Benji’s mental caregiver and at time almost his mother was Caddy.  All the Compson children where obsessed with her, but Benji saw her as a mother and thus making his obsession almost ok.  Caddy was the only person who was patient with Benji as a child and as he grew older.  Until Caddy is ripped from his life causing him a great deal of stress and anxiety; when I feel he experiences what we call today as post traumatic stress disorder, he seems to be content with his poor life.  Caddy completed Benji and it is unfortunate that because of her mistakes that she is shunted from her own family and taking from someone who really need her.

Published on May 5, 2009 at 2:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

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