Character Analysis Of Quentin Essay, Research Paper
Quentin is the oldest child of the Compson family. He is a very intelligent boy. When he is preparing to go to Harvard, and his family sells a large land to a local golf club in order to afford the funds to send him there. We understand that Quentin s future is very important for the family. He is the honor of the Compson family.
I think Quentin is the most qualified person in the family because His brother, Benjamin is a speechless idiot who is always crying and moaning. His other brother, Jason is a cruel man that he blackmails Miss Quentin s money. His father is an alcoholic who dies of alcoholism, and her mother is a pride and empty person. Caddy is also not a bright person he is a promiscuous girl. But Quentin loves so much her; he is always interested in Caddy. When Caddy loses her virginity, Quentin threatened to kill her and himself because Caddy is very important for Quentin.
Quentin is a sensitive person and he always thinks about bad events in the family. He has lots of tragic memories about his family. Quentin is obsessed with Caddy and memories of her; especially he is obsessed with her promiscuity. The loss of her virginity gives a deep pain to Quentin. The pain that Caddy s promiscuity causes Quentin seems too intense to be merely a disappointment at the staining honor. And Quentin s response to her promiscuity is telling his father that he and Caddy committed incest. It is not the act a person concerned with family honor. It is rather the act of a boy who is in love with his sister and so obsessed with her purity and virginity. When he understands that Caddy had sex with Dalton Ames. He became very angry and he said I II kill him I swear I will father needtnt know until afterward and then you and I nobody need ever know we can take my school money we can cancel my matriculation Caddy you hate him don t you these were words of a brother who wants to protect his sister.
I think Quentin’s wish to have committed incest is not a desire to have sex with Caddy; that would shatter his ideals of purity even more than her encounters with Dalton Ames. Nor is it, as we have determined, a way to preserve the family honor. Instead, it seems to be a way to keep Caddy to himself forever: “if it could just be a hell beyond that: the clean flame the two of us more than dead. Then you will have only me then only me then the two of us amid the pointing and the horror beyond the clean flame”.
Quentin is obsessed with his shadow as he is with time. He is continually stepping into and out of shadows, which are themselves a subtle reminder of the passing of time, since their angle and length depends on the position of the sun. Quentin tries to escape time in some ways; he tries to avoid looking at clocks, he tries to travel away from the sound of school chimes or factory whistles. When he returns to school he hears the bell ringing and has no idea what hour it is chiming off. He has succeeded in escaping knowledge oft he time, but he still has not taken himself out of time. The only way to escape from time is to die.
Quentin s suicide is not only for escaping from time but also it is for escaping from his awful family. Maybe he is the honorable member in the family but Compson family is not an honorable family. He escapes from his memories by killing himself. He is a very sensitive person and his memories give him a deep pain. For example: Quentin tells his father that he committed incest with Caddy; his father does not believe him. Father takes a practical, logical, if unemotional view of caddy s sexuality, telling Quentin that women have a practical fertility of suspicion [and] an affinity for evil, ‘ that he should not take her promiscuity to heart because it was inevitable.
Quentin s another painful memory is: he is trying to persuade caddy not to marry Herbert Head because he was a blackguard and was thrown out of his club at Harvard for cheating at cards. Quentin tries to convince Caddy to leave with him, saying that they could take his school money; but Caddy says that Benjy s pasture is sold that he could go to Harvard, and that for him to leave Harvard would be a betrayal of Benjy. She asked Quentin to promise her that he would keep Benjy out of the mental hospital in Jackson after their father died.
After a day haunted by memory and time, he is unable to bear the everyday chaos of change, particularly in light of his overwhelming love for his sister and his inability to find meaning in his family s slow, inevitable decline. Finally, he commits suicide by drowning himself toward the end of his first year at Harvard.