"We don’t never let him get off the place."

The Compson’s family home is modelled on the Thompson-Chandler House on South 13th Street in Oxford, Mississippi. It was built in 1859 for William Thompson, a prominent local attorney and planter. Nine years later, his daughter, Lucretia Maria, and her surgeon husband, Dr. Josiah Chandler, moved in to care for him in his old age. They would go on to have seven children and the whole family created a deep impression on Faulkner. That they inspired the characters in The Sound and the Fury is hinted at in the name Compson, which suggests a blending of Thompson and Chandler, and the children’s lives are mirrored by those of the novel’s younger generation. Thomas, like Quentin, committed suicide as a student; Wiley, who never moved from his home town, worked in a hardware store and remained a life-long bachelor, as does Jason; Lula, who disappeared as a young girl never to be seen again, parallels Caddy; whilst Edwin inspired the character of Benjy.


Thompson-Chandler house
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThompson-Chandler house - Credit: Joseph A

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