Q is for Quentin

Since I read The Sound and the Fury in 2009, I have been obsessed with it, especially with one character in particular, Quentin Compson, the neurotic main character. (Well, one of the main characters.) This character is so awesome, he has his own memorial plaque at the Anderson Memorial Bridge, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I suppose Quentin is one of my all-time favorite characters because he has so many issues. He’s overly obsessed with his sister’s innocence (and the powerful scent of honeysuckle), he fails to uphold the honor of a true Southern gentleman, he’s so intelligent he overanalyzes everything (and he attends Harvard), and he commits suicide. Doesn’t sound like your typical hero, I know, but he does the best he can with a retarded brother, a carefree and careless sister, and another brother who is a cruel pennypincher.

“I don’t hate it.” – Quentin Compson, regarding the area of Mississippi where he grew up

30 Day Book Challenge – Day 15

Today’s Prompt: Favorite male character

There are so many… I’ll go with Quentin Compson from The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom!, although some scholars argue that it is not the same Quentin in both of those novels.

The reason I like him so much is because he’s so tortured. He’s got a lot on his shoulders: the Southern male responsibility to protect both his sister and his younger siblings, studies at Harvard University where he doesn’t quite fit in, and a heritage that is crumbling around his ankles.

Quentin’s like me; we’re neurotic and we obsess a lot over things that really aren’t worth obsessing over. However, he is introspective to the point of insanity. The overpowering scent of honeysuckle pervading The Sound and the Fury reminds him of his sister’s tainted innocence. He spends much of book ruminating over his sister’s lost purity and her marriage to Herbert Head, who Quentin sees as abominable. He cannot cope with his grief and eventually drowns himself in the Charles River in Massachusetts.

This is the actual plaque on Anderson Bridge that serves as a memorial to the character.