Character Analysis Dilsey


Dilsey is the strongest character in the novel in view of morality and simple humanity. She is filled with a love for all of God's creatures and makes little distinction between the needs of Benjy and the needs of the other members of the family. Unlike Jason, she does not condemn people for their past actions; instead, she looks to see how she can help people now, in the present. At the same time, however, her allegiance to the Compson family is derived from the fact that she has been with them so long. She is the one character who brings the past and the present into a proper balance.

Dilsey embraces such qualities as love, duty, sacrifice, honor, and faith — qualities that Faulkner views as essential for the salvation of the human race. She also has a strong sense of belonging and a firm faith in the ultimate aims and purposes of the universe.

On Easter Sunday, amid the complaining and whining of Mrs. Compson, the cursing and threatenings of Jason, the bellowing and howling of Benjy, and the ineptness of Luster, Dilsey brings order and peace to the household; to the reader, she brings some hope of salvation and redemption.