As the novel's narrators--Rosa Coldfield, Quentin Compson, Quentin
's father Jason Compson, and Quentin's Harvard roommate Shreve McCannon--trace the causes and effects of the design's disintegration, they construct contending narratives about Sutpen's mixed-race descendants that propose different potential outcomes of diminished patriarchal control of Southern subjects.
Compson and Shreve MacCannon with united efforts.
The reader, Grandfather Compson, Quentin
, Shreve, and Slothrop all possess a shared position: being told a story, we are unable to better understand that story's significance by asking what really happened.
, and Shreve - to dismiss Rosa as a crazy old woman.
The novel "legitimizes" Rosa, General Compson, Quentin
and Shreve as architects of American history just as Thomas Jefferson, the eponym of Jefferson County, is handed that mantle, instead of, say, Frederick Douglass.
and Shreve, Ratliff, Chick Mallison, and Gavin Stevens as readers may seem like little more than a locutionary shift to textual engagements long considered.
These range from the mother of the first Compson, Quentin
MacLachan Compson (mentioned in the appendix to the novel Faulkner produced for the Portable Faulkner in 1945) to Mary the mother of Jesus, and Leda (of Classical myth).