Re: The Sound and the Fury, section 4, April 8, 1928
She takes Benji to church with her and thinks nothing of it. Faulkner was showing us how much ahead of the degenerate Compson family Dilsey was, though she is not that far removed from slavery.
I think the reason was that Dilsey tells her son to go exactly the same way as always, but of course he doesn't. Benji is like an autist, becomes upset when the routine is varied.
True about Jason's thorough badness. Would you know what I mean and would it sound insenstive for me to say he also an entertaining character? I mean as a literary creation he is a piece of work. There is no ambiguity about him, which is Faulkner's intention.
I think you're right that we need to see Caddy's behavior in that social context. Such behavior wouldn't be scandalous enough in our time to make the characters' reactions to her believable. Of course the exception to this is Jason Compson II, the father who couldn't care less about his daughter's virginity. But to mother, Quentin and Benji the matter is of the utmost seriousness.
That's a good point about what the characters create out of Caddy. Faulkner's remark about the beauty of illusiveness? I don't know about it; he seemed a bit in love with her himself. He also maybe didn't want to spoil the true aura she has by making her exist on a mundane level, as she would have if she'd spoken a part. And Faulkner might have been aware that variation is a key to art. So in short I have no real idea.
Faulkner supposedly was quite a liberal when it came to race, and that seems to be true in the novel if you look at the superiority he accords to Dilsey. I agree with your guess about what Quentin may mean about a "nigger being a form of behavior." I am far from an expert on Faulkner. Do you know of any black main characters in his works, I mean other than Dilsey? The character of Christmas in Light in August is reputed to be "black", but if so he has passed as white all his life.