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Piecing Benji’s Puzzle

Benji in the present is told by Luster to not approach Miss Quentin because she is with her boyfriend. Benji then takes us back to the past when he remembers seeing Caddy with Charlie. It truly amazes me how even though Benji is not able to think subjectively, he still senses when something is different with Caddy (like someone being around her). His love/obsession relationship with Caddy is really displayed in this part of the story when Caddy is with Charlie. Benji does not like Charlies presence as Charlie does not like Benjis. Charlie becomes even more angry when he sees that Benji wont leave them alone but instead is crying louder. When Benji cries, Caddy listens. She even washes her mouth with soap letting Benji know that she is sorry. It is as if she is trying to make Benji believe she regrets doing it. The last line goes back to Caddy smelling like trees which symbolizes that everything is ok again, Benji feels safe that he has Caddy, Benji is happy.

“Benjy.” she said. “How did you slip out. Where’s Versh.”
She put her arms around me and I hushed and held to her dress and tried to pull her away. “Why, Benjy.” she said. “What is it. T.P.” she called. The one in the swing got up and came, and I cried and pulled Caddy’s dress.
“Benjy.” Caddy said. “It’s just Charlie. Dont you know Charlie.”
“Where’s his nigger.” Charlie said. “What do they let him run around loose for.”
“Hush, Benjy.” Caddy said. “Go away, Charlie. He doesn’t like you.” Charlie went away and I hushed. I pulled at Caddy’s dress.
“Why, Benjy.” Caddy said. “Aren’t you going to let me stay here and talk to Charlie a while.”
“Call that nigger.” Charlie said. He came back. I cried louder and pulled at Caddy’s dress.
“Go away, Charlie.” Caddy said. Charlie came and put his hands on Caddy and I cried more. I cried loud.
“No, no.” Caddy said. “No. No.”
“He cant talk.” Charlie said. “Caddy.”
“Are you crazy.” Caddy said. She began to breathe fast. “He can see. Dont. Dont.” Caddy fought. They both breathed fast. “Please. Please.” Caddy whispered.
“Send him away.” Charlie said.
“I will.” Caddy said. “Let me go.”
“Will you send him away.” Charlie said.
“Yes.” Caddy said. “Let me go.” Charlie went away. “Hush.” Caddy said. “He’s gone.” I hushed. I could hear her and feel her chest going.
“I’ll have to take him to the house.” she said. She took my hand. “I’m coming.” she whispered.
“Wait.” Charlie said. “Call the nigger.”
“No.” Caddy said. “I’ll come back. Come on, Benjy.”
“Caddy.” Charlie whispered, loud. We went on. “You better come back. Are you coming back.” Caddy and I were running. “Caddy.” Charlie said. We ran out into the moonlight, toward the kitchen.
“Caddy.” Charlie said.
Caddy and I ran. We ran up the kitchen steps, onto the porch, and Caddy knelt down in the dark and held me. I could hear her and feel her chest. “I wont.” she said. “I wont anymore, ever. Benjy. Benjy.’ Then she was crying, and I cried, and we held each other. “Hush.” She said. “Hush. I wont anymore. So I hushed and Caddy got up and we went into the kitchen and turned the light on and Caddy took the kitchen soap and washed her mouth at the sink, hard. Caddy smelled like trees.

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~ by Jessica Ruiz on October 28, 2010.

One Response to “Piecing Benji’s Puzzle”

  1. but we did this one in class. how’s about finding one for yourself?

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