In the Sound and the Fury where everything is falling apart and the Compson family represent a life embodiment of the Southern failure, one character stands out amid all these shattered bits and pieces of emotional, economic and psychological dilemma. This character is the African American Motherly figure Dilsey. A lady who knows her duties and limitations, recognizes the family's needs and is devoted to their welfare. She creates the balance needed in difficult situations and her importance to the family if not stated clearly is felt by all the family members. Her role even extends to embrace and protect QuentinII,Caddy's daughter.
In Benjy's section, there is a revealing moment when Dilsey's presence and actions were directly mimicked and followed "they moaned at Dilsey's house. Dilsey was moaning. When Dilsey moaned Luster said, Hush, and we hushed, and then I began to cry and Blue howled under the kitchen steps.Then Dilsey stopped and we stopped." Her high presence in the children's life made them sense that they have to follow her pattern because she knows best. However, this is not shared by the mother who declares in Jason's section that "I put the fear of God into Dilsey. As much as you can into a nigger, that is. That's the trouble with nigger servants, when they've been with you for a long time they get so full of self importance that they're not worth a dam. Think they run the whole family." (p.207)It is through her endeavor to beliitle Dilsey's role that Mrs.Compton actually acknowledges it. Her inability to run her family clearly points to the person running the family and creating the balance amid all this mess. Dilsey represents reason , the one who could knew the time although the clock chimes didn't match the correct time, yet she knew it .Similarly the family was but a facade of a family, yet she knew when to face Jason and object on behalf of Quentin whereas the mother sat silently next to her favorite son Jason.
The church scene represents her power in finding solutions for Benjy's situation. She is the only one who faces societal rejection on both sides the blacks and whites and boldly states her opinion "Trash white folks. Dat's whoit is. Thinks he ain't good enough fer white church, but nigger church ain't good enough fer him."(p.290) Dilsey is the stabilizer, the activist and the sound of reason amid the fury of the Compson's, the White and Black racists. People like Dilsey are the people who pave the future of change.