Unlike Quentin, who is obsessed with the past, Jason thinks solely about the present and the immediatefuture. He constantly tries to twist circumstances in his favor, almost always at the expense of others. Jason is very clever and crafty, but never uses these talents in thespirit of kindness or generosity. Though he clearly desires personal gain, Jason has no higher goals or aspirations. He steals and hoards money in a strongbox, but not forany particular purpose other than selfishness. On the whole, Jason is extremely motivated but completely without ambition.
Jason’s lack of achievement stems primarily fromhis relentless self-pity. Jason never forgives Caddy for the loss of the job at Herbert’s bank, and he is unable to move past this setback to achieve anything worthwhilein his later life. Ironically, Jason becomes the head of the Compson household after his father’s death—an indication of the low to which the once-great family has sunk.