Charles Etienne Saint-Valery Bon

Display Name: 
Charles Etienne Saint-Valery Bon
Sort Name: 
Bon, Charles Etienne Saint-Valery
Race: 
MixedBlackWhite
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Indeterminable
Rank: 
Secondary
Vitality: 
Dies
Family: 
Sutpen
Family (new): 
Date of Birth: 
Saturday, January 1, 1859 to Saturday, December 31, 1859
Origin: 
New Orleans
Cause of Death: 
Disease
Biography: 

"The little boy" in the picture that is found on Charles Bon's body (75) is Bon's "sixteenth part negro son" (80) with the grandiloquent name of Charles Etienne Saint-Valery Bon. When Judith and Clytemnestra bring him to Sutpen's Hundred after his mother dies, Judith tells him to "Call me Aunt Judith" (169), perhaps without realizing that he is in fact her half-nephew and her father's grandson. A "thin delicate child with a smooth ivory sexless face" (157) dressed in "expensive Fauntleroy clothing" (158), he grows up into a tortured adult who wears "harsh and shapeless denim" overalls, the "burlesque uniform and regalia of the tragic burlesque of the sons of Ham" (160), married to a "coal black" woman (166) and living as a tenant farmer on his grandfather's plantation "in one of the dilapidated slave cabins which he rebuilt" (167). Mr. Compson says he lives in a "Gethsemane which he had decreed and created for himself" (169), but it would be more accurate to say he is crucified by the cross in his blood, as blood was defined by the world into which he was born. He is like Joe Christmas, the central character in Light in August, caught between the races in a strictly segregated society.

Individual or Group: 
Individual
Character changes class in this text: 
Date of Death: 
Tuesday, January 1, 1884 to Wednesday, December 31, 1884

digyok:node/character/15466