Gavin Stevens

Display Name: 
Gavin Stevens
Sort Name: 
Stevens, Gavin
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Alive
Family: 
Stevens
Occupation: 
Administrative
Specific Job: 
County Attorney
Origin: 
Yoknapatawpha
Biography: 

Gavin Stevens is one of Faulkner's favorite characters. He appears in six of Faulkner's books, as a major character in five of them. He is descended from an old Yoknapatawpha family. He knows the larger world - "Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard; Ph.D., Heidelberg" (257) - but is deeply committed to his home, which he serves for years as the county attorney. The narrative is not being entirely ironic when it refers to Stevens as "the designated paladin of justice and truth" (266), as shown by his determination chivalrously to treat and serve both the black woman Mollie Beauchamp and the white lady Miss Worsham. His "serious vocation" is translating the Old Testament "back into classic Greek" - though of course it was originally written in Hebrew (257). On the other hand, Mollie's living connection to the Old Testament's world of Pharaohs and Israelites makes him very uncomfortable.

Individual or Group: 
Individual
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Character