John Sartoris

Display Name: 
John Sartoris
Sort Name: 
Sartoris, John
AKA: 
Colonel John Sartoris
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Alive
Family: 
Sartoris
Occupation: 
Management
Specific Job: 
Planter
Origin: 
Carolina
Biography: 

John Sartoris is the patriarch of the Sartoris family, one of the founders of Yoknapatawha, and one of the major figures in Faulkner's fiction. He had two daughters (unnamed in Faulkner's works) and a son, Bayard, who narrates “Skirmish.” His wife apparently died during Bayard's childbirth (1849), so Sartoris was a widower by the time of the Civil War, in which he served as both a regular and an irregular Confederate Colonel. In “Skirmish,” Sartoris has returned after the South's surrender to rebuild the plantation house that was burned by Yankees during the war and to make sure that the newly emancipated slaves do not vote. The story's account of his killing the Burdens to prevent the latter is the third time that Faulkner's fiction describes the event (it first appears in Flags in the Dust, and again in Light in August). Neither of the other two versions marry the killing to the comedy of his wedding to Drusilla.

Individual or Group: 
Individual
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Character