Lucas Beauchamp

Display Name: 
Lucas Beauchamp
Sort Name: 
Beauchamp, Lucas
AKA: 
Luke
Race: 
Black
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Free Black
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Alive
Occupation: 
Farming
Specific Job: 
Tenant Farmer
Biography: 

"At least sixty" (214), Lucas Beauchamp is a share cropper who has farmed land on the Edmonds plantation for forty-five years, and a moonshiner who has managed to make and sell whiskey in secret for "almost twenty" of them (213). According to the narrator, he has quite a bit of money in the bank. He is also a schemer who is capable of out-smarting himself, and the father of at least two girls, the youngest of whom knows how to scheme as well. Although he is the central character in this story, his role is essentially comic. As Faulkner revised the tale for inclusion in the novel Go Down, Moses, however, he developed Lucas' familial lineage, his biography and his character in extremely complex ways; by the time Faulkner returned to him for Intruder in the Dust, where he falls afoul of the law much more seriously than in this story, Lucas becomes probably the most impressive black male character in the entire Yoknapatawpha saga. The only hint of that complexity in this tale is when the narrator makes a distinction between "the Negro which [Lucas] was" and the performance he puts on as a "nigger" in front of his white landlord (214). It's not clear whether this distinction also explains the otherwise confusing way in which the narrator refers to him as "Lucas" all but once (216), while he refers to himself as "Luke" (214), which is also the name he's called by the story's white characters.

Individual or Group: 
Individual
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Character