Manfred de Spain

Text: 
Character Key: 
Display Name: 
Manfred de Spain
Sort Name: 
De Spain, Manfred
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Secondary
Vitality: 
Alive
Occupation: 
Administrative
Specific Job: 
Mayor and Bank President
Biography: 

Manfred de Spain appears in the novel as "mayor of the town," "president of one of its two banks and a warden of the Episcopal church" (282) - but especially as Eula Varner Snopes' lover for 16 years, which for very different reasons puts him at odds with the puritanical part of the town's population, with Eula's husband Flem (who nonetheless tacitly blackmails De Spain into helping him up the ladder of success), and with Gavin Stevens, the chivalrous champion of Eula's honor. The De Spain family is among the most prominent in Jefferson; Manfred's father was a Confederate officer (the real "Major de Spain") and, for two days, a Governor of Mississippi (10). "De Spain himself was a West Pointer who had gone to Cuba as a second lieutenant with troops and came home with a wound - a long scar running from his hair through his left ear and down his jaw" (11). When he is elected mayor by the votes of the younger generation, "it was a landslide because more than just he had won, been elected. The new age had entered Jefferson"; Manfred's sporty and noisy EMF Roadster, one of the first cars in Jefferson, symbolizes his role as the "champion, the Godfrey de Bouillon, the Tancred, the Jefferson Richard Lion-heart of the twentieth century" (13). A lifelong bachelor, he leaves town after Eula commits suicide in 1927.

Disability: 
wounded
Individual or Group: 
Individual
Character changes class in this text: 

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