Ratliff

Character Key: 
Display Name: 
Ratliff
Sort Name: 
Ratliff
AKA: 
V. K. Ratliff
V. K. Suratt
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Lower Class
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Alive
Occupation: 
Sales and Service
Specific Job: 
Salesman
Narrator: 
First Person
Biography: 

Ratliff is a traveling sewing machine salesman who tells the story of Luke Provine's bout with hiccups and his own part in helping "cure" them. A garrulous man of the people, Ratliff speaks in a folksy vernacular that stylistically sets him apart from the story's more formal frame narrator. He himself becomes a butt of the joke he tries to play on Provine when, unbeknownst to him, Ash appropriates his scheme for his own purposes - an ironic outcome that Ratliff accepts with good humor. Ratliff is a frequent character and narrator in Faulkner’s fiction, playing a major role in the Snopes trilogy: The Hamlet, The Town and The Mansion. In the first published version of the story in The Saturday Evening Post, he was identified as V. K. Suratt; for the revised versions of the story in Collected Stories and later in Big Woods, following his practice in later works in which this character occurs, Faulkner changed his name to Ratliff.

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

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