Suratt

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

The itinerant sewing machine salesman named, in this story, simply Suratt is one of Faulkner's favorite characters. He is typically "V.K. Suratt" in his earliest appearances in the Yoknapatawpha fictions; in later fictions, including the revised version of this story in The Hamlet, he is V.K. Ratliff. In some fictions, as here, he travels on a "buckboard" wagon drawn by a "sturdy mismatched team" of horses (138); in others, he drives a small truck. But he is always gregarious, carrying the local news to and from groups of men and women across several counties with "an affable and impenetrable volubility" (138). He is often depicted as Flem Snopes' adversary, a trader who is not motivated by the kind of calculating greed that Flem embodies. Here, however, his attempt to get rich at Flem's expense, and get even at the same time, leads to his comeuppance - a result which he accepts with that same affability.

Individual or Group: 
Individual
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Character