Unnamed Tenant Farmers 1

Character Key Number: 
1077
Display Name: 
Unnamed Tenant Farmers 1
Sort Name: 
Unnamed Tenant Farmers 1
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 
Yes
Biography: 

After the Civil War slave labor on Yoknapatawpha's large plantations was often replaced by tenant labor. Two generations of sharecroppers are mentioned in Requiem for a Nun: the "men and women, Negro and white both, who were born to and who passed all their lives in denim overalls and calico," and their "sons and daughters," who wear "the installment-plan garments" advertised in national magazines (192). According to the novel's exaggerated account, the first group, "an entire generation of farmers," has vanished (193). As the whole passage makes explicit, both white and black families worked for landlords as tenant farmers, but in the description of the old ways, the narrative focuses on "the Negro tenant- or share- or furnish-hand" who lived in rows of "two-room shotgun shacks" on the large plantations (193).