Character Keys

Displaying 1301 - 1400 of 3748

Add a new Character Key

Codesort ascending title biography
2489 Unnamed District Attorney 4

In an odd twist, after Mink's conviction in The Mansion, this District Attorney who prosecuted Mink meets with Mink's lawyer and the judge who oversaw the trial to try to figure out what kind of sentence to give him, for Mink's sake and the public's.

2488 Unnamed District Attorney 1

The young district attorney who prosecutes Monk at his murder trial in "Monk" cares more about his conviction rate than justice. The narrator calls attention to his ambitiousness, stating that he "had his eye on Congress" (41).

2487 Unnamed Delegates to Parole Hearings

These "delegates" in "Monk" are unofficial, members of what the narrator calls "the Opposition" to the state Governor's high-handed and corrupt policies (54). They attend the meeting of the Governor's Pardon Board as moral witnesses. Gavin Stevens is one of these delegates. Given the detail that this Governor is "a man without ancestry" (53), it seems likely that the group is made up of other men like Stevens, men from families with long-standing and aristocratic pedigrees.

2486 Unnamed Cronies of the Governor

Although the only examples in "Monk" of the political hacks whom the state's new Governor is elevating to positions of power are the men on the Parole Board, Stevens sees that group as representative of the "battalions and battalions of factory-made colonels" now running the government (63).

2485 Unnamed Accomplice of Bill Terrel

In "Monk," an unnamed accomplice helps Bill Terrel carry a body through the bushes and "fling it under the train" (59).

2484 Unnamed Mother of Monk

This "woman with hard, bright, metallic city hair and a hard, blonde, city face" comes to Yoknapatawpha in "Monk" when Mrs. Odlethrop's son returns home after a long absence (43). The word "city" in that description suggests she is from Memphis, or someplace similar, but that is not made clear in the story. Nor can we say for sure that she is Monk's mother, though the fact that the infant Monk is seen at the Odlethrops' shortly after she and the son leave - for unknown reasons, though perhaps because Mrs.

2483 Son of Bill Terrel

At his murder trial in "Monk," Bill Terrel tries to blame his son for the crime. This son both denies the charge and "proves an alibi," resulting in his father's conviction (59).

2482 Daughter of Bill Terrel

At Bill Terrel's murder trial in "Monk," in a small but telling moment, his daughter denies her father's story that the man he killed had seduced her.

2481 Bill Terrel

In "Monk" Bill Terrel is described as "a tall man, a huge man, with a dark aquiline face like an Indian's except for the pale yellow eyes and a shock of wild, black hair" who speaks in a "queer, high, singsong filled with that same abject arrogance" that characterizes his appearance (55). He convinces Monk to kill the Warden. He seems to serve as a foil for Monk - Terrel owns a gas station, and Monk works at one; he yearns for a pardon, and Monk refuses one; he trusts no one, and Monk trusts everyone.

2480 Mrs. Odlethrop

Presumably Monk's grandmother, Mrs. Odlethrop lives like a hermit with Monk and seems fiercely protective of him. People tell of how she chased her son and Monk's mother "out of the house and out of the country" with a shotgun because that son was "too much even for that country and people" (43).

2479 Monk Odlethrop

In "Monk," the mentally challenged title character is a mystery. Initially known only as "Monk," the narrator characterizes him as a "moron, perhaps even a cretin" (41), using terms offensive to modern readers but common and acceptable during the era of the story's composition. Near the end readers learn that his given name is actually Stonewall Jackson Odlethrop - though it is not clear exactly who gave him any of these names. He is born in the hill country east of Jefferson, presumably the unwanted child of Mrs. Odelethrop's son and a "hard" woman from somewhere else (43).

2478 Odlethrop

The man who is Mrs. Odlethrop's son in "Monk" and also, presumably, the title character's biological father, is described as "too much even for that country and people" (43). He returns to his mother's home with a woman, presumably Monk's mother, after a ten year absence. He initially left (or was driven out of Yoknapatawpha) after killing someone, and after his return his own mother is said to have "driven" him out of town again at gunpoint (43).

2477 Mrs. C.L. Gambrell

In "Monk" Mrs. Gambrell is the wife of the penitentiary warden who teaches Monk how to knit (50).

2476 C.L. Gambrell

In "Monk," C.L. Gambrell is the warden at the penitentiary. He seems to be a fair, kind man in many respects. He makes Monk a "trusty" (trustee, 49), and Monk follows him with "doglike devotion" (49). However, he also displays a cruel streak when he goads Bill Terrel concerning his pardon. He shows his judgment to be even more questionable when he has an unnamed Negro cook "severely beaten" in an effort to extract information about his missing pistol. Monk later finds the pistol where the warden then "recalls having hid it himself" (53).

2475 Unnamed Tidewater Planters

According to Absalom!, in the Tidewater area of Virginia these "certain few men" own the fields and the slaves who work in them, and hire the overseers who watch the slaves; they "have the power of life and death and barter and sale over others" (179).

2474 Unnamed Town Officers 2

These "town officers" in Absalom! take Charles Etienne Saint-Valery Bon away if he is drunk and violent in Jefferson (170).

2473 Unnamed Travelers from Arkansas

In Absalom! a "wagon full of strangers moving from Arkansas" to someplace else tries to spend the night in the "rotting shell" of old Sutpen mansion, but flee when "something happened before they could begin to unload the wagon even" (172-73).

2472 Unnamed Imported Slaves of Sutpen

In Absalom! these are the twenty "wild blacks" whom Sutpen brings as slaves to Yoknaptawpha in 1833 (4), from a French colony in the Caribbean; the "civilized language" which they speak (44) is "a sort of French" (27). Sutpen has a child - Clytemnestra - with one of the two slaves in this group who are women (48). The narrative repeatedly calls them "wild" (13, 16, etc.), and distinguishes them as a group from the "tame" slaves that Sutpen later acquires, through birth or purchase (17). Rosa characterizes them as being "like beasts half tamed to walk upright like men" (4).

2471 Unnamed U.S. Marshals

There were thousands of uniformed "United States marshals" in the South during Reconstruction as part of the federal government's efforts to enfranchise and protect the rights of emancipated slaves and to enforce the punishments Congress imposed on former Confederate leaders and soldiers. Their role is Absalom! is described (by Shreve) as only punitive: he refers to the "taxes and levies and penalties" with which they encumber Sutpen's property (146).

2470 Unnamed University of Mississippi Students 1

According to Absalom!, when Bon and Henry enroll at the University of Mississippi in 1859, the entire student body "numbered in two figures" (81). Included in that number are the "five or six" students, all like Henry "planters' sons," with whom Bon associates (76). It is also this small clique, presumably, who follow Bon's example and switch to the Law School.

2469 Unnamed Overseers on Virginia Plantations

As the young Thomas Sutpen moves east across Virginia in Absalom!, he notes these "white men" on "fine horses" (182), the "white men who superintend the work" of the field slaves (184).

2468 Unnamed Wives or Mistresses of Southern Soldiers

In her account in Absalom! of the men who begin returning home from the Civil War during its final winter, Rosa refers to the men's "beloved wife or mistress who in his absence has been raped" (126). She does not say by whom.

2467 Unnamed Young Girls 3

The "chosen young girls in white dresses bound at the waist with crimson sashes" whom Shreve imagines in Absalom! are decked out for a "Decoration Day" ceremony "fifty years" after Bon's June visit to Sutpen's Hundred (262). "Decoration Day" is better known as "Confederate Memorial Day," out of which the U.S. Memorial Day holiday eventually came. It was first observed soon after the Civil War ended, and in fact is still unofficially observed in some places in the South - in April, however, not "June" (262).

2466 Unnamed Strangers Passing through Yoknapatawpha

During the last winter of the Civil War, Rosa says in Absalom!, "stragglers" frequently passed by the Sutpen plantation where she, Judith and Clytemnestra lived. Some she says were "tramps, ruffians," but others were "soldiers beginning to come back" from the war, "men who had risked and lost everything" (126). Right after the passage mentions the "wife or mistress" of such men "who in [their] absence has been raped," Rosa adds: "We were afraid," but "we fed them" (126).

2465 Unnamed Steamboat Passengers

Absalom!'s third-person narrator identifies the passengers who travel on the Mississippi riverboats as "gamblers and cotton- and slavedealers" (26). Rosa refers to them as "drunken fools covered with diamonds and bent on throwing away their cotton and slaves before the boat reached New Orleans" (11).

2464 Unnamed Spectators in Courtroom 2

"The justice's court" in which Charles E. S-V. Bon is arraigned in Absalom! is described as "crowded" (163); "every face in the room" looks at the prisoner at the moment when the justice himself asks him "What are you?" (165).

2463 Unnamed Southern Writers

In Absalom! Rosa Coldfield mentions the "many Southern gentlemen and gentlewomen" who are members of "the literary profession" (5). She does not name any names, but genteel fiction and poetry by Southern authors were staples of the national magazines around the turn into the 20th century.

2462 Unnamed Soldiers in the University Grays

In Absalom! Henry and Bon enlist and serve in the Confederate company organized at the start of the Civil War by "their classmates at the University" (69). According to Mr. Compson, its men come from across the entire class spectrum: "rich and poor, aristocrat and redneck" (97), and the flag they carry toward the fighting was sewn a few stitches at a time by "the sweetheart of each man in the company" (98).

2461 Unnamed Slaves of Families of the University Grays

When in Absalom! the "fathers and mothers and sisters and kin and sweethearts" of the students who are forming themselves into the University Grays travel to Oxford, they bring "food and bedding and servants" (97). 'Servants' is unquestionably a euphemism for 'slaves.'

2460 Unnamed Slaves of Sutpen 1

As the proprietor of the largest plantation in Yoknapatawpha, Sutpen owned a much larger group of slaves than his original twenty slaves from the Caribbean and the additional several slaves whom the narrator specifically refers to. Absalom! notes, for example, that over the years the "wild" Negroes whom Sutpen "had brought into the country" mix with other enslaved Negroes - "the tame which was already there" (67).

2459 Unnamed Slave of Pettibone

This character only appears in Absalom! at third-hand, when Sutpen remembers what he heard his father saying about how he and some other poor white men "whupped one of Pettibone's niggers" (187). In response to Sutpen's question about who this slave was or what he "had done," the father replies only that he is "that goddamn son of a bitch Pettibone's nigger" (187).

2458 Unnamed Self-Emancipated Negroes 4

When Absalom! says that Coldfield's two women servants are "among the first Jefferson negroes to desert and follow the Yankee troops" during the Civil War (66), it indirectly refers to the other enslaved men and women in Jefferson who, like almost all the slaves at Sutpen's Hundred, emancipate themselves as soon as the Union army arrives.

2457 Unnamed Servants of Goodhue Coldfield

In Absalom! the two "house servants" who work for Goodhue Coldfield (14), "both women" (42), were legally slaves when he first "came into possession of them" - "through a debt," Mr. Compson says, "not purchase" (66). He "frees" them immediately, but does not give them "their papers of freedom"; instead, he credits the "weekly wage" they earn but don't receive toward their "market value" as slaves, forcing them to work toward their freedom (66). They are "among the first Jefferson negroes to desert and follow the Yankee troops" during the Civil War (66).

2456 Unnamed School Teacher 1

The teacher at the Tidewater school Sutpen attends in Absalom! is described, tautologically, as "the kind of teacher that would be teaching a one-room country school in a nest of Tidewater plantations" (195). Sutpen tells General Compson that the man "always looked dusty, as if he had been born and lived all his life in attics and store rooms" (195).

2455 Unnamed Sailors

The "men who said the ship [Sutpen sails on] was going to the West Indies" in Absalom! (197) may not have been sailors or shipmates, but the inference seems justified by the narrative fact that Sutpen "learns to be a sailor" to get himself to the Caribbean (200).

2454 Unnamed Roman Consul

A "consul" was the highest elected official in the Roman Republic. In Absalom! the "youthful Roman consul" traveling among "barbarian hordes which his grandfather conquered" is the symbolic figure with whom Mr. Compson compares Charles Bon, the urban sophisticate visiting the "isolated Puritan country household" of Thomas Sutpen (74).

2453 Unnamed Confederate Provost Marshals

During the Civil War both North and South used provost marshals as a kind of military police force behind the lines. The "Confederate provost marshals' men" from whom Goodhue Coldfield is hiding in Absalom! would have arrested him as a draft dodger or compelled him to serve in the military (6).

2452 Unnamed Post-War Night Riders

In the immediate aftermath of the South's surrender, according to Rosa's account in Absalom!, "men with pistols in their pockets gathered daily at secret meeting places in the towns"; a deputation from this group unsuccessfully demands that Sutpen join them (130). Rosa never gives the group a name, but when she later describes their "sheets and hoods and night-galloping horses" it seems obvious that the Ku Klux Klan is being evoked (134). (There are entries for Klansmen in other texts in this index.)

2451 Unnamed Poor Whites in Tidewater

In Absalom!, among the plantations in Tidewater Virginia live "other whites like" the Sutpens, who "live in other cabins" that are shabbier than the whitewashed cabins in "the slave quarters" (185). Sutpen's sisters and "the other white women of their kind" look at slaves passing in the road "with a kind of speculative antagonism"; when these women talk, their voices are "dark and sullen" (186).

2450 Unnamed County Officer

In "the justice's court" in Absalom!, General Compson sees Charles E. S-V. Bon "handcuffed to an officer" (163); this officer may be "the sheriff" (164), or one of his deputies.

2449 Unnamed Planter Women

The upper class women in the Tidewater are represented in Absalom! by two who never come completely into view: the carriage that almost runs down one of Sutpen's sisters contains "two parasols," and "two faces beneath the parasols" that "glare down" at the poor white girl (187).

2448 Unnamed People in New Orleans

In Mr. Compson's account of the city in Absalom!, Bon's initiation of Henry into the sophisticated world of New Orleans begins with his exposure to the elegant people riding in the city streets: "women, enthroned . . . like painted portraits" and "men in linen a little finer and diamonds a little brighter" than anything Henry had seen before (88).

2447 Unnamed People of Borneo

Looking for a figure of speech to describe Clytemnestra as an old woman in Absalom!, Shreve says that she "shrunk" - "like the Bornese do their captured heads" (175). After Borneo was colonized, the Dayak practice of "headhunting" was widely sensationalized in Europe and the U.S. In Faulkner's short story "Vendee," set during the Civil War, the Sartoris family library includes a "book about Borneo" that describes such practices.

2446 Unnamed People in the Reconstruction South

In Chapter 5 of Absalom! Rosa Coldfield tells Quentin about the time immediately following the South's defeat in the Civil War.

2445 Unnamed People at Sutpen's Wedding

Although Ellen and her aunt "write out a hundred invitations" to the Coldfield-Sutpen wedding in Absalom!, when it happens "there were just ten people in the church, including the wedding party" (39). Two of the witnesses are General and Mrs. Compson. The text does not say who the others were, and why they chose to defy public opinion by being there.

2444 Unnamed Overseer 1

The "overseer" Sutpen hires in Absalom! is credited with helping the plantation "run smoothly" (57). He is identified only as the son of the county sheriff.

2443 Unnamed Confederate Orderly 2

In Absalom! this "orderly" tells Henry that "the colonel wants you in his tent" (279). A military 'orderly' is a kind of personal servant to an officer, but the way this one addresses Henry - "Sutpen" (279) - makes it clear that he is white.

2442 Unnamed Confederate Orderly 1

Absalom! mentions the (presumably authoritarian) tone of voice in which Sutpen "used to address his orderly or even his house servants" (149). In this context an "orderly" is a soldier who serves a commanding officer as a kind of servant. Sutpen's "house servants," like nearly all the servants in Faulkner's world, are black, and during the Civil War many Confederate officers took slaves with them to the war, but these are called "body servants" in the fictions, and explicitly racialized as black.

2441 Unnamed Old Men at Holston House

In Absalom!, as Sutpen moves across the Square after talking with General Compson, the General sees "old Mr McCaslin and two other old men hobble out and stop him" to talk (221). McCaslin has his own entry. The fact that all three are "old" is an indication of how the Civil War has emptied Jefferson of most of its other male residents.

2440 Unnamed Northern People

In Absalom! these are the "Northern people" who, at least in Miss Rosa's mind, have destroyed "the South" (5).

2439 Unnamed Neighbor of Sutpen 2

This is the man who lives "four miles away" from Sutpen's in Absalom! and who captures Bon's horse two days after Bon's funeral (123).

2438 Unnamed Negroes on Steamboat

When Clytemnestra and Charles E. S-V. Bon take a steamboat from New Orleans in Absalom!, they travel "on the freight deck, eating and sleeping with negroes" (160).

2437 Unnamed Negroes in City Honky-Tonks

This is one of the two groups of men in Absalom! from whom Charles E. C-V. Bon - a "white-colored man" (167) with a "coal black" wife (166) - deliberately provokes a racial reaction: "the negro [men] . . . in city honky-tonks who thought he was a white man" (167).

2436 Unnamed Negroes at Ball

These are the "negroes" at the "ball" in Absalom! where Charles E. S-V. Bon starts a fight (164). Before the fight they are described as "dancing" and having a "dice game in the kitchen"; in the fight they are described as "a moiling clump of negro backs and heads and black arms and hands clutching sticks of stove wood and cooking implements and razors" (164).

2435 Unnamed Negro Steamboat Hands

This is one of the two groups of men in Absalom! from whom Charles E. C-V. Bon - a "white-colored man" (167) with a "coal black" wife (166) - deliberately provokes a racial reaction: "the negro stevedores and deckhands on steamboats . . . who thought he was a white man" (167).

2434 Unnamed Negro Boys 1

In Absalom! Rosa Coldfield orders "casual negro boys who happened to pass the house" to "rake her yard" (171-72); they understand that they will be paid later by Judge Benbow.

2433 Unnamed Mountain People

The "few other people" who live near the Sutpens in the mountains of western Virginia are described in Absalom! as "living in log cabins boiling with children," "men and grown boys who hunted," and "women and older girls" who "cook" (179).

2432 Unnamed Mother of Sutpen's First Wife

In Absalom! Sutpen tells General Compson that his first father-in-law's wife "had been a Spaniard" (203); much later in the novel he tells his son Henry that in fact, as he discovered after marrying, she "was part negro" (283). The Chronology at the end of the novel treats her mixed racial identity as a fact - "Sutpen learns his wife has negro blood" (305) - but the actual novel does not independently confirm it. This woman never appears in the novel herself, apparently having died before Sutpen gets involved with her husband and daughter.

2431 Unnamed Jefferson Merchants and Clerks

These merchants and sales clerks in Absalom! cater to Ellen Sutpen and her wealthy status during her "weekly ritual" of driving "store to store" in Jefferson by "fetching out" to her "the cloth and the meagre fripperies and baubles" for sale in their stores (57).

2430 Unnamed Men Who Hunt Architect

When in Absalom! Sutpen realizes that the French architect has run away, he sends word to General Compson "and some others" in town; these "others" are the "guests" who are invited to witness or take part in the "race" to recapture the runaway, as if it were an entertainment (177, 178, 206). Compson brings champagne, "and some of the others brought whiskey" (178). They are wealthy enough to ride horses. In Sutpen's mind, these men will expect him to track the man with dogs (178).

2429 Unnamed Men outside Wedding Rehearsal

At the rehearsal on the evening before Sutpen's wedding in Absalom!, the only people present are "a handful of men from the town's purlieus (including two of old Ikkemotubbe's Chickasaws) standing in the shadows outside the door" (41).

2428 Unnamed Members of Vigilance Committee

Also called "a posse" (35), the "vigilance committee" in Absalom! that accompanies the county sheriff when he confronts Sutpen on suspicion of theft originally consists of "eight or ten" men (34). In an essentially comic scene, this group follows Sutpen on his courtship errand as their numbers grow (according to General Compson) to "almost fifty" men (35) - including "other horsemen [who] rode into the square" and "others who did not happen to have horses" (35) as well as some of the men who were lounging "on the gallery of the Holston House" when Sutpen reached town (34).

2427 Unnamed Members of Mob outside Wedding

In Absalom! almost a hundred "boys and youths and men" gather outside the Methodist church to jeer Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Sutpen when they emerge from the wedding . The "men who composed the mob" are identified as men "from the drovers' tavern on the edge of town" (39), and as "traders and drovers and teamsters" (44).

2426 Unnamed Band Members 2

The "band [that] plays Dixie" which Shreve imagines in Absalom! is part of a "Decoration Day" ceremony "fifty years" after Bon's June visit to Sutpen's Hundred (262). "Decoration Day" is better known as "Confederate Memorial Day," out of which the U.S. Memorial Day holiday eventually came. It was first observed soon after the Civil War ended, and in fact is still unofficially observed in some places in the South - in April, however, not "June" (262).

2425 Unnamed Man with Dogs

Since Sutpen believes that his "guests" will expect him to use "dogs" (rather than his slaves) to track down the escaped architect in Absalom!, this is the "man with the dogs" (178).

2424 Unnamed Man Who Buys Store

In Absalom!, Judith Sutpen finds a buyer for the crossroads store about a year after her father's death. The man himself never appears in the novel, but the money he pays her is used to buy at least one and possibly two of the tombstones in the Sutpen's graveyard.

2423 Unnamed Man or Two

In Absalom! Sutpen hires Wash Jones and "another man or two" to help in his post-war effort to restore Sutpen's Hundred to its pre-war status (130). Rosa identifies them as "men like Jones" (134).

2422 Unnamed Man at Church

In Absalom!, this man - whom Rosa calls a "fool" (17) - tries to stop Sutpen's coachman from beating the horses.

2421 Unnamed Kinswoman of Quentin's Aunt

This "woman" is the "nearest female kin" to the aunt whom Quentin's father tells him about in Absalom! (156). She looms very large in the mind of the aunt, but remains invisible in the text of the novel.

2420 Unnamed Indians in Western Virginia

In Sutpen's account of life in the mountains of western Virginia in Absalom!, "the only colored people were Indians and you only looked down at them over your rifle sights" (179).

2419 Unnamed Indian Agent 2

The Indian agent in "Appendix" also runs a successful "tradingpost store" (325). Indian agents represented the U.S. government in its interactions with indigenous people. Since a primary job of the agent is to ensure that land sales concerning Native Americans are recorded and licensed, Jason Compson I's receipt of a square mile of land from Ikkemotubbe is likely made all the easier by his becoming first clerk for and then partner with the Chickasaw Agent in Jefferson (328).

2418 Unnamed Indian Agent 1

In Absalom! Sutpen negotiates his acquisition of land "with or through" the "Chickasaw Indian agent" (25). The adjective is ambiguous, but it's unlikely the agent was a Chickasaw himself. Historically, Indian agents were white men who worked for the U.S. government as the official intermediary between white America and Native Americans.

2417 Unnamed Someone 4

To explain his father's decision to move east to the Tidewater, Sutpen speculates in Absalom! about a "somebody" who might have influenced the decision, and comes up with three different possibilities: "somebody, some traveler," who praised the quality of life in the Tidewater; or "perhaps somebody his father knew once . . . [who] happened to think about him; or "someone kin to him . . . [who] had sent for him" (181). Sutpen's musings here resemble the novel's larger pattern of speculation, as Rosa, Mr.

2416 Unnamed Imagined Children of Bon and Judith

In Absalom!, Rosa has a moment of fantasy while standing in the hallway of "rotting" Sutpen mansion where Bon's body lies; in this never-to-be version of the Sutpen story, all is well, and Rosa can hear "the children" of Judith and Charles Bon in "the nursery" (113).

2415 Unnamed Husband of Rosa's Aunt

The man with whom Rosa's aunt "elopes" in Absalom! is a "horse- and mule-trader" (59), an occupation that is usually depicted as disreputable. During the Civil War he "offers his talents for horse- and mule-getting to the Confederate cavalry remount corps," and is captured by Union forces, presumably while trying to steal their horses, and departs the narrative as a prisoner-of-war in Illinois (66).

2414 Unnamed Gate Keeper

At the New Orleans dueling establishment Bon takes Henry to in Absalom!, the door is opened by "a swarthy man resembling a creature out of an old woodcut of the French Revolution" (89); he speaks with Bon in French.

2413 Unnamed Four or Five Boys

This is the group of "four or five other boys of [Quentin's] size and age" in Absalom! who go out to the decaying Sutpen mansion "daring one another to evoke the ghost, since it would have to be haunted" (172). The group includes Luster; the other boys are not described, but all run away when confronted by Clytemnestra among the "rotting piles" of the old slave quarters (173).

2412 Unnamed Farmers and Negro Servants

In Absalom!, after Rosa Coldfield returns to her house in Jefferson in 1866, "the town - farmers passing, negro servants going to work in white kitchens" - see her raiding the neighbors' gardens "before sunup" (138). "The town" is often a kind of character in the Yoknapatawpha fictions, but the way this passage identifies the town with "farmers" (who are from the country) and "servants" (who are not white) is exceptional.

2411 Unnamed Families of the University Grays

As the "young men" at University of Mississippi organize themselves into the University Grays in Absalom, their "fathers and mothers and sisters and kin and sweethearts" travel to Oxford from around the state to witness and support their "sons and brothers" preparing for war (97). The "sweethearts of each man" all take turns sewing the unit's battle flag (98).

2410 Unnamed Enslaved Tavern Worker

In Absalom! the "first black man, slave," that Sutpen ever sees is this "huge bull" of a man who throws his drunken father out of a "doggery," a rough tavern, in the middle of the family's journey across Virginia (182). The man's description focuses on his "mouth loud with laughing and full of teeth like tombstones" (182).

2409 Unnamed Enslaved Stableman

Shreve speculates in Absalom! that when Henry and Bon go to the stable before riding away on Christmas Eve, "maybe" a slave is there to saddle their horses (266).

2408 Unnamed Enslaved Messenger in New Orleans

Absalom!'s narrative speculates - hyperbolically - about the existence of a "special" slave in the lawyer's office, whose sole job is to carry faked reports about Sutpen's whereabouts to Bon's mother (244).

2407 Unnamed Enslaved Maid 2

In Absalom!, Henry's letter to his sister about enlisting with Bon in the University Grays reaches her secretly by way of "Judith's maid" (272).

2406 Unnamed Enslaved Maid 1

On her annual visits to Sutpen's Hundred in Absalom!, Rosa sees her sister Ellen lying in a darkened room "and a negro woman sitting beside the bed with a fan" (19). She is presumably Ellen's personal maid.

2405 Unnamed Enslaved House Negroes

Conventionally, the enslaved people in the antebellum South were divided into two categories: 'field Negroes,' who had little contact with whites other than overseers, and 'house Negroes,' who worked indoors as cooks, maids, butlers, and so on. In Absalom!, Jefferson's "house negroes" first appear accompanying the white "ladies and children" to church services, carrying the "parasols and flywhisks" that keep the sun and insects away from the whites (23).

2404 Unnamed Enslaved House Negro

This entry represents either one, two or perhaps as many as three different slaves in the Sutpen mansion mentioned in Absalom!; they play basically the same role, though wear different textual labels: the "servant" who informs Rosa and her father that their buggy is ready to drive them back to town (19), "the nigger" whom Sutpen sends to ask Henry to see him in the library (266), and, after that meeting, the "house nigger" who repacks Henry and Bon's saddlebags and takes them to the stable (266).

2403 Unnamed Enslaved Hostler

The enslaved man in Absalom! who holds the reins of Sutpen's horse when he dismounts at the Holston House is identified simply as "the negro hostler" (34). A hostler is someone who tends to the horses of people staying at an inn or hotel.

2402 Unnamed Enslaved Haitians

Historically, Haitian slavery was abolished and French ownership of land forbidden by law before Sutpen was born. Absalom! represents the people who rise up against the rule of the French sugar planter so symbolically that it is impossible to know if it sees them as enslaved or not, though it's likely that in Faulkner's mind their uprising is a slave rebellion. Before the rebellion they are depicted as the unseen sound of "the drums and the chanting" at night (202), and a "blank wall of black secret faces, a wall behind which almost anything could be preparing to happen" (203).

2401 Unnamed Enslaved Groom

In Absalom! this "negro groom" accompanies Henry Sutpen to college as his personal servant (77). Among his duties is carrying letters back and forth between Oxford and Sutpen's Hundred, and it is presumably he who at the beginning of the Civil War "steals into the quarters by night" to give "Judith's maid" Henry's final letter to Judith (273).

2400 Unnamed Enslaved Footman 1

In Absalom!, this is the "extra" slave on the carriage when Sutpen's wife and daughter travel to Memphis (81). Among his duties is periodically re-heating the bricks that warm the ladies' feet.

2399 Unnamed Enslaved Field Hands

Once the Sutpen family reaches the eastern part of Virginia on their journey in Absalom!, they begin seeing many enslaved people, described by the narrative as "niggers working in the fields" (182), "regiments of niggers [who] planted and raised" crops (184), "still more niggers [who] plant flowers and trim grass" on the grounds of the big plantation houses (185). The narrative describes these slaves as wearing "better clothes" than the Southern poor white population, which includes the Sutpens (186).

2398 Unnamed Enslaved Duennas

In Mr. Compson's account in Absalom! of the place in New Orleans where young women are purchased as sexual slaves, these "old women" serve as their duennas while they await sale (89).

2397 Unnamed Enslaved Driver 2

In Absalom! the "stableboy" who drives Ellen and her children to church "instead of the wild negro" who originally took them is not one of the twenty that Sutpen brought with him from the Caribbean, but a slave "that he had bought" locally (17).

2396 Unnamed Enslaved Driver 1

The "wild negro who drives" Sutpen's carriage to church in Absalom! is one of the original twenty who were brought from the Caribbean (16). He has a "perfectly inscrutable" face, and speaks a form of pigdin English ("Marster say; I do," 17)

2395 Unnamed Enslaved Concubines

In New Orleans, according to Mr. Compson's account in Absalom!, Bon takes Henry to a place where mixed-race slave women are sold as mistresses: "a row of faces like a bazaar of flowers, the supreme apotheosis of chattelry, of human flesh bred of the two races" to be sold as sexual objects (89).

2394 Unnamed Enslaved Coachman 1

The Tidewater slave who drives the carriage that almost runs down Sutpen's sister in Absalom! wears "a plug hat"; he orders the "gal" to "git outen de way" (187).

2393 Unnamed Enslaved Butler

One of the most important characters in Absalom, Absalom! is referred to only by the unfortunate label of "monkey nigger" (186, 188, 189) or "the monkey-dressed nigger butler" (187). This is the slave of the planter for whom Sutpen's father works, and who, when Sutpen comes to the front door of the plantation's big house with a message, "keeps the door barred with his body" (187) and tells the white boy "never to come to the front door again but to go around to the back" (188).

2392 Unnamed Enslaved Body Servant 2

Shreve and Quentin speculate in Absalom! that as an incentive to get Bon to attend the University of Mississippi, the lawyer offers to "buy him an extra special body servant" to take along (250); later they depict this "new extra nigger" unpacking Bon's "fine clothes" in his stateroom on the riverboat taking him to college (252).

2391 Unnamed Enslaved Body Servant 1

While he lies outside his big house "in a barrel stave hammock . . . with his shoes off," the owner of the plantation on which Sutpen's father works in Absalom! is waited on by a slave "who wore every day better clothes than [Sutpen] or his father and sisters had ever owned"; this slave's task is "to fan" the owner "and bring him drinks" (184). It is possible that this is the same man as the enslaved "butler" who tells Sutpen later to go around to the mansion's back door (187), but that is not indicated in the text.

2390 Unnamed Customers at Sutpen's Store

In Absalom! Shreve describes the people who shop at the "little crossroads store" that Sutpen opens after the Civil War as "a clientele of freed niggers and (what is it? the word? white what? - Yes, trash)" (147). As at other country stores in Faulkner's world, there are often "lounging men" on the front porch, but here the "customers and loungers" are racially mixed: "rapacious and poverty-stricken whites and negroes" (149), "the black and the white" (227).