Character Keys

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2542 Mrs. Trumbull

When Trumbull moves away from Frenchman's Bend in The Hamlet, "his wife" goes with him (72).

2543 Unnamed "Boys" of Frenchman's Bend

This is the group in The Hamlet whom Lump Snopes refers to as "a few of the boys" (258). They don't appear directly in the narrative, but Lump tells Mink his plan to take these young white men one night to the home of the Negro who found Mink's shotgun, and terrify him "with a couple of trace chains or maybe a little fire under his feet" in order to force him to admit, falsely, that he stole the gun (258).

2544 Unnamed Negro Strangers

In The Hamlet these "strange negroes" are defined by their absence. According to the narrator, Negroes who are not already known in Frenchman's Bend stay out of the area, where the white population is known to be violent and hostile to them (5).

2545 Unnamed Armed Guards

In The Hamlet these men oversee the convict laborers at the logging camp (262).

2546 Unnamed Banquet Guest

An unnamed banquet guest in The Hamlet, a "fellow neophyte" in the legal profession, invites Labove to Memphis to celebrate their achievement in graduating from law school (130).

2547 Unnamed Apprentice Blacksmith

In The Hamlet this apprentice helps Trumbull and Varner's blacksmith overhaul the machinery of the cotton gin (65).

2548 Unnamed Enslaved Body Servant 3

This "body-servant" is a slave belonging to the Old Frenchman, and is described in The Hamlet as accompanying his master to the Civil War (373).

2549 Unnamed Brother-in-Law

The brother-in-law of Labove's Oxford landlady in The Hamlet gives her sweet potatoes as a treat.

2550 Unnamed Children of Farmer

The children of the farmer from whom Ike Snopes steals feed in The Hamlet have grown up and gone off to pursue a wide range of different careers: "professional nurse, ward heeler, city barber, prostitute" (211).

2551 Unnamed People of Yoknapatawpha during Civil War

In The Hamlet Ratliff imagines how the people living in or near the Frenchman's house are drawn into the events of their time. Thus, Faulkner depicts the wealth of the antebellum plantation with the news of Sumter reaching "women swaying and pliant in hooped crinoline beneath parasols" and "the men in broadcloth riding the good horses" (373). During the first three years of the Civil War, this group is comprised virtually of women, since the men have left to fight. After "the battle of Jefferson," "there is nothing to show of that now" (373).

2552 Unnamed Wife of Farmer

In The Hamlet this woman tries to discourage her husband from pursuing Ike Snopes.

2553 Unnamed Classics Professor

The University of Mississippi "classics professor" for whom Labove did menial work in The Hamlet rewarded him with "an original Horace and a Thucydides" (122).

2554 Unnamed Convict Laborers

These are the prisoners in The Hamlet who had been sentenced to "south Mississippi convict camp" (244) in The Hamlet. They are hired "from the State for the price of their board and keep" (262). As convicts, they are forced to work without pay. (Convict labor was once a common part of the penal system in the South.)

2555 Unnamed Negro Cotton Pickers 1

As the Sheriff and his deputies take Mink to jail in The Hamlet, they see "cotton pickers" working the fields around Whiteleaf store (283); though they are not described, it's likely that the pickers are black.

2556 Unnamed Counterman 1

In The Hamlet this man serves customers "at the counter of a small side-street restaurant" in Jefferson (74).

2557 Unnamed County Officers

According to the narrator of The Hamlet, "county officers do not bother [the people of Frenchman's Bend] at all save in the heel of election years" (5). The reference is to 'peace officers,' i.e. policemen, though in Yoknapatawpha the term 'police' is rarely used to describe the county's sheriffs and deputies or the marshals in the town. The county sheriffs all are elected, which explains the last part of that quotation, but in fact the novel shows them doing their job in Frenchman's Bend, at least when Houston is murdered.

2558 Unnamed Courthouse Janitor

In The Hamlet it is the courthouse janitor who "opens the court-room" for Mink Snopes' trial and, according to the narrator, could have done as good a job defending Mink his court-appointed lawyer (367).

2559 Unnamed Trial Spectators 1

These are the "spectators" in The Hamlet who show up to watch the legal proceedings that result from the "Texas Sickness" - the auction of the wild ponies and its aftermath. They are described as "the men, the women, the children, sober, attentive, and neat, not in their Sunday clothes to be sure, but in the clean working garments donned that morning" (356).

2560 Unnamed Bailiffs

In The Hamlet, these "three bailiffs" who work in the courthouse have to help the two officers restrain Mink Snopes after his conviction (369).

2561 Unnamed Cousin of Ratliff's Kinsman's Wife

In The Hamlet this distant kinsman's wife's cousin puts Ratliff up for the night and buys a sewing machine from him.

2562 Unnamed Customers at the Savoy Hotel

The men who stay at the Savoy Hotel where Mink's wife works in The Hamlet are described as horse-traders, jurors and insurance agents who sell to Negroes, a clientele that justifies the place's "equivocal reputation" (288). It is also rumored that some of these men pay her for sex, but that's not made explicit.

2563 Unnamed Servants of the Prince of Darkness

In the fantasy of Flem in hell in The Hamlet, these minions - the text refers to them only as "they" and "them" (166) - carry messages between their master and Snopes. One of them is individualized as an "old fellow" who "used to dandle the Prince on his knee when the Prince was a boy" (168), but none of them are described. The dialect in which they speak is one that is conventionally associated with the lower class and the rural south: Flem's soul, they say, "wasn't no big one to begin with nohow" (166).

2564 Unnamed Negro Tenant Farmers 2

In Ratliff's account of the barn burning at De Spain's in The Hamlet, he refers to these men who are fighting the fire as "his [i.e. De Spain's] niggers" (19). That could mean they are servants, though it seems more likely that, like Ab Snopes, they are tenant farmers working other pieces of land at De Spain's.

2565 Unnamed Borrower

This "resident of the village" of Frenchman's Bend is the first of many men, white and black, to whom Flem Snopes lends money in The Hamlet (67).

2566 Unnamed Wagon Driver 4

This "driver" who passes Ike Snopes on the side of the road in The Hamlet knows Ike well enough to call him by "his name," but is not otherwise described (197).

2567 Unnamed Drover

In The Hamlet this drover tells Alison Hoake McCarron of her husband's death (150). A "drover" is someone who drives herds of cattle, from pasture to pasture or from farm to market, and so on.

2568 Unnamed Drummer's Family

This is the "wife and family" of the unnamed drummer who courts Eula Varner in The Hamlet, though nobody in Frenchman's Bend either "knew or cared" that he was married already (148). (See Unnamed Drummer 4 in this index.)

2569 Unnamed Escort

This good Samaritan in The Hamlet brings Eula home after the salesman who has been courting her took her to a dance in "a schoolhouse about eight miles away" - "and vanished" (147).

2570 Unnamed College Professors 3

These "five different faculty members" at the University of Mississippi are mentioned in The Hamlet as part of Labove's story: one of his jobs while studying there is building fires in their homes each morning (120). (In the novel's very next sentence the narrative mentions "the lectures" that Labove attends later in the day, but by that point the professors have disappeared from the text, 120.)

2571 Unnamed Father of Buggy Driver

In The Hamlet the father of one of the young men in Frenchman's Bend who courted Eula before her marriage eventually sells his son's neglected buggy to a "negro farm-hand" (165).

2572 Unnamed Father of Vynie Snopes

The father of Vynie Snopes in The Hamlet. He has never approved of her marriage to Ab Snopes. According to Ratliff, one day he "druv up in a wagon and loaded her and the furniture into it and told Ab" if he ever came back into Vynie's life, "he would shoot him" (33-34).

2573 Unnamed Father-in-Law of Eck Snopes

The father of Eck Snopes' first wife is unnamed, despite the fact that his "name" figures in The Hamlet. This needs explaining, and the text does try to do that. Eck's (also unnamed) wife dies sometime after the child is born, and her mother, according to Eck, began calling him "after his grandpa" - that is, presumably, her husband (295). But (as Eck 'explains') "he never had no actual name," and we never learn what his grandmother called him (295). (This is the child who eventually gets called "Wallstreet Panic Snopes.")

2574 Unnamed Father-in-Law of Mink Snopes

The father of the woman who marries Mink Snopes in The Hamlet is a "roaring man of about fifty"; he's a widower who has a "magnificent quadroon mistress" and the owner of timber land that he harvests using unpaid convict labor that he acquires "through political influence or bribery or whatever" from the state of Mississippi (262).

2575 Unnamed Federal Officers

These "federal officers" would usually be called 'revenuers' (5). According to The Hamlet, as the Old Frenchman's original plantation falls into decay after the Civil War, the area that becomes known as Frenchman's Bend transforms into an enclosed back country effectively outside the reach of government authorities.

2576 Unnamed Football Coach

The coach of the football team in The Hamlet offers Labove housing and tuition to play on the University team.

2577 Unnamed Football Players 1

In The Hamlet Labove joins the university's football team; none of his teammates are individualized.

2578 Unnamed Foreman

The foreman at the convict camp in The Hamlet gives Mink Snopes a job cutting timber.

2579 Unnamed Former Acquaintances of Houston

After Houston returns to Yoknapatawpha in The Hamlet, he sometimes meets the "contemporaries" who remember him from the "youth" they shared, with whom he still occasionally gets together for "drinks or cards" (237).

2580 Unnamed Frenchman's Bend Family

In The Hamlet Flem boards with this family, who live "about a mile from the store," after securing his position at Varner's (64).

2581 Unnamed Galveston Brothel Madam

This is the woman whom The Hamlet refers to as the "curl-papered landlady" in El Paso who tries to prevent Jack Houston from taking the woman who becomes his common law wife away from her house - but since the woman is a prostitute and the place the landlady runs is a brothel, it seems clear that "landlady" is a euphemism for 'madam' (234).

2582 Unnamed Girlfriends of Eula Varner

In The Hamlet Eula associates with a small group of Frenchman's Bend girls who act as foils for her.

2583 Unnamed Good Samaritan

This is the "doctor or officer" - Labove, who witnesses the event in The Hamlet, "does not know" which - who attends to a dying Negro who has been shot at on "a bleak station platform" at an unnamed location (138).

2584 Unnamed Negro Hostler 1

In The Hamlet this hostler finds the rented horse and buggy that the drummer who was courting Eula abandoned when he fled Yoknapatawpha.

2585 Unnamed Negro Hostler 2

In The Town this man is hired by I.O. Snopes to lead the newly arrived mules from the depot to the lot near Mrs Hait's home.

2586 Unnamed Negro Hostler 3

In The Mansion Mink remembers that when he was younger there was a Negro in "the lot behind the Commercial Hotel" who would feed his mule for a quarter while he took the train to Memphis (313).

2587 Unnamed Residents at Mrs. Littlejohn's

These women and (mostly) men stay at Mrs. Littlejohn's "hotel" in The Hamlet. In the Ike Snopes' narrative, Faulkner refers to them as "last night's new drummer-faces" - i.e. traveling salesmen who are staying for one night (182). While they can be classified as a group, these individuals are constantly coming and going, staying in Frenchman's Bend for variable amounts of time. Typically only men stay in Yoknapatawpha boarding houses, but in this case we know that Mrs. Armstid stays at Littlejohn's while her husband recovers.

2588 Unnamed Wife of College Instructor

In The Hamlet Hoake McCarron is involved in a scandal with this wife of a "minor instructor" at the agricultural college he attends (151).

2589 Unnamed College Instructor

This teacher at the "agricultural college" that Labove briefly attends lurks inside the way The Hamlet describes the woman with whom Labove has an affair as "the wife of a minor instructor" (151).

2590 Unnamed Jefferson Tailor

The tailor in The Hamlet who makes Jody Varner's distinctive clothing - a "glazed collarless white shirt" fastened with "a heaving gold collar-button" and a jacket of black broadcloth (7) - is himself not described.

2591 Unnamed Town Wit 2

The man in The Hamlet who makes a joke accusing Mink Snopes' wife of prostitution is described as "a town wit" (289).

2592 Unnamed Junk Man

Flem Snopes sells the machinery from the old blacksmith shop to "a junk man" (74). The Hamlet does not indicate whether this man is black or white.

2594 Unnamed Kinsman of Ratliff

Part of the time Ratliff is away from Yoknapatawpha in The Hamlet is spent selling sewing machines in Tennessee; there he spends time with "a distant kinsman" - i.e. someone to whom he is distantly related - who owes him money (61).

2595 Unnamed Oxford Landlady

While at the University in Oxford in The Hamlet, Labove lives in a "boarding house" owned by this landlady (129).

2596 Unnamed Law Professors and Legal Sponsors

Following Labove's admission to the Bar in The Hamlet, these men are present at the celebration for the graduating class in a hotel dining room.

2597 Unnamed Magistrate

The "committing magistrate" presides over the arraignment of Mink Snopes in The Hamlet (287). (Elsewhere in the fictions characters are arraigned in front of 'Justices of the Peace,' which is another term for 'magistrate.')

2598 Unnamed Man Who Gives Directions

In The Hamlet Ratliff asks this man in Columbia, Tennessee, about "the whereabouts of his [Ratliff's] cousin," and sells him a sewing machine (61).

2599 Unnamed Man with Broken Wagon

On Eck's first day alone in the blacksmith shop in The Hamlet, this man brings in his "wagon with a broken hound" for repair (72). The "hound" in question is part of the wagon's frame, rather than a dog.

2600 Unnamed Memphis Doctor

In The Hamlet this doctor operates upon V.K. Ratliff, cutting the "right thing out whether by accident or design" (80).

2601 Unnamed Men at Side-Street Restaurant

While eating lunch in Jefferson, in The Hamlet, Ratliff tells these "three or four listeners" (75) about the operation he underwent in a Memphis hospital.

2602 Unnamed Men at Whiteleaf Store 1

These men are sitting on the store porch when Ab and Ratliff drive past in The Hamlet; they may have been the ones who told Ab that "Pat Stamper was in Jefferson that day" (38).

2603 Unnamed Men at Whiteleaf Store 2

As Mink is being driven to jail in The Hamlet, they pass the Whiteleaf store. When the men who had been "squatting and spitting on the gallery stand suddenly up," the deputy sheriff remarks that "There are folks here too that act willing to believe their name is Houston for maybe ten or fifteen minutes anyway" (283).

2604 Unnamed Men of Frenchman's Bend

In The Hamlet there are always groups of men hanging around Frenchman's Bend's more public spaces, like Varner's various businesses or Mrs. Littlejohn's boarding house. Some members appear somewhat individualized, such as with the "man with the peach spray" (343) who discusses the horse auction and its consequences with a "second" and a "third" among the group at Varner's store, although each remains virtually indistinct, members of a communal group who interact with well-defined characters like Varner, Ratliff, Quick, Bookwright, Freeman and the various Snopeses.

2605 Unnamed Merchant|Installment People

This is "the merchant" in The Hamlet from whom Houston bought furniture on an installment plan for his new life with his new wife - though the character is unstable: a paragraph later the narrative refers to "the installment people" who don't want "to take the furniture back," as Houston requests, after that new wife dies (239). Presumably the merchant and the people are essentially the same.

2606 Unnamed Mother of Will Varner

In The Hamlet Will Varner mentions that his "mammy" once heard an old woman explain that the way a pregnant woman can make sure she has a girl is to "show her belly to the full moon" (339). "Mammy" often implies a black woman, but in this case it seems more likely that Will is talking about his own mother. (The word occurs in a passage thick with his rural vernacular: "I mind me when" "done married and moved," "passel of boys," etc.; 339.)

2607 Unnamed Mother-in-Law of Mink Snopes

In The Hamlet the mother of the woman who marries Mink Snopes died giving birth to her only child.

2608 Unnamed Negro Companion

This young black was Hoake McCarron's sole companion growing up. Many of Faulkner's wealthier white men had Negro companions and personal servants as boys; the way this kind of relationship plays out in The Hamlet is atypical, to say the least. When the boys are 6-8 years old, Hoake "conquers the negro with his fists in a fair fight" (150). Later he "pays the negro" at a fixed rate "for the privilege of whipping [him] . . . with a miniature riding crop" (151).

2609 Unnamed Enslaved Messenger

The Hamlet speculates that "thirty years ago," the people at the Old Frenchman's place learned "the news of Sumter" - that the Civil War had begun - from a "courier" who might have been "a neighbor's slave," riding up to the plantation on a mule that had been "taken out of the plow" (373).

2610 Unnamed Negro Farmhand 1

In The Hamlet this farmhand buys the buggy that was used by one of Eula's suitors and drives it through the village "a few times each year" (165).

2611 Unnamed Negro Field Hand

In The Hamlet Ratliff's revulsion at the idea of Eula Varner being married to Flem Snopes leads him to imagine what Flem's idea of sex is; the result is a disturbing image that probably tells us more about Ratliff than about Flem or anyone else: sex as a kind of business transaction with a "black brute from the field with the field sweat still drying on her" (181) who wants "a nickel's worth of lard" from the store (180).

2612 Unnamed Negro Fireman 1

In The Hamlet this man works at Varner's cotton gin, and helps Trumbull overhaul the machinery (65). (He is the kind of 'fireman' who stokes a fire rather than puts one out.)

2613 Unnamed Negro Fireman 2

This is the fireman at Quick's mill in The Hamlet who is told by another to "go to Mr Snopes at the store" to borrow money (78). (This is the kind of 'fireman' who stokes a fire rather than puts one out.)

2614 Unnamed Negro Fireman 3

This man in The Hamlet advises another fireman who wants to borrow money from Flem Snopes, though he doesn't seem to understand how much the interest Flem has been charging him for "two years" is costing him (78). (He is the kind of 'fireman' who stokes a fire rather than puts one out.)

2615 Unnamed Negro Mistress

This woman is the daughter of one of Jack Houston's father's renters. Jack has a relationship with her. She is "two or three years" his senior (228).

2616 Unnamed Father of Houston's Negro Mistress

This man is a tenant farmer who works land owned by Jack Houston's father. In The Hamlet Jack Houston engages in a relationship with his daughter (228).

2617 Unnamed Negro Shooting Victim

At a "bleak" train station he is passing through in The Hamlet, Labove witnesses a white man shooting this "negro" (138). Although the Negro seems to be dying, and tells the "white folks" trying to help him that "I awready been shot," when his clothes are pushed aside the bullet that hit him "rolls out . . . bloodless" (139).

2618 Unnamed Negro Tenants and Servants

This entry represents the two groups of Negroes who are connected with the Hoake family in The Hamlet: the "negro field hands" who work on the farm (149) and the "negro servants" who work inside the house, and with whom Alison Hoake McCarron leaves her nine-year-old boy when she goes to bring her husband's body home (150).

2619 Unnamed Neighbor of the Houstons

When Houston's father dies in The Hamlet, this neighbor makes an offer on the Houston family farm - which suggests he is wealthier than most of the small farmers in Frenchman's Bend.

2620 Unnamed Nephews and Nieces of Ratliff

When Mink is jailed in Jefferson in The Hamlet, Ratliff invites Mink's wife and two children to stay in the house owned by him and his sister. The two Snopes children are "dressed in cast-off garments of his [Ratliff's] nephews and nieces" (288) when their mother takes them to visit their father in jail.

2621 Unnamed Night Station Agent

This station agent in The Hamlet recalls seeing an unnamed drummer from Memphis "frightened and battered . . . in a pair of ruined ice cream pants" catch the early train south out of town (147-48).

2622 Unnamed Old Woman 3

According to Varner in The Hamlet, this "old woman" told his "mammy" that if "a woman showed her belly to the full moon," she would have "a gal" (339).

2623 Unnamed Oldest Nephew of Ratliff

In The Hamlet Ratliff shares a bed with his oldest nephew while Mink Snopes' family stays at his house in Jefferson. Ratliff "had given up his room to them" (288).

2624 Unnamed People at Train Station 2

This is the crowd at the "bleak" railroad station in The Hamlet where Labove sees a white man shoot a black man; it "scatters" as the shooting occurs, then forms a "crowd" around the Negro so dense that Labove has to "use his football tactics" to move through it. Some of them also "overpower and disarm" the white man (138).

2625 Unnamed People in Jefferson Alley

These people in The Hamlet watch Ab struggle with his mules behind McCaslin's hardware store (42-43).

2626 Unnamed People Traveling in Wagons

Like a number of crowds or groups of people in The Hamlet, the folks who ride various wagons on various roads in and around Frenchman's Bend cannot be individualized or broken up into smaller groups.

2627 Unnamed Someone 6

This "someone" in The Hamlet finds the buggy whip which either Eula Varner or Hoake McCarron lost when they were assaulted by the unnamed suitors (153).

2628 Unnamed Quadroon

The owner of the logging camp where Mink works in The Hamlet "lives openly" with a quadroon woman "most of whose teeth were gold" and who superintends the kitchen (262). (The term 'quadroon' appears in a lot of American literature before the Civil Rights movement; it was used to label a person with three white and one black grandparents. Faulkner scholarship uses the term to identify the woman in Absalom, Absalom! with whom Charles Bon has a child, but we identify her in this index as Mrs. Charles Bon.)

2629 Unnamed Relatives of Lump Snopes

Lump Snopes' mother in The Hamlet was one "of a moil of sisters and brothers" (218). 'Moil' is an archaic term that can mean 'confusion,' so the sense of this is that she was one of many children; this reading is confirmed when the narrator notes that her father was "a congenital failure" who "begot . . . more children whom he could not quite feed" (218).

2630 Unnamed Remote Kinswoman

In The Hamlet the orphaned Lucy Pate was raised by this remote relation; she imbued Lucy with the "domestic skill" of a "country heritage" and the values of "constancy and devotion" (227).

2631 Unnamed Sawmill Owners and Workers

In The Hamlet these "people" are obliquely evoked when the narrator says that the "mounds of rotting sawdust" marking the sites of the sawmills that once turned all the trees around Frenchman's Bend into lumber are the "monuments of a people's heedless greed" (190).

2632 Unnamed Sister of Ratliff

In The Hamlet Ratliff's widowed sister keeps house for him in Jefferson. Neither her first nor her married name is mentioned. While there is little to define her physical appearance, Faulkner describes her "mute and outraged righteousness" when she is forced to live with Mink Snopes' wife and her two children (286). She is offended that Ratliff permits Mink's wife to do some of the housework (287).

2633 Unnamed Student in Frenchman's Bend

In The Hamlet this Frenchman's Bend boy chants a "playground doggerel" insult at Jack Houston (230).

2634 Unnamed Students in Frenchman's Bend

This entry represents the children of Frenchman's Bend in The Hamlet who attend the local school at various times, from Reconstruction to the novel's present day. According to the narrator, these boys and girls walk "back and forth in all weathers" (108) to the community schoolhouse. Many of these schoolchildren have no use for the institution at all, especially for their alcoholic professor. When Labove takes over the school, he instills discipline among the students and has a number of the "older boys" (124) build a basketball court.

2635 Unnamed School Teacher 2

In The Hamlet the "old man" who runs the Frenchman's Bend school before Labove is referred to only as "the Professor" (113). "Bibulous by nature," as an educator he has no control over the classroom and gets no respect from the students (113).

2636 Unnamed Indebted Tenant Farmers

The tenant farmers on Varner's properties in The Hamlet are described as "patient earth-reeking men" who meet with their landlord each year after they have gathered the crop they raised on his land "to accept almost without question whatever Varner should compute he owed them for their year's work" (67).

2637 Unnamed Trainman 1

This trainman in The Hamlet appears in the scene of the shooting at the "bleak" station (138); after witnessing it, he has to rush to catch the departing train.

2638 Unnamed Traveling Tradesmen

Throughout The Hamlet there is a steady flow of tradesmen, drummers, farmers, and other wayfarers who stay at Mrs. Littlejohn's. This entry represents the majority of them, who are not individualized in any way.

2639 Unnamed Two Local Suitors

These are the two young men, among the larger group of young men in The Hamlet who court Eula Varner, who flee when it is discovered that she is pregnant. The narrative confers on them a particularly Faulknerian - which is to say, negatively defined - distinction: "By fleeing too [along with McCarron, who actually had sex with Eula], they put in a final and despairing bid for . . . the glorious shame of the ruin they did not do" (156).

2640 Unnamed Two Officers

The "two officers" mentioned in The Hamlet as accompanying Mink in his courtroom appearances are probably deputy sheriffs, but the novel uses the term "officers" to name them (287, 367).

2641 Unnamed University of Mississippi Students 2

The University of Mississippi opened in 1848, and became co-educational in 1882. According to The Hamlet, the male and female students who are there with Labove generally ignore him.

2642 Unnamed Woman Who Shot McCarron

In The Hamlet, a few days after Hoake McCarron's father is "shot in a gambling house," a rumor arises that "a woman had shot him" (150). No evidence is given to support the rumor, but if it's true, then the context makes it likely that she is a prostitute.