Back in the Hills (Location Key)


In the Yoknapatawpha fictions, the term 'hill country' usually means the area east of Jefferson. The wealthy planters occupy the rich soil in the flat lands and river bottoms that are often closer to town, but the land in the hills is poorer and harder to work, and the people who live there - the 'country people' or 'hill folk' - often struggle for subsistence. There are lots of what Digital Yoknapatawpha terms Locations in this area, but this Location represents the specific place "back in the hills," as Ratliff puts it in The Hamlet, that Ab Snopes retreats to after he was whipped - and perhaps worse - by Bayard Sartoris, Uncle Buck McCaslin and Ringo. The whipping occurs The Unvanquished (175), which also describes Ab's cabin as "back in the hills" (159), but when in The Hamlet Ratliff says Ab "skulks back in the hills," it sounds less like Ab went home and more like he sought to hide in the less cultivated, wilder parts of that area. He has reasons to hide: the shame of being whipped by a Negro, and his criminal connection with Grumby and his gang of outlaws; more than one description of the hill culture in the fictions notes that sheriffs are afraid to go into that part of the county. (See the entries for Beat Four Boundary Line, Caves in the Hills, Ike Snopes' Retreat, and Mrs. Odlethrop's House; see also Anselm Holland's Cabin.)

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Back in the Hills
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Back in the Hills

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