Benbow Sartoris

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Benbow Sartoris
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Sartoris, Benbow
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The country boy who narrates "Shall Not Perish" notes that Sartorises "still lived in our county" in 1942 (112). In the collected fictions, however, there is only one Sartoris left by that time, the son of Bayard Sartoris III and Narcissa Benbow who was born on the same day his father died in 1920, at the end of Flags in the Dust, and given his name as his mother's attempt to avoid the apparent curse on the various Bayards and Johns in the Sartoris line of succession. Given Faulkner's imaginative investment in the Sartoris family (they appear in 26 stories and novels, more than any other recurring family), after this first novel he pays surprising little attention to the boy. He re-appears at age ten in Sanctuary and "There Was a Queen." He is briefly mentioned in three other texts, including "Knight's Gambit," which reports that he has been sent to England on "something hush hush" for the war effort in World War II (251), keeping alive the Sartoris tradition of serving in the military. Even the later fictions, however, are equally secretive about the fate of the Sartorises as a family.