Burden Graveyard (Location Key)

Code: 
480
Description: 

Joanna Burden's family in Light in August lies buried is a hidden graveyard "on a cedar knoll in the pasture a half mile from the house" (248). Her father Nathaniel created it when he buried her half-brother and grandfather there after they were killed by Colonel John Sartoris, keeping the existence of the graveyard a secret to prevent the white men of Jefferson from disturbing their bodies. When Joanna is four, Nathaniel takes her to this grove. Although she didn't know "what was in there," she doesn't want to enter it (252). There, standing beside the graves of her grandfather, brother, and mother (as well as Juana, Nathaniel's first wife, for whom she is named), her father tells her that she cannot escape "the white race's doom and curse for its sins" (252).

Cemetery Label: 
Burden Graveyard
Cemetery Description: 

Like many other families in Yoknapatawpha, the Burdens have their own "burying ground" (Light in August, 249), and like most such sites, it is "on a cedar knoll" some distance from the house (248). But it is unique in that the graves there are hidden, unmarked, unmounded and deliberately covered over with "brush and things" (249). Joanna Burden's father Nathaniel created it when he buried her half-brother and grandfather, both named Calvin; they were killed by Colonel John Sartoris "over a question of negro voting" (248), and Nathaniel hid their graves to prevent the white men of Jefferson from digging up and perhaps mutilating their bodies. When Joanna is four, Nathaniel takes her to this grove. Although she didn't know "what was in there," she doesn't want to enter it (252). There, standing among the graves of her grandfather, brother, and mother (as well as Juana, Nathaniel's first wife, for whom she is named), her father tells her that she cannot escape either the "shadow" of the "negro" (253) or "the white race's doom and curse for its sins" (252).

Occupants: Calvin Burden I, Calvin Burden II, Juana Burden, Mrs. Burden II, Nathaniel Burden.

Authority : 
Context (text, as interpreted)
Cemetery X: 
1025
Cemetery Y: 
798
Display Type: 
cemeteries
Display Name: 
Burden Graveyard
Sort Name: 
Burden Graveyard
Region: 
NW

Linked Locations

digyok:node/location_key/4988