Christian's Drugstore (Location Key)


In the later novels The Town and The Mansion Faulkner calls Jefferson's main or only drugstore 'Christian's,' but in the short story "Uncle Willy," where both Willy Christian and his drugstore make their earliest appearance in the fictions, Christian's cannot be the only pharmacy in town, since "nobody let [Willy] fill a prescription" (226), his customers do not include the more affluent "town trade" (233), and the store is closed and locked for several long periods of time. But when the story says he "turned sharp off the square" after leaving his store (234), it implies it is located at the center of town. Willy's father "started the business in eighteen-fifty-something" (226), which would make it one of the oldest businesses in Jefferson. Under Willy's management, however, it has become so seedy that his only customers are "country people" and Negroes (226). Both the windows and the soda fountain where the town's boys come for free ice cream are conspicuously dirty, and the "prescription case" seems only to be used by Willy himself, who keeps his morphine and syringe there (226). Later he supplies his addiction to alcohol from the store. In Mississippi at the time of the story, drugstores and doctors were allowed to stock and dispense alcohol for medicinal purposes; otherwise alcohol was prohibited throughout the state. (Faulkner's later references to 'Christian's Drugstore' are included in this index in the entry for 'Jefferson Drugstore.')

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