Compson Inset: Kitchen (Location Key)


As was once typical in the homes of white southerners with Negro slaves or servants, the Compsons' kitchen is almost a separate structure: only one story high and built directly out from the back of the main house. From the slave-owners' or white employers' point of view, this design helped keep the heat and odor of cooking out of the 'big house,' and served as kind of fire protection for it. At the same time provided the black slaves or servants with a place indoors where they could meet away from white eyes and talk with each other. Throughout the Yoknapatawpha fictions, Faulkner sets scenes with blacks in kitchens far more often than in fields. In The Sound and the Fury the kitchen is presided over by Dilsey, who cooks and bakes on the big wood-burning stove. Atypical, culturally, is the presence of Benjy in the kitchen (as in the African American church as well), but the fact that he eats there rather than in the dining room can be attributed to his mother's attitude toward his handicap. The fact that Dilsey takes such good care of him there can be attributed to her goodness.

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Compson Inset: Kitchen
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Compson Inset: Kitchen