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In both "By the People" and The Mansion Devries is the good man from an (invented) county east of Yoknapatawpha who challenges Clarence Snopes in a political race for Congress; in the story it's the 1952 election, while for the novel Faulkner moves it back to 1946. That change necessitates a revision in his biography. In "By the People" Devries has been a soldier "in that decade between 1942 and 1952" (133), and comes back from fighting in Korea with a chest full of medals, including "the top one" (134) - i.e. the Congressional Medal of Honor - and a "mechanical leg" (136). As a officer in both World War II and the Korean War, he served with great heroism in command of "Negro troops" (134); the narrative treats his war record as extremely admirable, but Snopes has no trouble convincing the racists in the electorate that Devries is "a lover of Negroes and hence subversive to our entire way of life" (136). In The Mansion Devries is promoted to "Colonel" (342) and all the combat Devries has seen occurs in the Pacific theater during World War II. Other than that difference, however, his sterling character and his lack of racial prejudice - as well as the "human baseness" (342) these qualities bring out in Snopes and at least a large part of the electorate - are the same in both texts.

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