Electric Corn Mill (Location Key)


When Stevens presents his petition for Mink's parole in The Mansion, the foreman of the grand jury that is convened in Jefferson is described as a man who "runs a small electric-driven corn-mill" (407). This is in the late 1940s, but no other details are given - neither the size nor location of the mill, for example - so we can't be sure what this mill tells us about progress in northern Mississippi. But assuming it is on an electric grid rather than battery operated, and in or near the hill country where Yoknapatawpha's corn is typically grown (much of it for making moonshine whiskey), this could be Faulkner's indirect way of acknowledging the success of the New Deal's Tennessee Valley Authority in bringing electricity to the rural south. The town of Jefferson, of course, has a power plant that provides electricity to the townspeople by the beginning of the 20th century, but the mills in most of the previous fictions are powered by water or steam.

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