Flem Snopes' Bungalow (Location Key)


In between the sharecropper's cabin Flem Snopes was born in and the bank president's mansion he dies in is this "new little bungalow on the edge of town" ("Centaur in Brass," 168). A 'bungalow' is a low house, usually just one story, and apparently in Faulkner's mind can be found in various parts of town and occupied by people of widely different social classes. In Requiem for a Nun, for example, Temple Drake Stevens refers to the residence she and her husband live in as "a new bungalow on the right [i.e. fashionable] street" (124). Flem's bungalow, on the other hand, is in an poor neighborhood where half the little houses are "inhabited by Negroes," and "scrapped automobiles and tin cans" litter the yards and ditches (168). In "Centaur" and The Mansion Flem's bungalow is just mentioned, but it's an important site in The Town. He lives there with his wife Eula and daughter Linda. It's "a small rented house in a back street near the edge of town" (9). Behind it is it is a big ditch where Gowan hides "every afternoon for almost a week" watching to see if his Uncle Gavin is spying on Mrs. Snopes (55). The house itself has a "flimsy porch" or "gallery" on which Flem sits and keeps an eye on the water tank after resigning his post at the power plant (30, 31). Referred to as "Mrs. Snopes's house" and "Linda's house" by various narrators, Chick Mallison speculates that Flem must have bought it after he became vice president of the bank "because they had begun to fix it up. It was painted now and Mrs. Snopes I reckon had had the wistaria arbor in the side yard fixed up" and hung the hammock under it (198). When Gavin Stevens visits Eula he learns that Flem indeed purchased the house four years previously. It was also Flem who acquired the furnishings from a store in Memphis, paying the owner's wife to select the pieces. According to Gavin, the house is decorated to be a reproduction of a photograph in "say Town and Country labeled American Interior" (231): "the coffee, the low table, the two intimate chairs" that Gavin views as an "assault not on the glands nor even just the stomach but on the civilised soul which believes it thirsts to be civilised" (231).

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