Gavin Stevens

Character Key: 
Display Name: 
Gavin Stevens
Sort Name: 
Stevens, Gavin
Parent: 
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Major
Vitality: 
Alive
Family: 
Stevens
Family (new): 
Occupation: 
Administrative
Specific Job: 
County Attorney
Narrator: 
First Person
Biography: 

Gavin Stevens is one of Faulkner's most frequently-used characters, appearing in 16 different fictions - often as a major character. He is descended from an old Yoknapatawpha family and is highly educated, with an M.A. from Harvard, a Ph.D. from Heidelberg and a J.D. from the University of Mississippi. He served in France as a non-combatant in World War I with the "American Field Service . . . in '16 and '17," and then, after America's entrance into the war, as "a Y.M.C.A. secretary" (200). A major narrative element in The Town is his romantic obsession with Flem Snopes' wife Eula; that is followed in The Mansion with his relationship, both chivalric and avuncular, with Eula's daughter Linda. In both cases, his attraction to the women cannot be dissociated from his repugnance at Flem. He himself sees his role as rescuing Linda from what he calls "Snopesism: a force and power . . . stout and evil" (152). As County Attorney, he feels a similar desire to protect Jefferson from the Snopeses. He is portrayed as an erudite perpetual bachelor with a paternalistic attitude to younger women, whom he seeks to educate and instruct. He later marries Melisandre Backus. He is one of the main narrators of The Mansion.

Social Status: 
has influential social contacts (family, business, political)
Individual or Group: 
Individual
Character changes class in this text: 

digyok:node/character/14509