Henry MacCallum

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Henry MacCallum
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MacCallum, Henry
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Henry is the second of Virginius MacCallum's six sons in Flags in the Dust and the only one who doesn't appear with the other five in "The Tall Men." In view of that absence, the descriptions of his character in the novel in which he does appear are significant. He is "squat" and "slightly tubby," with "something domestic, womanish" about him (335). Unlike his brothers, he spends "most of the time" inside: he superintends the kitchen, is "a better cook" than the black woman who is the family's official cook, and is locally famous for the quality of his homemade whiskey (335). Given his brothers' names - Lee, Jackson, Stuart and Raphael Semmes all pay homage to prominent Confederate military heroes - it's possible that Henry is named after Henry Clay, the antebellum Kentucky Senator. Based on the quality of Henry's moonshine in Flags, we assume that Ratliff's reference to "some of McCallum's best" when he offers a bottle to Ab Snopes in The Hamlet is Faulkner's only other mention of him (54). (The Hamlet is the first text in which Faulkner changes the spelling of MacCallum to McCallum.)