Jackson, Mississippi (Location Key)


Jackson, named for President Andrew Jackson, is the capitol of Mississippi. Faulkner re-tells a good bit of its history from 1821 to the 'present' (i.e. 1950) in the 10-page prose introductory to Act II of Requiem for a Nun. His narrative relies on factual accounts, but he relates the story with a good deal of facetiousness that is his own, as when he calls the capitol building, a source of pride to many Mississippians, "this gilded pustule" (79). The same irreverence shapes the way Jackson figures in several of the other 7 texts that mention it, especially the ones that mention it in its political context as the seat of government. It is where Senator Clarence Snopes serves in Sanctuary, "By the People" and The Mansion; the narrator of the short story refers to the "hog trough" at which Snopes and his colleagues enrich themselves (132). Jackson is also where Temple Drake is from, and where her father is a judge; at one of the tense moments during her ordeal at the Old Frenchman Place in Sanctuary, she thinks of "her father sitting on the porch at home, his feet on the rail, watching a negro mow the lawn" (51). Nat Beauchamp visits the city in "A Point of Law" (220) though when Faulkner revised that story into the "Fire and the Hearth" chapter of Go Down, Moses he changed "Jackson" to "Vicksburg," another city in Mississippi (68). Jackson is also the location of the State Asylum to which Benjy Compson and Darl Bundren are committed, and to which, according to his lawyer in The Mansion, Mink Snopes should have been sent. In the first two novels, going "to Jackson" is another way to say being committed to a mental institution.

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Jackson, Mississippi