Jefferson Boarding House (Location Key)


There are a number of different boarding houses mentioned in the fictions. Most can be identified by the owner's or landlady's name - the Beard hotel, the Rouncewell boarding house, the Snopes hotel, and so on - but this entry represents three that cannot be so identified. The Jefferson boarding house where the Varners stay in The Hamlet during the four days that spend in town during the county fair is only mentioned in the novel. This is also the case with the unidentified "boardinghouse" where Gavin Stevens lives in "Go Down, Moses" (259, 356). On the other hand, the one "small cramped fireless rented room in a Jefferson boarding-house" where Ike McCaslin lives before his marriage in the novel Go Down, Moses is the site of a major event in Ike's life (285). Like the other boarding houses, it serves a male clientele: "petit juries . . . during court terms and itinerant horse- and mule-traders" (285). But apparently the unnamed landlady lets Ike's new wife join him there while the house they will eventually move to is built. In any case, this unnamed wife shares this "rented cubicle in back-street stock-traders' boarding-house" with him (334), and for a while love makes it "topless and floorless in glory for him" (296) - until his wife's venality turns it into the site of his fall, his paradise "lost" (299).

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Jefferson Boarding House
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Jefferson Boarding House