Jefferson Department Store (Location Key)


Bringing together consumer goods that had previously been purchased in more specialized shops, department stores began appearing in the U.S. in the late 19th century. The one in Jefferson is described in Flags in the Dust as "newly-opened" in 1919 (317), and in that context can be seen as another symptom (like the character of the young woman who is encountered in front of it) of modern change in the aftermath of World War I. At the other end of Faulkner's career, in The Town, the town's department store is mentioned again; it has large plate-glass windows displaying merchandise, is big enough that it has a "luggage department" (210), and is also given a name - "Wildermark's" (208). Since neither a toy store nor a clothing store is ever specifically mentioned in the Yoknapatawpha fictions, we assume that this department store is also where Emily buys "a complete outfit of men's clothing, including a nightshirt" (127), Mrs. Gant buys her daughter Zilphia a "miniature cook stove" (372), and the salesman from Memphis in "Gold Is Not Always" buys the new "khaki pants . . . still showing the creases where they had been folded on the store's shelf" (233).

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Jefferson Department Store
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Jefferson Department Store