Jefferson Gas Station (Location Key)


This may be the second gas station in Jefferson. The first is the primitive one created around 1905 when the oil company, according to The Reivers, responded to the new presence of automobiles on American roads by adding "a special tank of gasoline, with a pump," to its oil tanks by the railroad tracks (48). The "fillingstation" in Sanctuary was specifically built to service cars (123). The novel also calls it a "garage," and describes how its pump is covered by an "arcade" (115). That novel tells us exactly where it stands in Jefferson: across the street from the jail, on the corner at the end of the road on which the Benbow house stands. The location of the "filling station" (305) that appears in The Sound and the Fury is not provided, though we assume Faulkner is thinking of the same one in both novels. The fact that Jason Compson stops there on Easter morning to get his gas tank and one of his tires filled before setting off to try to recover the money that he'd been hoarding as his means of salvation allows us to locate it thematically and symbolically in ironic opposition to the church that Dilsey is attending at the same moment, where she is 'filled' with what the narrative calls "the annealment and the blood of the remembered Lamb" (297). This gas station, that is, measures both progress - and loss. As a modern man, Jason lives in a material world. He can have air in his tire, but nothing eternal to satisfy the needs of his spirit.

Display Name: 
Jefferson Gas Station
Sort Name: 
Jefferson Gas Station