Jefferson Parlors (Location Key)


"By the People" refers to the generic "parlor" where Ratliff sells sewing machines to "the doctor's or lawyer's or merchant's or banker's wife" (86). Our map of the story locates this parlor on the site of the Benbow house in other fictions, but there's no reason to think that the narrator of "By the People" or Faulkner himself has any one particular parlor or wife or gathering in mind. On the other hand, the occupations of the husbands here, as well as the decor of the parlor as the narrator describes it - "the antimacassars and bell-domed wax flowers and synthetic sea shells" (86) - suggest a wealthy and traditional neighborhood.

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