Jefferson White Neighborhood (Location Key)


Although according to Faulkner's 1936 map of Yoknapatawpha, the population of the county is about two-thirds black, most of the residential areas in Jefferson are white - though in a number of cases the Negro servants of upper class or older white families live in cabins behind their employers' houses. But if "the homes of white people" (114) and "the houses of white people" (115) - to quote Light in August - can be found in many parts of town, this 'White Neighborhood' Location refers to the part of town that is specifically distinguished from the 'Negro district' that is called Freedman Town, among other names. This 'White Neighborhood' is described in two texts. Light in August is the first of them: after Joe Christmas walks at night through the Negro section, he climbs a slope into this white neighborhood. He notes the "chairs upon the lawn" and "verandas" where "white faces" can be seen (115). "Knight's Gambit" also juxtaposes the Negro and the white parts of town as Charles Mallison returns to Jefferson by train. After seeing the Negroes' cabins, he sees "the houses of white people" (253). As in the earlier novel, the neighborhood is between the Square and the railroad tracks, but while the economic status of the white people Joe Christmas walks past isn't clear, the neighborhood Charles is looking at is definitely lower class: these white people's houses are "no larger than the Negro ones" - but, he immediately adds, these "houses" are "never cabins"; calling them that would mean "you'd probably have a fight on your hands" (253). For the residents, the implication is that their houses are superior to the Negroes' cabins. In the rest of its description, the narrative also defines these "houses," and the folks who live in them, in the context of the blacks who live nearby - but with a very different implication: the white's houses are "painted, or at least once-painted, the main difference being that they wouldn't be quite so clean inside" as the Negroes' cabins (253).

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Jefferson White Neighborhood
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Jefferson White Neighborhood