Jody Varner

Character Key Number: 
Display Name: 
Jody Varner
Sort Name: 
Varner, Jody
Parent Character Key: 
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 

Jody Varner appears in seven different fictions, as the manager of Varner's Store and the brother of Eula Varner. In both those roles he is not a prepossessing figure. It's always clear that his father Will is the owner of the store; the most original thing Jody does during his tenure is to hire Flem Snopes as a clerk - though that turns out to be his biggest mistake. The narrator of "Spotted Horses" predicts at the time that in ten years, "it would be Jody clerking for Flem Snopes" (166); it doesn't take Flem nearly that long to displace him, though Jody remains the nominal manager. And as Eula's older brother, his furious attempts to control her rampant sexuality have absolutely no effect. In a passage written in Faulkner's high style, The Hamlet predicts that Jody will never marry: "so that, looking at him you saw, beyond the flabbiness and the obscuring bulk, the perennial and immortal Best Man, the apotheosis of the masculine Singular" (8). But three hundred plus pages later the novel looks three decades into the future to describe the woman whom Jody will marry when he's 65. That story remains untold. In the stories where Jody does appear, as a Varner, and from the vantage of the store that is at the center of the community, he plays a significant role in the ecology of Frenchman's Bend.