Joe Christmas' Fifteen-Year Street (Location Key)


This is an aggregate Location. At the end of his affair with Bobbie Allen in Light in August, Joe Christmas leaves his home and "entered the street which was to run for fifteen years" (223). In the course of his travels, "the thousand streets ran as one street" (223), which we have chosen to plot on the "World" map (because although it seems Joe mostly travels around the U.S, he also gets into Mexico) but situated in the center of the United States as a kind of representative rather than exact Location for what happens to Joe during those years of his life. The street is metaphorical, the narrative's way of summing up all of the traveling Joe does between the time he strikes McEachern and the time he arrives in Yoknapatawpha, and it must be measured in years as well as thousands of miles. Among the more specific places mentioned are, in the order the narrator names them, Oklahoma, Missouri, Chicago, Detroit, Mexico, Mississippi. Constants on this "street" are jails, brothels, working class neighborhoods, fields, farms: "he was in turn laborer, miner, prospector, gambling tout; he enlisted in the army, served four months and deserted and was never caught" (224).

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Joe Christmas' Fifteen-Year Street
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Joe Christmas' Fifteen-Year Street