Kentucky (Location Key)


Although Kentucky did not secede from the Union during the Civil War, it was a slave-holding state, and the Ohio River separating Kentucky from Ohio was often employed like the Mason-Dixon Line, as a way to distinguish 'the South' from 'the North.' Presumably that is the context for Jason's sarcastic and racist remark in The Sound and the Fury when he echoes what he assumes Northerners say about Negroes: "Get them ahead, what I say. Get them so far ahead you cant find one south of Louisville with a blood hound" (231). Louisville is a Kentucky city on the Ohio River. Kentucky comes up much more frequently in Quentin's section of that novel, because it is the place where Gerald Bland - Quentin's southern antithesis, the Fortinbras to his Hamlet - and his mother are from; from what we learn, the Blands also live on an old plantation, but presumably a more prosperous one than the Compson place. Three of Quentin and Jason's ancestors briefly live in Kentucky, in a frontier town called "Harrodsburg" in the "Appendix" that Faulkner wrote for the novel. "Harrodsburg" is the modern name for Harrodstown, a frontier community in north central Kentucky originally settled by James Harrod in 1774; it is not far from the settlement that "a neighbor named Boon or Boone" had "already established" (326); Daniel Boone founded Fort Boonesborough as one of the first white settlements west of the Appalachians in 1775, two decades before Kentucky became a state and a generation or two before Jason Lycurgus Compson, Quentin's great-great-grandfather, relocated from Kentucky to the newer frontier in northeastern Mississippi. By the middle of the 19th century Kentucky was famous for the quality of its race horses, which is why in "Fool about a Horse" Pap - a failed horse-trader - tries to claim that his new horse "come from Kentucky" too (122).

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