Kitchen at MacCallum Place in Flags in the Dust (Location)

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MacCallums' Kitchen
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Other Structure
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Context (text, as interpreted)

The kitchen where Mandy cooks and the MacCallums eat is, as is the case in many of the larger houses in Jefferson and Yoknapatawpha, in "a separate building" from the main house (336). This common southern design feature - a detached or semi-detached kitchen - helped keep the heat and odor of cooking out of the 'big house' and served as a low-tech form of fire prevention: if the kitchen caught fire it was less likely to burn the whole house down. At the same time this arrangement provided the white family's black servants with a place indoors where they could meet - as when Bayard first enters this kitchen and finds "two negro men and a half-grown boy" sitting "behind the stove," talking with Mandy, 336). What is anomalous about the arrangement at the MacCallums is the fact that the white family eats in the kitchen too, rather than in a dining room in the main house; this is one way the novel distinguishes the yeoman MacCallums from aristocratic families like the Sartorises and Benbows. There is a "disused shed behind the kitchen" which Buddy uses as a kennel for the possums he captures (338).

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