Logging Company Railroad (Location Key)


Just as the theme of environmental destruction becomes more prominent in Faulkner's hunting fictions between "A Bear Hunt" and Go Down, Moses, so does the textual presence of the railroad train that runs through the big woods. "A Bear Hunt" refers to it as a "log train" (187). In "Lion" Quentin calls it "the dummy line" (69). In Moses it's called a "spur-line" (306). But by any name this is a temporary set of railroad tracks which the timber company lays down through the woods to make it easier to haul the cut trees out of the woods and to the sawmill. In the first story the hunters set up their stands "along the log-line levee" (69), which presumably is an earthen dyke that has been built to keep the tracks from being flooded when the river rises, though it could instead be the raised and flattened bed on which the track itself runs (69). In both the other two stories two of the hunters - Quentin and Boon in "Lion," Ike and Boon in Moses - use the train to travel from the hunting camp to the main railroad line, which takes them to Memphis. In the novel, in final section of "The Bear," Ike reflects at length on the history of this line, how "harmless" it seemed when it was first built through the "unaxed wilderness" (304) - "the diminutive locomotive and its shrill peanut-parcher whistle" (304) - and how ominous it seems as the company prepares to carry almost the entire woods away on it.

Display Name: 
Logging Company Railroad
Sort Name: 
Logging Company Railroad