Lucas Beauchamp's Cabin in Intruder in the Dust (Location)

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Lucas Beauchamp's Place
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Context (text, as interpreted)

In Go Down, Moses, the first novel in which Lucas Beauchamp appears, he lives in one of the "servant and tenant" cabins on the Edmunds place (8). But in this novel he owns both his house and the ten acres of land around it. The property was deeded to him by Carothers Edmunds' father, in recognition of the fact that Lucas is the (illegitimate, bi-racial) grandson of the same patriarch, the white planter Carothers McCaslin, whom the Edmunds family descends from. Lucas' land is described as an "oblong of earth set forever in the middle of a two thousand acre plantation like a postage stamp in the center of an envelop" (8), and the walk up the "half gully and half road" that mounts to his cabin is characterized with adjectives that set Lucas as well as his property apart from Yoknapatawpha's conventional racial patterns: "solitary independent and intractable too" (8). The narrative equivocates about what to call his home, using the phrase "the house, the cabin" when Chick first sees it (8), and the contradictory note of poverty and pride it strikes obviously confuses the twelve-year-old son of an old white family. The adjective "paintless" is used seven times in its description (8, 9), but the yard is tidy and the secondhand furnishings inside are arranged with an air of dignity. In Go Down, Moses the symbolic center of Lucas' home is the undying fire in the hearth that he first lit when he brought his wife Molly into the cabin; the narrative of Intruder in the Dust seems to allude to that when Chick almost remembers something the first time he sees the fireplace (10, 14). But in this novel the centerpiece of the home is the large portrait photo of Lucas and Molly in their finest clothes set in a frame of "gold-painted wood on a gold-painted easel" (10). Readers of Faulkner saw a similarly formal photograph in the upper-class home of Emily Grierson, in "A Rose for Emily." Chick is confused to find such an object in a 'Negro cabin,' even more so because Molly's hair is uncovered in the picture, and he's never seen a black woman who wasn't wearing a "headrag" (14).

Site of Event
Negro-occupied Cabin