Major Beat Four Families

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Major Beat Four Families
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Major Beat Four Families
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Intruder in the Dust refers often to both the extended Gowrie clan and the larger white population of Beat Four as a specific sociological entity. The phrase "Gowries and Ingrums and Workitts" identifies the three largest familial groups in that area of Yoknapatawpha (28), though members of these families have intermarried repeatedly over the generations too. (Twice the novel adds "Frasers" to this list of names, 145, 146; another time it adds "McCallums," 33). All these families share a common origin in the Scottish highlands - "Ingrum used to be Ingraham and Workitt used to be Urquhart" before their ancestors came to America (145) - which helps explain why they chose to live in the hilliest part of the county. The narrator sums them up as "a connection of brawlers and farmers and foxhunters and stock- and timber-traders" as well as "whiskeymakers" who are known for their racism, violence, group loyalty and resistance to outsiders (35). The rest of the county expects "them Beat Four folks" to waste no time lynching the black man accused of shooting one of them in the back (46).