McKinley Smith's House (Location Key)


McKinley and Essie Smith live in Eula Acres, the post-World-War-II housing development constructed by Flem Snopes on the site of the Compson plantation. It is the only house among the development's rows of "small brightly painted pristinely new hutches as identical (and about as permanent) as squares of gingerbread or teacakes" that is singled out in The Mansion (366). It's not clear if all the other houses are mass produced, but Smith, a veteran of the war, builds this house himself, with occasional help from "one professional carpenter," on a site picked out by his fiancee Essie Meadowfill "not even very far from where she had lived most of her life" (374). Faulkner admires both McKinley and Essie, and obviously exempts this residence from his contempt for the whole idea of a housing development, but it's not clear why he makes this one exception. Smith's plans for the house include "millwork and trim which only the expert carpenter could do" (375) - perhaps he is persuaded by the individualism expressed in these details. (See also the entry for Eula Acres in this index.)

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McKinley Smith's House

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