Mister Ernest

Character Key Number: 
Display Name: 
Mister Ernest
Sort Name: 
Ernest, Mister
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 

According to the twelve-year-old narrator of "Race at Morning" Mister Ernest "wasn't jest a planter; he was a farmer" too - which means he worked on his land along with "his hands and tenants" (308). He raises "cotton and oats and beans and hay" (309) at Van Dorn, his estate somewhere close to the wilderness in which the hunt takes place. A widower, he adopts the unnamed narrator when the child's parents - tenant farmers on his land - abandon him. Mister Ernest goes deer hunting each November with a party of men from Yoknapatawpha. Although he also hunts from horseback, Mister Ernest is likely somewhat below the social stature of Roth Edmonds. Mister Ernest and the narrator always stay an extra day at the hunting camp after the other men leave to partake of the food and whiskey the other hunters leave at the camp. Mister Ernest's plan that his adopted son will start school rather than participate in the next November hunt indicates his understanding of historical forces and social changes that make a formal education more necessary than in the past.

Linked Characters