Montgomery Ward Snopes

Character Key Number: 
233
Display Name: 
Montgomery Ward Snopes
Sort Name: 
Snopes, Montgomery Ward
Parent Character Key: 
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 
Yes
Biography: 

Montgomery Ward, the son of I.O. and his first wife, is among the first Snopeses Faulkner ever created. He doesn't appear in Flags in the Dust but is mentioned there when Horace Benbow's neighbor asks him about "your Snopes" (166). After faking a heart condition to evade the draft, Monty had accompanied Horace Benbow to World War I as a non-combatant working with the Y.M.C.A. With "fine cold distaste," Horace calls him a "parasite" but refuses to say any more about him (167). Faulkner had a lot more to say, though. Montgomery Ward is an unnamed six-month-old child in Frenchman's Bend in The Hamlet, but has quite a career in the second two volumes of the Snopes trilogy. According to The Town, while he was in France with Benbow and the Y.M.C.A. he found a non-regulation way to serve the troops, opening up a couple brothels. From France he brought a collection of pornographic photos to Jefferson and opened the "Atelier Monty," secretly serving a large clientele of men from Yoknapatawpha and beyond while posing as a photographic studio. When he is caught, he spends time in prison where, at Flem's behest, he makes sure their cousin Mink stays behind bars by playing a demeaning trick on him. That story is told in The Mansion, where Monty actually gets to narrate a chapter in his own voice, the only Snopes given that privilege in the canon. After his release, in what must be considered a comment on all the time Faulkner himself worked in the Hollywood, Monty is last seen working in Hollywood for the film industry.