The People

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The People
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The People
Multi Gender Group
Indian Tribal Member

The narrator uses the phrase "the People" to describe the tribe to which he and the other Indian characters in the story belong, as in this sentence: "The People all lived in the Plantation now" (361). He does not explicitly say they are Chickasaws, the Indians who inhabit Yoknapatawpha in most of Faulkner's references to the indigenous population, but that they are part of the Chickasaw nation can be inferred from his reference to David Colbert as "the chief Man of all the Chickasaws in our section" (365). As a group "the People" are further particularized as the "girls and women" who fetch water from the spring and bathe in the river (362), "the young men and the girls and the older women" (363) who love Ikkemotubbe, and "the young men and old men," the "bachelors and widowers too," and others, who fall under the spell of Herman Basket's sister (362). The People always eagerly await the arrival of the steamboat up the river, and lament its departure, but their main role in the story is as spectators to the competition between Ikkemotubbe and David Hogganbeck; they do not seem to take sides, even though one of the competitors is a white man. On the other hand, Ikkemotubbe may be using the phrase to refer to Indians in general, as a racial and ethnic group distinct from the white people who live in "America" (361), when he says: "But white men and the People fight differently" (371).

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