Rider and Mannie's Cabin (Location Key)


Rider, the protagonist of "Pantaloon in Black," rents a cabin on the McCaslin plantation from Carothers Edmonds. It is one of a number of cabins, "the last one in the lane" that runs through what had once been the slave quarters and is now where the plantation's Negro sharecroppers live, although Rider is not one of them but a worker at a nearby sawmill. After his marriage to Mannie, Rider does a lot to improve the cabin, and on their wedding night he "builds a fire on the hearth" just as "Uncle Lucas Beauchamp, Edmonds' oldest tenant, had done on his forty-five years ago and which had burned ever since" (240). Temple Stevens' poignant reference in Requiem for a Nun calls Rider's cabin the house that he - she does not mention Rider's name - "had rented for his wife, his marriage, his life, his old age" (156). But after Mannie's sudden death the cabin no longer feels like home, and when Rider returns to it after Mannie's funeral it is as an exile: walking up to the gate he realizes "that there was nothing beyond it. The house had never been his anyway, but now even the new planks and sills and shingles, the hearth and stove and bed were all a part of the memory of somebody else" (Go Down, Moses, 132-33). This is the same sense of dispossession that, at the other end of Yoknapatawpha's socio-racial spectrum, Bayard Sartoris feels when he tries to come home again after Johnny's death in World War I.

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Rider and Mannie's Cabin