Road to Burden Place (Location Key)


To get to the house where Joanna Burden lives in Light in August you take the road that goes due west from Jefferson for two miles. According to the novel, it is "not a gravelled road" - i.e. it is a dirt road - "though it looks to be fairly well used" (226). On both the maps of Yoknapatawpha that Faulkner himself drew, this appears as one of the main 'spokes' that radiate out from the 'hub' at Jefferson, but Faulkner almost never does use it in his fictions. Joe Christmas walks through the woods alongside it when he travels back and forth between town and the Burden place. As I put together this index of locations, thinking about how Faulkner uses space, I'm tempted to say that Faulkner brings this seldom used road into the narrative here to reinforce Joanna's estrangement from the rest of Yoknapatawpha - just as it's tempting to suggest that Joe's journey through the county, which begins when he walks down this road (226-28) and climaxes three years later with his apparently aimless but thematically circular flight across county's the southwest quadrant, another part of the terrain that Faulkner's imagination seldom visits, takes place where it does so that the strange setting can intensify the estrangement of Joe's existence.

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Road to Burden Place
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Road to Burden Place