Road to Old Frenchman Place (Location Key)


Faulkner describes the road that leads from the main road to the Old Frenchman place in both "Lizard's in Jamshyd's Courtyard" and The Hamlet. In both texts the episode that the road figures in is the same: Flem Snopes conning V.K. Suratt ("Lizards") or V.K. Ratliff (Hamlet) and two local residents of Frenchman's Bend into believing there's buried treasure on the old plantation. The short story describes the "old road" first. "For almost sixty years" it has not been used, and is "so peaceful" that entering it from "the broad valley highway" feels like "another world"; the bridge that once crossed the "branch"- i.e. the stream - has "vanished" (135). The novel includes the same physical details. It is "hardly a road" now, and there remains "no trace" of the bridge that had crossed the creek decades earlier, when the place was a prosperous ante bellum plantation (373). But in the novel the road also leads into a resonant evocation of the Old South, "women . . . in hooped crinoline" and "men in broadcloth" riding carriages over the road, the "courier" who carried news about the attack on Fort Sumter up it, "the son and perhaps the master himself" who ride off to fight the Civil War down it; the "Federal patrols" who travel it "about the time of the battle of Jefferson" (373). Despite the mention of "a neighbor's slave," "a body-servant" and "negro slaves," the passage seems nostalgic for that lost time, although it also describes the road in the novel's present as an "old scar almost healed now," as nature reclaims the landscape (373).

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Road to Old Frenchman Place
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Road to Old Frenchman Place