Robert Ingersoll

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Robert Ingersoll
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Ingersoll, Robert
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Historically, Robert Ingersoll was a late 19th-century orator and philosopher nicknamed "The Great Agnostic," whose rejection of Christianity was widely discussed in his day and in Faulkner's. In "Beyond," Faulkner locates Ingersoll in the story's version of heaven, and gives him the role of interlocutor to the protagonist's doubts about God and the afterlife; Ingersoll listens to what Judge Allison says about his life and ideas, but he doesn't offer any solutions or answers. In a "pleasant, tranquil voice" that sets this "Ingersoll" apart from the spell-binding Gilded Age orator, he merely tells the Judge to follow the young woman "who just passed, carrying a child," and "look into her face" (791).

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