Sartoris Plantation Pasture (Location Key)


Like the Compsons, the Sartorises have a pasture next to their big house - though theirs is never sold and turned into a golf course. Like the entire Sartoris plantation, it's intact and prosperous through the middle of the 20th century, despite the threats of time and loss, and is mentioned in 6 different texts. Five of these are set during the Civil War. In "My Grandmother Millard" Colonel Sartoris uses the pasture to drill the Confederate regiment he has raised from the local population. In "Ambuscade" and "Retreat" Bayard and Ringo run across the pasture to get away from the Union soldiers they've shot at while guarding the plantation during the Colonel's absence at the war. In "Skirmish at Sartoris" the ladies of Jefferson "look out across the pasture toward the bottom" in search of Drusilla, whom they suspect of having lost her virginity (64-65, 197). Almost seventy years later Narcissa Benbow Sartoris is seen crossing the pasture in "There Was a Queen" to get to the creek bottom herself. In a sense she's running from something too - she tries to wash away the sex she gave the F.B.I. agent in exchange for the letters that Byron Snopes had sent her in Flags in the Dust. One of the 'ladies' who see her coming back wet is black - Elnora - and the other is the 'queen' of the story's title, Aunt Jenny. When she understands Narcissa's effort at purification she refers, facetiously and in her 'Missippi' dialect, to the river "Jordan at the back of a country pasture in Missippi" (741).

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Sartoris Plantation Pasture
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Sartoris Plantation Pasture