Sartoris Plantation Spring (Location Key)


The spring that is located "down the hill" from Joby's cabin on the Sartoris plantation ("The Unvanquished," 148) is a memorable scene of reflection for two different members of the extended Satoris family. In Flags in the Dust it "flows from the roots of a beech" in the woods. Shaken after Yankee soldiers appear at the plantation and chase Colonel Sartoris away, his son Bayard goes down to this spring. While the sound of the soldiers' horses grows fainter and the "final light of the day" shines on his face, Bayard looks at his reflection in the spring and sees, "staring back at him for a sudden moment, a skull" (91). It could be a premonition of his death, or of the much more imminent 'death' of the Confederacy and the Old South - or both. Just a few years later (in the fictional chronology of Yoknapatawpha) and about six years later (in the real chronology of Faulkner's career) Drusilla Hawk goes "down to the spring" beside "the big beech" in "Skirmish at Sartoris" looking for refuge after the life she wants to live is destroyed by her mother and the ladies of Jefferson who (not unlike those Yankee soldiers) arrive at Sartoris and, by insisting that she wear the dress of a Southern lady and marry, drive her dream away (67, 201).

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