Although the Sartorises are minor characters in this novel, which is about Snopeses and largely narrated by Stevenses, Faulkner acknowledges the family's status in the Yoknapatawpha fictions when Maggie (Stevens) Mallison tells her son Charles that "Sartorises are different from other people" (211). Actually, in this novel they're a bit different than they are in earlier texts. Bayard II is never referred to except as "Colonel Sartoris," but Faulkner had already used the same convention in The Town (in this novel he adds a new phrase, referring to Bayard's father John as "the original Colonel Sartoris," 446). The significant differences involve the family history, and especially the tone with which it is narrated. "Mrs Du Pre," for example, is credited with deliberately arranging Bayard III's marriage to Narcissa Benbow. "Colonel Sartoris" (i.e. Bayard II) figures mainly as the original founder and president of the bank that Flem Snopes takes over, but the tone with which his death is described is surprisingly sarcastic - he "lets his grandson run the automobile off into a ditch" (150). The most striking difference, however, concerns the treatment of Bayard III. In the several representations of him and his twin brother John in World War I, there is no hint of the way he was earlier characterized as a tragic member of of the Lost Generation (see Flags in the Dust, for example). Instead, in a somewhat lengthy passage in the middle of this novel, Charles recounts what his uncle Gavin and his mother each say about Bayard: Gavin, that his problem was "boredom" (210), and Maggie, that he was afraid of his own weakness, "that completely un-Sartoris-like capacity for shame " (211). The passage includes an interesting analysis of Bayard's place in the family as a twin, but as Faulkner's final words on the person to whom Mrs. Du Pre refers as "the last Sartoris Mohican" (210), it implicitly renounces the idea of the family's romantic doom.

Display Name: 
The Mansion
Sort Name: 
Sartorises in The Mansion
Family Key: 

Affiliated Characters

Bayard Sartoris - The Mansion
Benbow Sartoris - The Mansion
Colonel Sartoris - The Mansion
Mrs. Du Pre - The Mansion
Narcissa Benbow Sartoris - The Mansion