The Seminary (Location Key)


In the last two volumes of the Snopes trilogy Faulkner creates an institution of higher learning in Yoknapatawpha. Both The Town and The Mansion mention "the Seminary," which in the earlier novel Charles Mallison calls "a college" (367). There is the usual inconsistency in what Faulkner says about this school. In The Town Melisandre Backus and Maggie Mallison both go there after high school (52), while in The Mansion they go to the Academy (217) and it's Linda Snopes who enrolls in the Seminary after high school (156). Based on the consistent fact that the characters who go there are all female, and go there after high school, it seems likely that Faulkner imagines the Seminary as a kind of finishing school for upper class, or at least well-to-do young women. In Lafayette County, the original of Yoknapatawpha, there still is a real place named 'College Hill,' which is located where Faulkner locates his "Seminary Ridge." 'College Hill' is named for the Presbyterian academy that opened there in 1840; Faulkner himself was married in the Presbyterian church on College Hill.

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