Although this is Faulkner's first published Yoknapatawpha fiction, it was his second start at writing about his native soil; he put aside the first without finishing it. That manuscript is focused on the Snopes family and the Frenchman's Bend environment from which - "household by household, individual by individual" - they migrate to Jefferson. Here that process is well under way. Behind Flem, a kind of patriarch "like Abraham of old" (166), more than half a dozen Snopeses are already in town; Flem himself has already risen from sharecropper's son to the vice-presidency of the Sartoris bank. When Horace uses the word "parasite" to describe the Snopes who went with him to France during World War I (Horace is a conscientious objector, but Montgomery Ward Snopes is a cowardly draft dodger), he puts an accurate label on the way the novel treats these "incoming Snopeses" (166-67). The only member of the family whose character is developed at any length is Byron. He is explicitly "animal-like" (276), with "hairy hands" (78), "down to the second joints of his fingers" (101), and a "drooling mouth" (270). His name evokes the great Romantic poet, and in fact Byron is the one writer in the novel - but his quasi-obscene love letters to Narcissa Benbow, daughter of one of the oldest, most aristocratic families in Jefferson, are definitive symbols of the kind of squalid assault the Snopeses, as avatars of the modern South, mount against the traditional order. All the other Snopeses mentioned in the novel will appear again often in the canon, though their characters and stories will be developed in ways this first account seldom anticipates.

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Byron Snopes - Flags in the Dust
Clarence Snopes - Flags in the Dust
Flem Snopes - Flags in the Dust
Flem Snopes' Child - Flags in the Dust
I. O. Snopes - Flags in the Dust
Invalid Snopes - Flags in the Dust
Montgomery Ward Snopes - Flags in the Dust
Mrs. Flem Snopes - Flags in the Dust
Mrs. I.O. Snopes - Flags in the Dust