Unnamed Biracial Woman 1

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Unnamed Biracial Woman 1
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Unnamed Biracial Woman 1
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The character of the unnamed woman with whom Don Boyd has had an affair and a child in "Delta Autumn" comes into focus slowly. At the start of the story she is referred to elliptically as the "doe" whom Boyd hunted the year before (268). When she appears before Ike in person at the end of the story, she brings with her "something intangible" (277). She is wearing a man's hat and rain coat, and has "a face young" with "dark eyes" (268). She tells Ike she is a teacher. She is obviously fair-skinned enough to pass as "white," because it is not until she tells Ike that her aunt "took in washing" that he identifies that "intangible something" as her racial heritage as a Negro. She expresses no shame or remorse about the affair or the child she carries in her arms; as she tells Ike, "I knew what I was doing" (277). It seems clear that she loves Boyd, but is not surprised to learn he has abandoned her. Ike endorses her decision to "go back North," where she is originally from (178). (When Faulkner revised the story for publication in Go Down, Moses, he identifies the woman as a descendant of Ike's own grandfather. In that character she has her own entry in the database.)

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