Unnamed Enslaved Servant

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Unnamed Enslaved Servant
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Unnamed Enslaved Servant
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The unnamed man whom "Red Leaves" calls "Issetibbeha's body servant" - though there is never any ambiguity about the fact that he is owned as a slave by the Choctaw chief - is the short story's central character, Faulkner's earliest non-white protagonist. According to tribal custom, after Issetibbeha's death he must be killed and buried too; the story's main action focuses on his thoughts and actions as he attempts to escape this fate. Although he is not given a name, the story does give him a biography. He is identified as a "Guinea man," a term which can cover the entire region of west Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea. He was brought as a slave to the U.S. from "Kamerun" at age 14 (327), and became Issetibbeha's "servant" not long after that. At the time of the story he is 40. He is described as having "a flat nose, a close, small head; the inside corners of his eyes showed red a little, and his prominent gums were a pale bluish red above his square, broad teeth" (327).

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