Unnamed Inhabitants of Jefferson

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Unnamed Inhabitants of Jefferson
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Unnamed Inhabitants of Jefferson
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In Requiem for a Nun over twelve "successive overlapping generations" of "men and women and children" (159) live in Jefferson between the time it was a settlement and the present of the novel (i.e. c1950). One passage specifically divides the town's population along racial lines: the advent of "screens in windows" means that "people (white people) could actually sleep in summer night air" (190). Elsewhere the descriptions of the town's population implicitly privilege or assume the white population: for example, the evoked details of the members of those twelve generations - "a gleam of crinoline, a laced wrist, perhaps even a Cavalier plume" - identifies this group as white (169). During the Civil War Jefferson becomes "a town of old men and women and children and an occasional wounded soldier" (181), a description that again omits the non-white part of the population.