Unnamed Jefferson Townspeople 21

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Unnamed Jefferson Townspeople 21
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Unnamed Jefferson Townspeople 21
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One of the narrative devices that Faulkner regularly deploys is using the larger population of Jefferson as a kind of chorus to provide commentary on the characters or events of a specific story. In almost every instance it seems fair to say that the "townspeople" he uses this way are implicitly the white people, but it seems more accurate to create a separate "Character=Jefferson Townspeople" for each text in which the device occurs. Various anonymous groups bear witness to the events of The Mansion. The most explicit description of them occurs during a discussion of the communist political ideas brought into Jefferson by two Finnish immigrants and, after her experiences in Greenwich Village and the Spanish Civil War, Linda Snopes Kohl. According to Charles Mallison the "white male Jeffersons" of every class - "the operators of Saturday curb-side peanut- and popcorn-vending machines . . . the side street and back alley grocers . . . the department store owners and automobile and gasoline agencies" - shared "one concert of unanimity" in opposition to communism and in defense of racial segregation (237-38). In Chapter 13, however, in the account of Clarence Snopes' political career, the narrative suggests that some of the town's population - "school-teachers, young professional people, women" - believe in "decency and right and personal liberty" and oppose the racism of an organization like the Ku Klux Klan (332).