Unnamed Jefferson Townspeople 6

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Unnamed Jefferson Townspeople 6
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Unnamed Jefferson Townspeople 6
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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. As a group, the townspeople who appear in "Smoke" could also be seen as a 'jury' that passes judgment on the characters even before any are actually put on trial. For example, as the narrator puts it, "we in Jefferson" often listened to Old Anse's boasting with distaste for him as an outsider (3), just as later "we were watching Judge Dunkenfield" to see what he would decide about Old Anse's will (11). Elsewhere they note what's going on around the Square, although they seem to have been unobservant where the other outsider in the story, the hired hitman, is concerned: "Perhaps a dozen men saw him; perhaps twice that many did not look at him at all" (32).

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