Unnamed Men of Frenchman's Bend

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Unnamed Men of Frenchman's Bend
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Unnamed Men of Frenchman's Bend
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There is always a group of men hanging around Varner's various businesses. Aside from the characters we can classify by name, some members appear somewhat individualized, such as with the "man with the peach spray" (343) who discusses the horse auction and its consequences with a "second" and a "third" among the group, although each remains virtually indistinct, members of a communal group who partake in conversations with well-defined characters like Varner, Ratliff, Quick, Bookwright, Freeman and the various Snopeses who either work there or happen by. We have used this grouping in other locations as well, particularly at Mrs. Littlejohn's where many of these men supper regularly. One of the most important uses of this grouping is the crowd at the horse auction. Increasing in size from "six men" in Mrs. Littlejohn's lane (308) to "more than fifty men now standing along the fence beside the gate" of the lot (314), the crowd of men comes from miles around to see the Texan horses up for auction or "the Snopes circus," as one man terms it. Some of these men speak, although they are described simply as "one of the others" or "a second," "third," or "newcomer" without individual characteristics. Faulkner describes the gradual growth of this crowd from a "huddle" that breaks into "gaudy units turning inward upon themselves" (310). Some of these men are onlookers and some participate more actively in the auction. For instance, Buck Hipps asks for help; "three assistants" aid him in bringing the horses through the gate (313) and, toward the close of the auction, new divisible units similarly emerge like the "purchasers" who "gather as though by instinct into a separate group" (323) or the various men who attempt, but fail to keep the violent horses under control.

The man with the peach bough appeared repeatedly in "Father Abraham.'
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