Unnamed Narrator 7

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Unnamed Narrator 7
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Unnamed Narrator 7
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At the end of "Smoke" the story's narrator identifies himself as a member of the grand jury that hears Gavin Stevens's explanation of Anse Holland and Judge Dunkenfield's murders ("we, the jury," 27). Hence, although we don't know his name, because Mississippi juries at this time were exclusively white and male, we do know his race and sex. He is recounting the events from "six months" after the murder of Old Anse (4), and therefore probably not long after the murder of Judge Dukinfield. Throughout, he explicitly defines his point of view as that of the town – "we in Jefferson" – as he defines the town: "those of us whose fathers and grandfathers had been bred here" (3). His narrative judgments on the Holland family, the "underbred outlander" and his sons (4), are rendered as if they were the unanimous verdicts of the town, and on the whole he is very complacent about the values cherished by the "men of our town and time and thinking" (4). At the same time, however, his report on the proceeding at the trial reveals something of the unpleasantness of Gavin Stevens’s unremitting showmanship as an attorney.

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