Unnamed Negro Butler 1

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Unnamed Negro Butler 1
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Unnamed Negro Butler 1
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Major de Spain's unnamed house servant is the only black character in "Shall Not Perish." Even though Mrs. Grier twice asks de Spain "what is your Negro's name?," and after the second question the Major actually "calls the name," the narrator never tells us what it is (109). The narrator does, however, note that the man moves "without making any more noise than a cat" when he takes away the pistol from the top of the coffin (109). A more discordant note is struck when the narrator refers to "the whites of the monkey nigger's eyes" when he first opens the mansion's door (106); this extremely derogatory phrase presumably is intended realistically to represent the narrator's poor white background, but it is jarring at the outset of an episode that shows a poor white woman and a member of Yoknapatawpha's elite communing across class lines.