Unnamed People of Frenchman's Bend

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Unnamed People of Frenchman's Bend
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Unnamed People of Frenchman's Bend
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The people who live in Frenchman's Bend anonymously are largely portrayed as the ironic inheritors of the Old Frenchman and his plantation "dream" (4). Faulkner emphasizes how the patriarch is virtually forgotten by those "who came after him" on the land, who have "nothing to do with any once-living man at all" (4) and are distinctly less well off than the Frenchman, bringing only what they "could carry in their hands" (5). They came from England and the Scottish and Welsh Marches, arriving by way of the Atlantic seaboard and passing "through the Tennessee mountains by stages" (4). They settled small parcels of the Frenchman's grant and "built one- and two-room cabins and never painted them, and married one another and produced children and added other rooms one by one to the original cabins." Their descendants establish a back country by continuing to plant "cotton in the bottom land and corn along the edge of the hills and in the secret coves in the hills made whiskey of the corn and sold what they did not drink" (5). Faulkner describes how these descendants eventually inhabit a closed community with "their own churches and schools" (5) - although later in the novel the narrator adds that even the parents in the Bend view the school suspiciously as "another Varner enterprise" (107). They intermarry and intermittently murder each other, living according to their laws and almost outside any federal or state legal framework. Faulkner lists their surnames as: Turpin, Haley, Whittington, McCallum, Murray, Leonard, Littlejohn, Riddup, Armstid, and Doshey.

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