Unnamed Son of Ikkemotubbe

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Unnamed Son of Ikkemotubbe
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Unnamed Son of Ikkemotubbe
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This character is one of the more elusive in Faulkner's fiction. The Harpers Magazine version of "The Old People" creates an ambiguity when it says that "almost a hundred years ago" Ikkemotubbe sold "his own son" to a white planter, the great-grandfather of the narrator on whose farm Sam lived for most of his life (203). Since Sam is "seventy" years old (202), he could not be this man, and would have to be this man's son. If we accept the story's chronological references, then, this character is the illegitimate son of Ikkemotubbe and an unnamed "slave woman" who was bought in New Orleans (202). He is also the sole father of Sam Had-Two-Fathers, which makes Sam's name - "Had-Two-Fathers" - a family name that Sam inherited from this enslaved father. Faulkner resolved the confusion when he revised "The Old People" for inclusion in Go Down, Moses; there Ikkemotubbe is Sam's biological father rather than grandfather.

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