Virgil Snopes

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Virgil Snopes
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Snopes, Virgil
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The biography of Virgil Snopes is one of the more unusual, even among the various Snopeses. When he first appears, in Sanctuary, he provides an occasion for comedy rather than alarm, as a sexually very naive young man who, on his first trip to the big city of Memphis, mistakes a brothel for a boarding house, and the prostitutes for the surprisingly large family of the landlady, Miss Reba. His friend and fellow babe-in-the-wood Fonzo takes him to another brothel, but afterwards Virgil complains about having to pay three dollars for something "you caint tote off with you" (196). When Clarence Snopes, his older relative, discovers him in Reba's, he calls him "the biggest fool this side of Jackson" (198). He is only mentioned in The Town, but in The Mansion he becomes the unlikely star in a pornographic narrative when his extraordinary sexual stamina becomes a way for him and Clarence to make a lot of money. Faulkner describes his capabilities in comic and euphemistic terms. He is the son of Wesley and the brother of Virgil, but those genealogical details never become important.