Whiteleaf (Location Key)


In The Hamlet "Whiteleaf" is the name of a creek, a hamlet and a store. There is good reason to think that when he created these locations Faulkner was thinking of the real Yellow Leaf creek, which flows through the southeast corner of Lafayette County into the Yocona River, but even better reason to think that, as was invariably the case, he was willing to shift real places around to suit the imaginative needs of a particular story. The novel's best cue to the various Whiteleaf locations comes when the sheriff asks about another way to Jefferson from Mink Snopes' place, and a deputy tells him that the "old Whiteleaf Bridge road" is fourteen miles away, that when they get to that road they are "nine miles from Whiteleaf store" and when they get to the store they are still "eight miles from Jefferson" (pp 282-83). Much of the route "winds among the pines hills," but the village store sits "in the long broad rich flatlands" under cultivation (283). The store is also described as eight miles from Frenchman's Bend when it becomes the original venue of the two civil suits at the end of the novel (356). Our placements try to take these distances into account, though all are essentially informed speculation. (And we confess that we cannot find a way to reconcile this group of 'Whiteleaf' Locations with the mention of 'Whiteleaf' in connection with a creek in As I Lay Dying; that has a separate entry in the index.) The store seems to be a typical crossroads country store. It is too small to hold all the people who attend the trials, which take place instead in "the locust grove beside the store" (356). Whiteleaf may also be the location of the "schoolhouse about eight miles away" where Eula goes to a dance (147). Whiteleaf is mentioned again in The Town, but only as the place in the county Grover Cleveland Winbush's mother lives.

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