Flags in the Dust, 23 (Event)

Oxford, Mississippi in Flags in the Dust (Location)

It is well established that the imaginary town of Jefferson, seat of the imaginary county of Yoknapatawpha, is based on Faulkner's real home town of Oxford, Mississippi, seat of Lafayette County. One crucial difference between the two towns is that there is no university in Jefferson, so when Young Bayard and his drinking buddies drive out of town to serenade the women's dorm on a college campus, the trip gives Faulkner a way to establish the distance between his fictional world and the real one.

Government Field/Dayton in Flags in the Dust (Location)

The Wright Brothers were from Dayton, Ohio, so the city's connection to flight has a Faulknerian pedigree. The only detail the novel provides about the airfield from which Young Bayard lauches himself into the sky for the last time is that it has a paved runway, a "tarmac" (389). Faulkner is, however, presumably thinking of North Field, built just north of Dayton for Orville Wright's airplane factory, and leased to the U.S. Army in 1917.

Horace's New Town|Kinston in Flags in the Dust (Location)

At the end of the novel Horace Benbow is in exile from Yoknapatawpha, living with Belle in an unnamed town that Faulkner's narrative describes as the antithesis of the old, tree-shaded neighborhood in Jefferson that Horace has left behind. It's a new town, built around a lumber factory "financed by eastern capital" and run by "as plausible and affable a set of brigands as ever stole a county" (373).

Grenada and Calhoun Co., Mississippi in Flags in the Dust (Location)

"That day we was in Calhoun county" (230) - this is how Old Man Falls begins telling Old Bayard about how Colonel John Sartoris single-handedly captured a company of Yankee cavalry. The Colonel's troop was moving north, after serving with Confederate General Van Dorn to keep an eye on U. S. Grant's forces in Grenada. Both Calhoun and Grenada are real counties in Mississippi, both southwest of the location of Yoknapatawpha, though there no major Civil War battles took place in either of them.

France in World War I in Flags in the Dust (Location)

A number of characters in Flags in the Dust go to France during the First World War. Bayard and John Sartoris see combat in the skies over the trenches, as pilots in the Royal Air Force; Buddy MacCallum serves with valor in the infantry; Caspey Strother was enrolled in the supply services, the only way black soldiers were allowed to serve at that time; and Horace Benbow (accompanied by Montgomery Ward Snopes) serves as a non-combatant with the Y.M.C.A.

Memphis in Flags in the Dust (Location)

Founded in 1819, Memphis, Tennessee, had over 162,000 residents in 1920, making it the closest big city to Yoknapatawpha. It was originally made prosperous as a riverboat town from which much of the South shipped its cotton and timber, and - as many of the Yoknapatawpha fictions reveal - the place where people from Jefferson went to misbehave. In this novel, young Bayard buys his car there, and Jenny takes old Bayard there to see a specialist.

Virginia in Civil War in Flags in the Dust (Location)

This location includes the three Civil War locations mentioned in the novel. The site of Carolina Bayard Sartoris' death. Chronologically, the setting is "prior to the second battle of Manassas" - or Bull Run, as northerners would say (10; geographically, this puts it in northern Virginia. The place in "Virginny" where the Confederate regiment from Yoknapatawpha voted John Sartoris "outen the colonelcy," as Will Falls puts it; this happened early in the War, but the novel gives no other clue to where it happened (21).

Varner's Store in Flags in the Dust (Location)

Varner's store is in many ways the center of Frenchman's Bend, an important site in many of the Yoknapatawpha fictions; for example, it is the hamlet in The Hamlet. In Flags, the village is seen only briefly, at night, as Byron Snopes drives past on his way out of the county, and summed up in a sentence: "Varner's store, the blacksmith shop (now a garage too, with a gasoline pump), Mrs. Littlejohn's huge, unpainted house--all the remembered scenes of his boyhood" (278).

Courthouse and Square in Flags in the Dust (Location)

Courthouse Square sits at the center of both the town of Jefferson and the county of Yoknapatawpha. At the center of the Square is the courthouse; the town's main places of business face it and each other from across the streets on all four sides of the Square.


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