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William Faulkner famously said,
"The past is not dead.
It is not even past".

Confederate States of America - CSA

The fact cannot be disguised that slavery led up to the war, as the only remaining solution of the business, and to such a war there was only one result possible. When Virginia's Governor Letcher received Lincoln's call for troops to subjugate the "Cotton Kingdom" and bring it back under the heel of his "Mercantile Kingdom," Letcher refused, and indicted Lincoln: "You have chosen to inaugurate civil war, and we will resist it with the same spirit you have exhibited towards the South." The next day, Virginia seceded, and three years later Lincoln's army burned down Governor Letcher's house.

On this Old South there were lights and shadows which rested on no other land under the vault of heaven. There was a “chivalry,” which manifested itself in bravado and turbulence. A “chivalry” which combined the absurd and the tragic, grotesque punctilio with the shedding of blood. It was high minded. It was generous. It scorned unfairness. To it, there was “no heaven so high as faith.” It lived in an atmosphere other than that of the mart. It esteemed many things better than wealth. To it, stainless honor was a priceless jewel.

With no feeling of shame, but with a consciousness of duty well performed in their brave defense of what they deemed the right, the South accepted in good faith the results of the war, abandoned secession, and agreed [grudgingly] to the abolition of slavery. In the same good faith they renewed their allegiance to the Union and were ready to defend it against any and all foes. They built monuments to their hero dead and told of their valorous deeds to their children's children. They cherished as a sweet memory the Southern Cross, under whose folds their ragged, half starved veterans performed such mighty deeds of valor, but at the same time they hailed the Stars and Stripes as the banner under which the great Southern General Washington led their fathers to victory and independence, and looked upon it as the symbol of sovereign co equal States joined together in an indestructible Union.

And it would be a very captious spirit that would find fault with the comment upon the fight at Franklin. "Of all the battles of the war there was not one more hotly contested. A reunited country should cherish with pride the memory of the gallant men who attacked and the equally gallant men who held the works that terrible November afternoon." There is no danger that the glories of those who win shall ever lack poet or historian. It is Troy that has no singer, Carthage that bequeathes no anniversaries.

The Snopes were a family of characters weaved throughout the works of Nobel Prize-winning American writer William Faulkner. Snopes appeared in every Faulkner novel and short story which constitutes a part of what is called the Yoknapatawpha chronicle. The Snopeses represented the embodiment of crass commercialism, the inevitable replacement for the dying cotton aristocracy, and the direct retribution for the sins that had caused the downfall of these degenerate Southern gentry. The traditional approach to Faulkner, first suggested by George Marion O'Donnell, claims that all Faulkner's work is a variation of the theme of the struggle between Sartoris, the moral aristocrat, and Snopes, the amoral poor white.

Material goods, a show of respectability, sensual and irresponsible lust are the goals of the new Southern men: the Sutpens, the Varners, the Snopeses. The Sutpens, landless, amoral, relentless, driven people, tore from the savage, virgin land an hundred acre kingdom which died and decayed in fire and wrath and pride. From these ashes did the Varners rebuilt the empire in the Varner dominated Mississippi town of Frenchmans Bend, in Yoknapatawpha County. The Varners were the only leading family of the town, people of some wealth but without breeding or gentility. Meanwhile, the Sartorises, the descendants of the cultured, educated, honor-bound rulers of the South, still maintained some influence. But the old order was in decline, and the Varners were getting too contented.

The scorn heaped upon the Snopes family by their observers stemmed from visions of a horde, terrifying and faceless, which can and must destroy their more genteel society. The image of clusters of vermin or rodents connoted a voracious ferocity both terrifying and anonymous. They were in many ways eccentric, rapacious, and cruel. They had the need for the money before they had the opportunity to acquire the means to get it.

Faulkner declared that the Snopes were "a tribe of people which would come into an otherwise peaceful little Southern town like ants or like mold on cheese". Ab, the nominal patriarch of the Snopes clan, is a typically impoverished Mississippi dirt farmer whose penchant for swapping and gambling pursued more and more with a vengeance keeps him even more destitute than the worn unremitting tenant farms of north Mississippi might warrant. Some continue their struggle with the worn-out farms, living in the rented shacks, continuing to absorb each new setback until like him they can bear it no longer and strike out.

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Page last modified: 16-11-2017 18:33:09 ZULU