Faulkner’s Indians

Faulkner’s Indians are extremely important to his stories about Yoknapatawpha county.  He uses the Indians to give Yoknapatawpha an ancestry. It makes it more believable when there is a past to his imaginary place. They play a small role in the actual stories that Faulkner wrote but make them complete by making the county believable.  The fall of the Indians in the county give way for the rise of the white community and control. They also change Faulkner’s county, which he based off his own Lafayette county, into a more native, Indian oriented county.

The way in which he portrays his Indians has brought some controversy to critics. When he created his Indians, the Choctaws, instead of following the general terms he made them in his own way.  He often displayed the Indian culture from a very anglo-saxon perspective instead of relying on actual characteristics of past Indian cultures. In many of his stories he depicts them almost as the people of India. He might be trying to prove that they really came from India at one point many, many years ago. It makes one question if they can really be classified as natives.

Ikkemotubbe the chief sold his square mile of land to Jason Lycurgus. Ikkemotubbe’s descendents then left and the few that stayed in the county went on to live  as the white men did. By selling this land he basically sold away what the Choctaws had left in the county. The problem critics find with this is that it doesn’t depict the Trail of Tears, the Indians are just gone. He may have done this because it was as much the Indians fault as the white mans so in turn there can be no pity felt for the Indians because they sold away their piece of the county (Winston).

Published on May 5, 2009 at 12:37 am  Leave a Comment  

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