By Peter B. High
A survey of the English prose, poetry and drama of the U.S. from Colonial instances to the1980s.
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Additional info for An Outline of American Literature
7: 564). In the novel, Bayard and Ringo shoot at a Yankee but miss and hit a horse. Further possible connections are evident: “old Granny” is a slave whose name appears in the Leak Diary (TS vol. 1: 12), and in Faulkner’s novel, a white “Granny” hides her children so that the Yankee soldiers will not kill them. The name Louisa appears in the diary (TS vol. 2: 197); there is an “Aunt Louise” in the novel (230–33, 235–36). Philadelphia is a town in Mississippi, and in the diary, Leak frequently mentions his business transactions in Philadelphia; he orders goods to be sent from Philadelphia (TS vol.
3: 149–50). This event may in part account for Faulkner’s crafting the scene in which Henry shoots and kills Charles: “Henry spurred ahead and turned his horse to face Bon and took out the pistol; and Judith and Clytie heard the shot” (358). In the novel Faulkner focuses the scene not between two people of one race, but rather—as is more typical of the writer—between races. Francis Terry Leak, as he appears in his diary, seemed for the most part emotionless, even when he described situations that might generally have elicited an emotional response.
When Leak sells a mother slave to “the owner of her daughter” (TS vol. ” Although Faulkner’s story varies somewhat from the facts offered in the Leak Diary, both fiction and diary record the violence of slavery. Where Leak’s accounts of his slaves are matter-of-fact and usually emotionless, Faulkner adds face and voice to his depiction of the emotional landscapes as he re-creates the lives of slaves. In doing so he elicits sympathy and human understanding for them. In Go Down, Moses, Tomey’s mother, Eunice, commits suicide by walking into the icy creek on Christmas Day (267).