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Novel by William Faulkner, published in 1959, the third of a trilogy including The Hamlet and The Town.

In 1908 Mink Snopes, a poor sharecropper in Frenchman's Bend, Yoknapatawpha Country, Mississippi, kills a rich neighbor in a dispute over a fee charged for pasturing his cow. Sent to prison, in part because his cousin Flem would not help him, Mink is determined to seek revenge. Meanwhile Flem has moved to Jefferson, become wealthy, and gained a respectable position as president of the Sartoris bank but, fearing Mink, concocts a plot to have another relative, Montgomery Ward Snopes, aid Mink to escape from prison in such a way that he will be captured and receive an added sentence. The plot fails, but Mink is reconfirmed in his belief in Old Moster, a personification of vengeance who “jest punishes,” as he himself lives for the time when he can kill Flem. Linda Snopes, the daughter of Flem's wife Eula by her lover, is also intent on vengeance against her stepfather since Flem had cheated her of her inheritance and driven her mother to suicide. Linda is aided by her lawyer, Gavin Stevens, who has had a long-standing fight with the rest of the Snopes family. Through Gavin's efforts Mink is pardoned after 38 years of imprisonment. As soon as he is free he goes to Flem's mansion and kills him. Linda helps Mink to escape, as does Gavin, but, utterly spent, Mink “jest lay down” to sleep and to die.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

William Faulkner (1897—1962) American novelist

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