By James L. Roberts
It is a novel from Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha sequence, facing the Sartori and Snopes households, representing the noblest points of humanity and the worst, respectively.
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Additional resources for Faulkner's The Unvanquished (Cliffs notes)
Aunt Louisa and Mrs. Habersham, after first deciding on a big wedding for John and Drusilla, then realize that it would not be proper; so they compromise on a small, civil wedding and a big reception afterward, after Drusilla quietly meets Colonel Sartoris in town for the ceremony. On the scheduled day, people begin arriving with baskets of food and drink, and everything is prepared for the reception when Ringo and Denny suddenly ride up with the news that Drusilla and John have killed the two Burdens.
The story opens dramatically; Professor Wilkins throws open the door to Bayard's private room and utters, "Bayard. " Ringo had summed up what happened in a single, simple statement of fact when he arrived: "They shot Colonel Sartoris this morning. " Bayard is, at first, concerned about horses for the two of them to ride back to Jefferson, but he then realizes that Ringo would naturally have taken care of such matters. He and the Wilkins go the kitchen and find Ringo waiting quietly. Bayard notices that somewhere on the way, Ringo cried; dust is caked in the lines of his face where the tears ran down.
Also in this first story of the novel, Bayard accepts Ringo, his black friend, as either an equal or as someone superior in knowledge to himself. As in other of Faulkner's works, young children often do not have the racial prejudices of adult society. Thus, for some time to come, Bayard continues to accept Ringo as an equal, but at the end of the novel, in "An Odor of Verbena," when we see Bayard's final maturation, he and Ringo are presented as two adults--one white male and one black male-and both are keenly aware of the racial difference between them.