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Mink Snopes' Death

Some of Faulkner's most beautiful, and most characteristic, writing is found at the very end of The Mansion, which is the third novel in the "Snopes Trilogy," the other two being The Hamlet and The Town, in that order. Mink Snopes is lying on the ground drying of old age, malnutrition, and just being tired of living. The following stream of consciousness becomes gradually more complex, evidently because he feels himself becoming a part of all the other dead people who have been buried here before him and whose thoughts seem to mingle with his own. This would explain why his stream of consciousness would contain thoughts and words that would have been totally unknown to the ignorant sharecropper and long-term prison-farm convict Mink Snopes.

But he could risk it, he even felt like giving it [the earth] a fair active chance just to show him, prove what it could do if it wanted to try. And in fact, as soon as he thought that, it seemed to him he could feel the Mink Snopes that had had to spend so much of his life just having unnecessary bother and trouble, beginning to creep, seep, flow easy as sleeping; he could almost watch it, following all the little grass blades and tiny roots, the little holes the worms made, down and down into the ground already full of the folks that had the trouble but were free now, so that it was just the ground and the dirt that had to bother and worry and anguish with the passions and hopes and skeers, the justice and the injustice and the griefs, leaving the folks themselves easy now, all mixed and jumbled up comfortable and easy so wouldn’t nobody even know or even care who was which any more, himself among them, equal to any, good as any, brave as any, being inextricable from, anonymous with all of them: the beautiful, the splendid, the proud and the brave, right on up to the very top itself among the shining phantoms and dreams which are the milestones of the long human recording--Helen and the bishops, the kings and the unhomed angels, the scornful and graceless seraphim.