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Mule in duh Yard

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Michael Larson

on 1 February 2014

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Transcript of Mule in duh Yard

Mule in the Yard
By William Faulkner
Social Class
Faulkner uses Mr. Snopes and Mrs. Hait to show the difference between money and class in the South
Due to the death of her husband Mrs.Hait came into $8500, a large amount at the time, yet still only has a small plot of land
Mr.Snopes made a decent living by raising mules and selling them rather than farming with them
Despite the wealth of both of the characters they are still considered low class by the other townspeople because of the way they earned their money
Their actions (chasing a mule around a house) would never be seen in an upper-class southerner
Mrs.Hait's clothes are indicative of a lower-class woman
Thesis: Faulkner uses old Het to show the change in Southern blacks’ standing while highlighting their continued dependence on whites.
-Old Het is respected by Mrs. Hait, unlike the majority of black characters who are obviously treated as lesser. This is likely because the town considers Mrs. Hait to be just as low and she has discarded many low-class people’s goals to be slightly better.
-Old Het isn’t treated respectfully by Snopes but is willing to rebel against him by staying when he wants to talk without her. Shows revolt against stereotypical docile blacks around rich whites.
-Old Het is very childlike:
-Tells imaginary stories of her nursing more people than she actually did.
-“shouted with strong and childlike pleasure” when she tells Mrs. Hait of the mule and
“cried happily” throughout the chase, showing she takes great pleasure in the pursuit.
Shows her naivety and the dependence that a black woman still must have on a white woman. Seems to be stating that race is more able to hold people back than gender.
-Prior to the start of the story, Hait had worked for Mr. Snopes to position mules to be run over by trains and collect compensation from the railroad. Hait was pulled in front of the train by the mules and run over, for which Mrs. Hait was compensated.
-Story starts out with an introduction to the primary setting, at Mrs. Hait's house
-A mule is accidentally loose and rampages through the yard while Mrs. Hait, old Het, and Snopes attempt to chase it down.
-When Mrs. Hait and Mr. Snopes, the mule seller, fail to capture the mule, it knocks a lamp into the cellar and runs off, ultimately resulting in a house fire which burns the house to the ground.
-To seek revenge to the careless acts of Mr. Snopes and the mule, Mrs. Hait buys the mule for $10 and when she realizes she does not want to pursue a court suit or pay Snopes his asking price for the mule
Family Importance:
Mrs Hait:
Relationship between her and her husband
Gender Roles
Benefit of compensation

Thesis: Faulkner uses the characters Mrs. Hait and Old Het to exemplify particular groups that revolted against societal norms at the time, increasing status for women and increasing status for blacks, respectively. This revolt against the norm contributes to their isolation from society.
-Mrs. Hait and Old Het live together and seem very detached from the rest of society
-Mrs. Hait is a widow, but unlike most of her time, she had acquired wealth by using the death of her husband to receive money as a mean of compensation
-She is a wealthy women taking care of herself, an uncommon phenomena during this type period and particular setting
-Old Het is a black woman who is treated better than many whites and feels almost the same level as them, such as Mr. Snopes.
-Mr. Snopes, like many others despises Mrs. Hait for her schemes and means by aquiring wealth, and Old Het for her lack of respect for whites, who are not financially well off
-These two women are revolting against society which explains their clear isolation from most people other than themselves
Thesis: Faulkner’s use of a third person omniscient narrator allows him to show many perspectives preventing one person from becoming the antagonist.
To Mrs. Hait Mr. Snopes is the antagonist for letting his goats lose on her property and burning down her house. She, also, holds him responsible for the untimely death of her husband.
Mr. Snopes, by contrast, views Mrs. Hait as a woman who is makes ridiculous demands and kills one of his goats.

-"To the cow the fog-born mule looked taller and more incredibly sudden than a giraffe"
For the cow the mule is the antagonist
-“They told him about how when the fire engine and the crowd reached the scene, Mrs. Hait, followed by old Het carrying her shopping bag in one hand and a portrait of Mr. Hait in the other, emerged…”
The town has taken a sympathetic view of Mrs. Hait and Old Het as opposed to Mr. Snopes
-“They saw him fling up both clenched hands in a gesture almost Gallic, of resignation and impotent despair.
-“[Mrs. Hait] sighed with weary and happy relaxation”
Mrs. Hait has won the battle of wits with Mr. Snopes
Identity of self
Thesis: Faulkner uses his character's actions and relations with other people as the major points to develop identity of self.
Ms. Hait takes the situation into her own hands when she shoots the mule herself.
this shows her development as a strong independent woman
Faulkner's inclusion of the Snopes family in many of his stories identifies the family as important figureheads as they play the role of influential members of society in his stories including Mule In the Yard.
Faulkner develops Ms. Hait's Identity as a lower class independent woman in the way that he describes her house and her land.
Mrs. Hait remains unmarried despite her moderate wealth and the stipulation that women marry when they grow old. Shows she is comfortable in her lifestyle.
Snopes is independent of the society and uses his cleverness to gain his money.
Old Het is clear in her assertiveness and willing to oppose anyone who would like to dismiss her
Unafraid of her own childlike personality,
Grocery bag collection
Disregarding Snopes trying to push her away
"Well... de mule burnt de house en you shot de mule. Dat's whut I calls justice"
Volpe, Edmond Loris. A Reader's Guide to William
Faulkner: The Short Stories. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse UP, 2004. Print.
"Mule in the Yard." WKU-Owensboro. WKU-
Owensboro, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014.
Mrs. Hait's actions against Snopes shows the importance of family and honor in the South.
Mrs. Hait does not forget what caused her husband's death over ten years after it because familial ties hold strong in the story.
Feeling her honor was tarnished she takes some back in the typical Southern way - violence.
Mrs. Hait and old Het are the closest to family in the story. They are otherwise separated from others, while Snope is alone beyond his mules.
Snopes doesn't seem to have any connection to family in the story, which makes him seem like a more pathetic and disconnected character.
Mrs. Heit still keeps the title Mrs. in her name even though her husband is dead and she doesn’t really miss him. Shows the prevailing importance of family in the South.
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