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Faulkner and Money$
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Jay Watson and James G., Jr. Thomas

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496822529

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496822529.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 17 May 2022

Faulkner’s Stores: Microfinance and Economic Power in the Postbellum South

Faulkner’s Stores: Microfinance and Economic Power in the Postbellum South

(p.156) Faulkner’s Stores: Microfinance and Economic Power in the Postbellum South
Faulkner and Money

David A. Davis

University Press of Mississippi

After the Civil War, stores played a crucial role in the redevelopment of the South's economy. Landowner-merchants used crop liens, loans against the value of a crop, as contracts to bind laborers to the land through debt and dependency. The landowner-merchants provided food, seeds, fertilizer, and all of the other items necessary to live and raise a crop for a season, but they charged exorbitant interest on the items, and the cost of the charges was deducted from the value of their share of the crop. Faulkner depicts the stores as a system of coercive microfinance in several of his novels. In Absalom, Absalom, Thomas Sutpen opens a store when he returns from the war to rebuild his plantation. In The Hamlet, Flem Snopes uses Jody Varner's store as the vehicle for his social mobility, and in The Sound and the Fury, Jason Compson works in a store while investing in the cotton commodities market.

Keywords:   Stores, Microfinance, crop lien, debt bondage

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