Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
*Jefferson. Northern Mississippi town that is home to descendants of the old Southern aristocrats who come to blend indistinguishably with the poor white trash (primarily the Snopes family), who move in and gradually take over the town. The population of Jefferson comes to be an amalgam of illiterate sharecroppers transplanted from the countryside and the last remnants of the old European highbrows. As such, William Faulkner intends the town to be typical and normal and therefore representative of all such towns in the American South in the first half of the twentieth century.
Frenchman’s Bend. Village that is the source and wellspring of the Snopes family. Also the setting for Faulkner’s The Hamlet (1940), Frenchman’s Bend is important here because it is near the farms owned by Mink Snopes and the man he murders, Jack Houston. Moreover, Will Varner conducts magistrate’s court here and finds against Mink in a legal matter. Though not a town, Frenchman’s Bend is important as the place where most Snopes family members originate.
Parchman. Fictional name of the Mississippi state penitentiary, in which Mink Snopes spends thirty-eight years of his life as punishment for the murder of Jack Houston. It is here that he plans with great deliberation the vengeful murder of his cousin Flem Snopes. When the prison is visited by Gavin Stevens and Linda Snopes, it provides a backdrop for showing that the superficially moral of the community (Linda Snopes representing purity and the lawyer Stevens representing justice) are truly collaborating with each other.
*Memphis. Tennessee city that serves as the cosmopolitan cultural center of the region that encompasses northern Mississippi. From Frenchman’s Bend and Jefferson the Snopeses and the upper classes alike go to Memphis to relax, shop, and conduct other matters of business. Of primary importance in The Mansion is Madame Reba’s brothel, visited not only by members of the Snopes clan but also by men from the upper class of Jefferson. It is here that Madame Reba herself first pronounces what is commonly considered the most important theme of the novel: “Mankind. The poor sons of bitches.” In this novel about morality and justice, it is fitting that a whorehouse provides the setting for its most important point.