"They approached the square, where the Confederate soldier gazed with empty eyes beneath his marble hand into wind and weather."
Confederate monument, University of Mississippi
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeConfederate monument, University of Mississippi - Credit: Dudemanfellabra

This is the statute to which Benjy alludes on page 8, although its posture is modelled on Oxford’s other Confederate monument which stands in the grounds of the University of Mississippi. It is striking that his own “empty and untroubled” gaze resembles that of the Confederate soldier, the archetype of the values on which the South was built and has since lost. As his name suggests, this mute, castrated idiot, given to fits of inarticulate bellowing that sum up “all time and injustice and sorrow” (p. 244), is the living embodiment of that once-proud culture’s demise.

Map showing location of Oxford's Confederate memorials
Creative Commons AttributionMap showing location of Oxford's Confederate memorials - Credit: Dudemanfellabra and Joseph A, as before