Character of Will Mayes in Dry September
In ‘Dry September’ William Faulkner is presenting such a kind of story which is about Minnie Cooper, a lonely and unhappy woman aged 40, is still remaining unmarried. She accuses a black man of sexually harassing her. And the consequences that the black man, Will Mayes had to suffer we can see here.
Actually, the story happens in a rural area. In that area the social harassment due to class differentiation and racism was spread in a broader level. A group of agitated red eyed people intoxicated by the addiction of classification regarding skin colour, are increased in a rapid level. This happens in a society, in which during the period of 1920s to 1930s, a group of middlemen raised in the society to take advance of those black people noising a load of extraneous burden on the shoulder of the black people. They started to pressurize upon the black people living in the Mississippi area of America, they were totally cornered in the society. Will Mayes was a part of this community. The community was always a victim at the hand of the white people.
A group of hardcore bigots led by ruthless John McLendon, decides to punish Will Mayes, without even bothering to check whether Minnie’s claim is true. The only opposition to their plans of murdering Will was the barber, Hawk. The only barber from the community protests against the plan and wretched behaviour by the white community He says the agitated people that, they should try to find out the truth first In their hatred perspectives, they accuse him of being a “damn nigger lover” In their outcome and reactions they showed that how critical minded they were. In attempt to change their minds, Henry joins them, as they leave to find Will.
Will Mayes is a black man who lives in Jefferson and he works in the ice factory. He has been accused of sexual harassment. It is unclear that whether the rumour is true or not and Mayes seems confused when confronted with a group of angry people on the way. The main feature of social discrimination seems to happen in the fact that, when will used to work in the factory for late night they his other co-workers used to stay at home. Only for being a black skinned people he had to bear the burden of discrimination. After being assaulted by the blame of sexual harassment, only Hawkshaw believed that he was innocent and he could not do such kind of injustice to any other ladies.
There will be no way to find out the truth. Because, the men in the barber shop hare already decided on his gift so he must be executed even without any further judgement. And that was actual part of truth in that period of American Society. As a black man living in Jefferson, the value of his words seems almost next to nothing. Even not a single person comes forward to ask him about the problem due to the rumour. No one shows a single point of sympathy towards him. But, we the general readers after reading the story, start showing sympathy towards the black man. The character really evokes a sense of sympathy.
After working hard in the ice factory like a beast, he is picked up by a group of agitated people but he shows a simple face of elegance until he is handcuffed, and beaten up. The only person inside the car who was the only staunch man, supports him could not help him because he was in a dire situation. To escape from such a violent situation, Hawkshaw jumps from the car and hides himself in a ditch.
However, Mayes implied death marks numerous question mark about the so-called civilized society The rage, inhuman nature inside human beings increased in such a le they almost forgot the differentiation. They came down to take revenge forgetting the minimum sense of human etiquette. His death marks the powerless condition of the whole community living in a society. The rumor of his death spreads in such a rate that, the black men of Jefferson they are completely absent from public appearance in that evening from the town. It was an implied violence that caused such a wretched job, hatred started to grow up to the head. The volatile condition of the society was going perfectly against the cornered group of the society.
Actually, Minnie Cooper was a woman aged almost 40. She became almost senile and dotard still being unmarried. She was crazy and he past incident with any other accused person came forward in news. But the barber, Hawkshaw’s comments on both the nigger and the lady proved everything. He said almost candidly standing in front of the agitated mob.
“Except it wasn’t Will Mayes”,
“I know Will Mayes. He’s a good nigger, And I know Miss Minnie Cooper too.”