Character Sketch of Will Mayes in Dry September

Will Mayes, a black man, works in an ice plant. He is the one whom Miss Minne Cooper has apparently accused of having raped her. Despite his centrality to the narrative as the main accused, his corporeality hardly occupies much textual space in the story. The reader meets him only briefly in the third section of the story where McLendon along with his cohorts have managed to kidnap him. The closest we get to him is in the claustrophobic space of a car where he is handcuffed and pressed from all sides. His very limited presence serves to point to many things. One, his physical marginalization within the narrative serves to suggest his position of marginality in the white dominated racist South. That he is not allowed an opportunity for defense, and any suggestion of his innocence carries scant regard in this xenophobic society is a mirror of the society where the blacks were not merely victimized and their voice suppressed but also whose presence was sought to be obliterated.

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