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by William Faulkner
Dry September Part 4 Summary
(Note: Part 4 addresses what is happening to Minnie while the events of Parts 1 and 3 occur.) Minnie isn't doing so well this Saturday night as she dresses for the evening meal. Her hands are shaking as she tries to deal with fastening her dress and combing her hair. She puts on "her sheerest underthings and stockings and new voile dress" (4.1). Her friends come in and ask her if she's up to leaving. Minnie's friends' eyes have "a dark glitter" (4.1). They tell her that when she has recovered from "the shock" they want full details (4.1). Minnie calms down as they walk through the dust, darkness, and heat, toward town. When the town square becomes visible she starts shaking again. In the square she seems vulnerable in her pink dress. She's shaking even more, walking more and more slowly. People are talking audibly about her. Someone asks someone else what happened to Will. Another person replies that Will is OK, that "He went on a little trip" (4.3). All the men, even the young ones, take their hats off to the women, and watch Minnie's hips as she walks past them. Her friends ask her to notice that there aren't any black people out. They get to the movies. Minnie is excited. When the movie starts things will be better. She wouldn't start laughing right away, but save it. Minnie and her friends sit where they always sit, positioned to watch the young couples walking into the theatre. She starts laughing. People begin to stare and her friends take her out of the theater. Minnie continues laughing until the taxi comes. Back home her friends take off her clothes, get her in bed, and call for a doctor. They cool her with ice and fan her. At first the ice helps keep the laughter down, but soon Minnie is laughing and screaming at the same time. The friends tell her "Shhhhhhhhhhh!" (4.8). They check to see if there is any gray in her hair. One of them asks the other if she thinks "anything really happened?" (4.9). Their eyes glitter mysteriously. Part 4 ends with this quote: "Shhhhhhhhhhh! Poor girl! Poor Minnie!" (4.9).
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