Study Guide

Miss Corrie in The Reivers

By William Faulkner

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Miss Corrie

Miss Corrie is sort of like the Nancy character in Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist. She's a prostitute who, with the help of Lucius, discovers that she is a human being deserving of human respect—definitely more respect than she's experienced so far in life.

Whoa. That's some pretty heavy stuff right there.

It's assumed that Miss Corrie and Boon have known each other for some time: after all, Miss Corrie is the reason Boon is so eager to get to Memphis in the first place. Boon is pretty into her, and the two seem to have a good relationship.

But we have to remember that Miss Corrie works in Miss Reba's brothel. So when Miss Corrie's nephew Otis tells Lucius about what Miss Corrie does there, Lucius becomes angry. He's further pushed over the edge when Otis tells of his peepshow business. Lucius is so angry that he tackles the boy to the ground, beating him and yelling that Miss Corrie deserves better.

Upon hearing the boys' scuffle outside her door, Miss Corrie is shocked to discover that Lucius has stood up for her. She admits that no man, much less a boy, has ever stood up for her. In that moment, she vows to quit prostitution and begin a new life for herself.

Well, Boon isn't so happy with this decision. After all, he did come all the way down from Jefferson just to, ahem, see her…but he'll have to deal with this later. Apparently, there's a stolen racehorse both he and Miss Corrie have to attend to?

Off to the Races

At the racetracks in Parsham, Miss Corrie's sexuality becomes a driving force in the plot. The corrupt cop Butch takes a liking to her, but she refuses to submit to his advances. Well, Butch doesn't like to be rejected, so in retaliation, he imprisons Lightning, Ned, and Boon so they won't be able to race.

Uh oh. No racing means no money. And no money means no getting the car back. Shmoopers, what we've got here is a conflict.

In order to free everybody, Miss Corrie, on her own and with no prompting from the others, decides to solve matters on her own. She seeks out Butch, and she submits to him.

It's a heartbreaking decision, and it's one that angers both Lucius and Boon. Lucius gets angry at Miss Corrie for feeling that sex is the only thing that could free everyone, but he becomes especially angry at Boon for failing to protect Miss Corrie. Boon in turn strikes Miss Corrie.

Yeah, it got real.

Lucius cries for Miss Corrie, for she's deserving of so much more. But Ned quickly comforts him by telling him how Boon has stood up for Miss Corrie at last and has gone to beat up Butch.

We're not sure violence is the answer, but it's Boon's intentions that speak volumes. To Miss Corrie, this is now the second time a man has stood up for her. And she's glad it's Boon who did it, because she really does like him, after all. We don't hear much from Miss Corrie after this incident, but what we do know is that she and Boon drive up to Jefferson, marry, and have a son they name after Lucius.

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