Study Guide

The Reivers Respect and Reputation

By William Faulkner

Respect and Reputation

What makes Boss Priest, well, such a boss? Answer: he's old, he's rich, and he has a car.

Patriarchal status goes far in Faulkner's South, especially during a time that valued hospitality and decorum. But respect and reputation also have ties to customs outside of the household. There are certain traditions that garner respect, too, such as proper treatment of women and knowledge of horseracing etiquette. The Reivers features Southern reverence for both people and tradition, and it offers examples and scenarios that challenge Lucius's understanding of the status quo.

Questions About Respect and Reputation

  1. Are there any other characters who garner as much respect as Boss Priest?
  2. Are there some characters not worthy of respect? Why?
  3. What is the reputation of Miss Reba's brothel?
  4. What is Ned's reputation in Jefferson? Does his reputation match up with reality?

Chew on This

Characters like Butch and Mr. Binford are judged in large part for their lack of respect towards women.

Characters like Butch and Mr. Binford are judged in large part for their reputations in their respective communities.

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