In "The Fire and the Hearth," Lucas views the aggrandizing alterations that have made the McCashn house into the Edmonds mansion as in fact a series of diminutions (34-35), and later in Intruder in the Dust, when he is called a "goddamn biggity
stiffnecked stinking burrheaded Edmonds sonofabitch," Lucas simply responds: "I aint a Edmonds.
(10) Assigned the lowest rung in the overall racial hierarchy, African Americans dared not manifest any hint of refusing their allocated "place." (11) Mild reprobation for doing so might carry forth in a charge of their being "impudent," "uppity," "biggity
," "out of their place," etc.; but if the infraction be deemed sufficiently injurious, a more serious chastisement might arrive in the form of a death sentence.
Tellingly, when his gold watch-chain and toothpick infuriate a white man with their out-of-place extravagance, Lucas responds only to the color-blind, familial part of the white's abuse ("You goddamn biggity
stiffnecked stinking burrheaded Edmonds sonofabitch") but does not "assume" nor "refuse" the racially charged term "burrheaded": "I aint a Edmonds....