Milly Jones

Character Key Number: 
107
Display Name: 
Milly Jones
Sort Name: 
Jones, Milly
Parent Character Key: 
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 
Yes
Biography: 

Milly Jones appears in both "Wash" and Absalom! as the poor white and illegitimate grandaughter of Wash, who is described in the novel's "Genealogy" as a "hanger-on of Sutpen" (308). She is "eight-years-old" when first mentioned in the short story, and an "infant" when first mentioned in the novel (536, 99). In both texts she is "a fifteen-year-old gal," as Wash puts it in the story, but - as the story's narrator puts it - "already mature, after the early way of her kind" (541), when Sutpen begins a kind of courtship of her. His intentions are complex but dishonorable: he seeks a son to replace the one he has lost. During Milly's pregnancy in Absalom! Sutpen's daughter actually helps sew a wedding dress for her, to be worn when she gives birth to that son. This is the second wedding dress Judith sews in the novel; neither is ever worn. When Milly's newborn turns out to be a girl, Sutpen dismisses her with a contemptuous insult that results in death for him, for Wash, for her, and for her child. There is no suggestion in either text that Milly ever has any control over what happens.