Louisa Hawk

Character Key Number: 
Display Name: 
Louisa Hawk
Sort Name: 
Hawk, Louisa
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 

This sister of Rosa Millard appears or is mentioned in three of the Unvanquished stories. When she first appears, in "Raid," she is named "Louise"; her husband and son have both been killed in the Civil War, and the large Dennison plantation has been burned by the Yankees. Louise tries, ineffectually, to keep her daughter Drusilla from helping Rosa conduct her non-military raid on the Union troops in the area. As "Louisa" in "Skirmish at Sartoris," on the other hand, she takes a much more aggressive line of attack against Drusilla's attempts to "flout and outrage all Southern principles of purity and womanhood," as she herself puts it (62). For Louisa "the highest destiny of a Southern woman" is to be "the widow of a lost cause" (61), and she enlists the ladies of Yoknapatawpha in a campaign to make Drusilla put on the dress that is the uniform of that ideal, let her hair grow longer, and marry John Sartoris. Louisa's character is defined by the handkerchief she carries "that made the whole cabin smell like dead roses" (67), and the "wad of some kind of black knitting" that she is always working on but never finishes (68).