Mrs. Armstid

Character Key Number: 
436
Display Name: 
Mrs. Armstid
Sort Name: 
Mrs. Armstid
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 
Yes
Biography: 

The wife of the farmer named Armstid appears or is mentioned in seven texts; she is unnamed in five of them, but her name is Lula in As I Lay Dying, the first one, and Martha in Light in August. That is not the only inconsistency in her character. In both these novels she doesn't hesitate to speak her mind to her husband; in "Spotted Horses," however, she is extremely self-effacing, submitting without complaint to her husband's abusive behavior. In that story and "Lizards in Jamshyd's Courtyard" she makes extra income for her poor family by "weaving by the firelight after dark," as the latter story puts it (142); in Light in August she sells eggs. In every text, however, she is identified as thrifty and hard-working, characterized by details like her "soap-raw hands" (Hamlet, 321); "Lizards" even mentions the time she pulled the plow after the family's mule dies.