Mrs. Gail Hightower

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Mrs. Gail Hightower
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Hightower, Mrs. Gail
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Unnamed, the daughter of the head of Reverend Hightower's seminary wants desperately to escape to the wider world and chooses the young Gail Hightower as her getaway vehicle. She marries him, and schemes with him to effect his appointment to the pulpit in Jefferson. There, she tries to adjust to his neglect and inattention, but eventually begins looking for male companionship on secret trips to Memphis. They aren't secret enough to keep her from becoming a scandalous topic among the women in her husband's church. She commits suicide in Memphis after jumping from the window of the hotel room where she and a man had registered under "a fictitious name" (67). In the room from which she jumped, in one of the more tantalizing moments in the fictions, "the police found her rightful name where she had written it herself on a piece of paper and then torn it up and thrown it into the waste basket" (67). This "rightful name" may just be "Hightower," as opposed to that "fictitious" one. But given this woman's life of frustrations with the two men whose name she has borne (her father and her husband) one wonders if her "rightful" name could have been something different - and if so, what?

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