Mrs. Gant

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Mrs. Gant
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Gant, Mrs.
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 

Mrs. Gant is probably the most powerfully drawn character in the story named after her daughter, "Miss Zilphia Gant," just as she is an overwhelming force in Zilphia's life, even long after she is dead. At the story's start she is "a hale, not-old woman with a broad, strong face" who hunts down and kills her husband and the woman for whom he abandoned her "with the capability of a man [and] the pertinacity of a Fate" (370); thereafter she moves into town, where she becomes a successful dressmaker and businesswoman - though as a mother she grows increasingly possessive of her daughter, becoming in the course of the story both crazier and more masculine: "growing into the outward semblance of a man until now at forty there was a faint shadow of a moustache at the corner of her mouth" (373). This "gaunt, manlike woman" (376) wears her dressmaker's costume ("oil cloth sewing apron" and "bosom festooned with threaded needles," 371) like a uniform or suit of armor; she dies sitting up in a chair, "erect and fully dressed," next to the shotgun she carries like a prison guard (378).

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