Mrs. Isaac McCaslin

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Mrs. Isaac McCaslin
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McCaslin, Mrs. Isaac
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Isaac McCaslin's "dead wife" is very briefly referred to in "Delta Autumn." Go Down, Moses evokes her from the start, by identifying Ike as a "widower" twice on its first page (5). His wife - who may be the daughter of the bank president who hires Ike and his partner to put a new roof on his stable - remains in the background for most of the novel, but in her brief appearances Faulkner emphasizes her hostility, as Ike meets her "tense bitter indomitable voice" with a posture of familiarity (104). Ike's wife considers the McCaslin plantation Ike's property, and her husband a fool for handing it over to Cass Emonds. When Ike first meets her, "an only child, a small girl yet curiously bigger than she seemed at first . . . with dark eyes and a passionate heart-shaped face," she makes her ambition clear to the reader, if not to Ike: "Papa told me about you. That farm is really yours, isn't it?" (296). The naked truth about her desire, however, is revealed to Ike in the chapter called "The Bear" (296-300); that's when he really "lost her" (335), as he sadly muses in the novel's revised version of "Delta Autumn."