Mrs. Merridew

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Mrs. Merridew
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Merridew, Mrs.
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Mrs. Merridew is the character whom the juvenile narrator of "Uncle Willy" casts as the story's main antagonist: when he accuses Job of telephoning "Her" about Willy's whereabouts, both he and Job know he means Mrs. Merridew (246). She is a member of Reverend Schultz's church and the determined leader of the crusade to "save" Uncle Willy from his predilections, which she sees as both beastly and sinful (238). Her efforts "to give him a complete rebirth" (232) begin with an intervention in church and "a nice glass of cool lemonade" (229), but become more and more drastic as he keeps finding ways to relapse, or falling into new forms of vice. As she grows increasingly exasperated and even belligerent, her own priggish self-righteousness becomes increasingly clearer to the narrator, who learns from her behavior new ways to see "the folks that are in" the church (236).

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