Unnamed Mother of Monk

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Unnamed Mother of Monk
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Unnamed Mother of Monk
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This "woman with hard, bright, metallic city hair and a hard, blonde, city face" comes to Yoknapatawpha in "Monk" when Mrs. Odlethrop's son returns home after a long absence (43). The word "city" in that description suggests she is from Memphis, or someplace similar, but that is not made clear in the story. Nor can we say for sure that she is Monk's mother, though the fact that the infant Monk is seen at the Odlethrops' shortly after she and the son leave - for unknown reasons, though perhaps because Mrs. Odlethrop drives them "out of the house and out of the country" at gunpoint (44) - makes that probable. What the narrative does make clear about her is that "hardness" that, like "city," is emphasized in the description: her expression is "cold and sullen and unseeing," and "deadly, too" (43).

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