Unnamed Mother of Popeye

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Unnamed Mother of Popeye
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Unnamed Mother of Popeye
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Never named, the woman in Sanctuary who gave birth to Popeye is "the daughter of a boarding house keeper" in Pensacola (302-03). She is already pregnant with him, and carrying the disease (probably syphilis) that will leave her an "invalid" (309), when she marries Popeye's father, a professional strike-breaker whom she has only known for 3 days when they decide to marry. They were married less than 3 weeks when he takes off, leaving her to raise the child who is born with the same disease. Under the circumstances, she seems like a very good mother, but the circumstances include thinking Popeye has perished when her pyromaniac mother burns down their house. "She never wholly recovered" from that trauma (308). She supports herself by doing "needlework and such" (309), and believes Popeye when, during his annual visits to see her, he says he works as a hotel clerk.

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