Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
John Sartoris, a colonel in the confederate army. Sartoris, who is from Mississippi and devoted to the antebellum South, twice raises volunteers from the Jefferson area to fight in the Civil War. Although he is a widower and must leave behind an elderly mother-in-law and a twelve-year-old son, Sartoris believes it is his duty to fight for the South. Even after he realizes that defeat is inevitable, he continues to fight. After the war, he devotes his time and energy to reclaiming his land and rebuilding the city of Jefferson. Accustomed to holding power and killing, Colonel Sartoris wields his influence after the war as he builds a railroad and runs for political office. While his son Bayard is studying law, Sartoris tells him that times are changing and he would like to stop killing. He dies when his former business partner, whom he needlessly humiliated and needled, shoots him.
Rosa “Granny” Millard
Rosa “Granny” Millard, Sartoris’ mother-in-law. She lives on Sartoris land during the Civil War, caring for her grandson Bayard, whose mother died in childbirth, and overseeing the property and the black people who work on the Sartoris land. Despite her religious beliefs, Granny forges papers to steal mules from Yankee soldiers in order to help poor Southerners survive. She is killed by a Southern raider when she tries to make a deal to get valuable horses in order to have money to help her family...
(The entire section is 562 words.)
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