All The King's Men

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Lily Littlepaugh Character Analysis

Sister of Mortimer, Lily is found by Jack Burden in Memphis, and Jack convinces her to provide him a copy of the letter Mortimer wrote to Lily describing Irwin’s malfeasance and Stanton’s cover-up. Jack provides Lily with a small handout in order to convince her to speak, as she is living in poverty and near-squalor.

Lily Littlepaugh Quotes in All The King's Men

The All The King's Men quotes below are all either spoken by Lily Littlepaugh or refer to Lily Littlepaugh. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Harvest Books edition of All The King's Men published in 2006.
Chapter 5 Quotes

I can do no more. I went as you know to the people who are against Governor Stanton in politics but they would not listen to me. . . . I will never be any good again. I will be a drag on you and not a help. What can I do, Sister?

Related Characters: Mortimer Littlepaugh (speaker), Lily Littlepaugh
Page Number: 341
Explanation and Analysis:

Mortimer Littlepaugh was the "chief counsel" for American Electric, a company that, in a complex deal, winds up involved in Irwin's graft decades before. Jack digs up the fact that Littlepaugh went to the governor of the state of Louisiana to argue that Judge Irwin, then a high-ranking and prominent public official, had arranged a sweetheart deal for himself to make a private fortune, using his public office. 

Littlepaugh, disgusted that he could not expose the graft, and that the government would do nothing to stop Irwin's malfeasance, killed himself - and once Jack realizes this, he knows he has Irwin "nailed," that there is nothing the judge can do to stop Willie from using this information. This confirms what Willie said in the beginning of the novel, that all men commit bad deeds, and that only some men have to answer for them - unless those bad deeds are uncovered by crack researchers like Jack. 

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Lily Littlepaugh Character Timeline in All The King's Men

The timeline below shows where the character Lily Littlepaugh appears in All The King's Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Politics, Influence, and Power Theme Icon
Personal History, Memory, and Time Theme Icon
Loyalty, Friendship, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...hotel in which he was staying. Jack decides to visit with his sister, still alive, Lily Littlepaugh, to find out more about Mortimer’s life. (full context)
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Politics, Influence, and Power Theme Icon
Personal History, Memory, and Time Theme Icon
Loyalty, Friendship, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Jack eventually finds Lily in a very small apartment in Memphis, TN, where she lives in squalor and seems... (full context)
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Politics, Influence, and Power Theme Icon
Personal History, Memory, and Time Theme Icon
Loyalty, Friendship, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Jack tells Lily there is nothing to worry about now—the insurance company will never know—and he pays her... (full context)
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Politics, Influence, and Power Theme Icon
Personal History, Memory, and Time Theme Icon
The South and Southern Culture Theme Icon
Loyalty, Friendship, and Betrayal Theme Icon
Mortimer, in the letter, repeats exactly what Lily claims—that Irwin allowed the sweetheart deal between the Southern Belle coal company and American Electric... (full context)
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Politics, Influence, and Power Theme Icon
Personal History, Memory, and Time Theme Icon
The South and Southern Culture Theme Icon
Loyalty, Friendship, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...it “photostatted” (copied), so that he can use it for his advantage. Burden asks that Lily make a statement on the record, in front of a notary, and at a later... (full context)
Chapter 6
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Politics, Influence, and Power Theme Icon
Personal History, Memory, and Time Theme Icon
Loyalty, Friendship, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...speak to a medium, Miss Littlepaugh (this is just before his journey to talk with Lily), and then excuses himself, saying he will check back in with Adam when he returns. (full context)
Chapter 10
Idealism vs. Pragmatism Theme Icon
Personal History, Memory, and Time Theme Icon
The South and Southern Culture Theme Icon
Loyalty, Friendship, and Betrayal Theme Icon
...as follows: he is to use the Irwin money, which he attempted to give to Lily Littlepaugh, only to find out she is dead—to write his book on Cass Mastern, which... (full context)