All The King's Men

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Mortimer Littlepaugh Character Analysis

The head counsel for the American Power Company when Irwin was attorney general in Louisiana, Mortimer lost his job because American gave it to Irwin, as part of a bribe—Mortimer then attempted to inform Governor Stanton of this, but Stanton covered up his friend Irwin’s behavior. Mortimer eventually killed himself so that his sister, Lily, could get his life insurance payout.

Mortimer Littlepaugh Quotes in All The King's Men

The All The King's Men quotes below are all either spoken by Mortimer Littlepaugh or refer to Mortimer 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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Mortimer Littlepaugh Character Timeline in All The King's Men

The timeline below shows where the character Mortimer 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
...name from his weeks and weeks of research and digging comes back to him—the name Mortimer Littlepaugh, the chief counsel for American Electric. Jack does some digging and realizes that Littlepaugh... (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 humors her and, in a clairvoyant session, tries to get Lily to talk about Mortimer, begging her to admit that Mortimer’s death was not an accident, but that, instead, Mortimer... (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
...insurance company will never know—and he pays her three hundred dollars for any information about Mortimer. This seems to jog Lily’s memory, and she admits that Mortimer went to Governor Stanton... (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... (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
...hospital. Burden says he is leaving soon for Memphis to speak to a medium, Miss Littlepaugh (this is just before his journey to talk with Lily), and then excuses himself, saying... (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
Anne asks Burden a few days later to send her the Photostat of the letter Mortimer sent to his sister; Burden does so, and five days letter Anne reports back to... (full context)
Chapter 8
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
...MacMurfee not to run. Jack asks Irwin to reconsider this position (without making reference to Littlepaugh), but Irwin says his mind is made up—he won’t ask anything of MacMurfee. (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
...to use his blackmail in order to get Irwin to pressure MacMurfee. He brings up Littlepaugh, and at first Irwin seems genuinely not to remember the man’s name, but soon he... (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
...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 he... (full context)