A Mercy

Widow Ealing is Daughter Jane’s mother. She meets and helps Florens when Florens is lost and on her way to find the Blacksmith, giving her food and shelter. Widow Ealing has red hair and light eyes. She and her daughter are part of a religious group that is threatening the family because they believe Jane is a demon. Widow Ealing petitions the other villagers and even cuts her daughter’s legs to prove she is human. Widow Ealing further helps Florens by defending her when the other villagers, who have never seen a black person, think she is a devil.
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Widow Ealing Character Timeline in A Mercy

The timeline below shows where the character Widow Ealing appears in A Mercy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
The woman tells Florens her name is Widow Ealing. She excuses herself for her hesitancy in helping Florens, telling her there is evil... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...something about death. Florens notices that the girl appears to be around her age. The Widow does not respond. The girl then stands and limps to the table, showing Florens the... (full context)
Motherhood, Heartbreak, and Salvation Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Widow Ealing closes the shutters and blows out the lamp for bed before saying her prayers.... (full context)
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
Widow Ealing tells Jane that God will not abandon her, and that she will be safe... (full context)
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
The Widow, Jane, and Florens have breakfast, praying beforehand. After the prayer, Florens moves to cross herself... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
The Widow invites the visitors inside. She shows the visitors Jane’s wounds, insisting that Jane cannot be... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
...and holds it out to them. None of the visitors will touch it, so the Widow breaks the seal on the letter and unfurls it. Only one of the people in... (full context)
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
Religion, Morality, and Otherness Theme Icon
...will consider the letter and return when they’ve decided if it came from Satan. The Widow kneels to pray, and then she leaves to go find the sheriff. Jane cleans her... (full context)
Chapter 11
Human Bondage, Wealth, and Humanity Theme Icon
The Oppression of Women, Violence, and Female Community Theme Icon
...withers and leaves behind a kind of wildness. Florens thinks that she withered in the Widow Ealing’s closet when the villagers examined her. Still, Florens learned from Jane to continue risking... (full context)