Macon II’s sister, and a Christ-like character who selflessly devotes herself to others, including Reba, Hagar, and Milkman. Her supposed possession of a huge fortune in gold provides the setup for the second half of the novel. Pilate seems free of the anxiety and claustrophobia of the novel’s wealthier characters, such as Ruth, and she challenges gender norms by wearing men’s clothing and taking a traditionally masculine job, bootlegging, for herself. A largely static character, Pilate displays boundless sympathy and love for her daughter, Reba, and her granddaughter, Hagar. On the few occasions when she shows any aggression or anger, she’s proving her loyalty to her family.