As many people know, I am very different from normal literature critics when it comes to sympathizing with novel characters. Ever since I was old enough to read, I always have enjoyed digging deep into the minds of the characters that are written for the reader to despise. I often wonder what makes these beings so very different from the protagonists of a piece of work. One character in particular that I can't help but try and analyze her repeatedly is Elmira Johnson from Lonesome Dove. The fact that Glenne Headly- my favorite person to ever be on the big screen- portrayed her has little to do with any of this. Even before I knew who Glenne Headly was, when I first read Lonesome Dove, I knew deep in my heart that there were things about Elmira that not even Larry McMurtry would know. Perhaps that I sympathize with her so well is because I'm a feminist, who, like Elmira, truthfully has no use for the male gender (or small children, for that matter.)
So those who don't know who Elmira is, here is a character analysis written about her by :"Elmira Johnson
She is a single-minded character, obsessively seeking freedom from the men in her life. Once a whore in Dodge City, she married July Johnson to escape the brutality of her trade, but she has no feeling for him nor for either of her two sons. She readily sends her twelve year-old son with July in search of Jake Spoon so she can run away from him and her husband. Then, she nearly dies giving birth to another son, but feels nothing for him and leaves him with Clara Allen with no look back. She is depicted unsympathetically, but the reader has to wonder what happened in her life to create such a hard woman. The attraction that other men feel for her drives part of the story as we watch her desperately run from any man who wants to control her."
I ask you not to judge me by my sympathy toward her. But I do ask that you see this story of Elmira's childhood as another piece of harmless Fanfiction, although it means so much more to me than that.
I hope you enjoy this story.