Study Guide for Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns|
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COLD SASSY TREE - ANALYSIS / LITERATURE NOTES
We also know immediately that this is a small town in which everyone
knows what everyone else is doing, and oral records or events are tracked
by their relationship to other events that happened at the same time.
The little things that happen in these people's lives are important because,
after all, nothing exactly earth shattering is taking place. It is simply
the story of one small community, the things that held them together and
the things that tore them apart, thereby making them a part of the universal
Loma and Mary Willis discuss Grandpa's announcement. They imagine that
maybe Miss Simpson hadn't really agreed to marry him. Will comments that
Grandpa isn't hard of hearing, but they ignore him. They talk about previous
relationships Love is known to have had, wishing she had married one of
them, and they notice that Grandpa has already quit wearing his black
armband, which signifies mourning. Will objects to his mother carrying
on so about Love because he likes her; he mentally defends his grandfather's
honor but also can understand how a woman like Love could cheer up a man
whose wife had been an invalid for four years.
As is typical of most families, Mary Willis hurries to defend her father by trying to find a way to blame the outsider, or to excuse his action as a misunderstanding. Will Tweedy, the narrator of the story is able to tell us how the adults feel because he spends a great deal of time listening to the adults talk. He also is able to pick up on things that aren't said, thereby understanding more than the adults give him credit for. Whether Will recognizes it or not, there is certainly some irony in Loma and Mary Willis' concern about Love taking possession of Granny's belongings. Mary Willis' comments show that she herself was already thinking about which of Granny's things she could ask for, as if Rucker would have no interest in them now that Granny is gone.
They are all being rather presumptuous, but not unlike people in any family. No one likes to admit it or be the first to talk about it, but whenever an elderly family member is expected to have a sizable estate, individuals wonder who will be in the will. Such wondering becomes offensive when people try to help themselves to items before the owners are dead.
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Ruff, Dr. K.. "TheBestNotes on Cold Sassy Tree".
. 09 May 2017