Study Guide for Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns|
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COLD SASSY TREE - ONLINE STUDY GUIDE
Will explains some details of some of the other family members. His father Hoyt makes most of the buying trips for the store, and his Uncle Lige Toy owns a cotton warehouse in north Georgia. Hopewell Stump is a cousin to Hoyt and takes care of chickens that folks use as barter for store goods. Every Friday he ships the pullets off to Athens or Atlanta.
Campbell Williams came to Cold Sassy from Maysville, Georgia at the age of 19. He appeared tired and lazy and Rucker refused to give him a job until after he had married Loma. Even so, he is more or less useless and mostly sweeps the floor and stocks shelves.
Love Simpson is the first woman Rucker ever hired. She had never married but didn't exactly look like an old maid. Will describes her as "tall, plump, and big-bosomed." She was lively and wore fashionable clothes, had a "sparkly way of talking and laughed a lot." Will's noticed her "perfume" and freckles, her "grey-blue eyes, long black lashes, titled-up nose and big smiley mouth" the first time he met her. It had pleased him that she called his grandfather a "very nice man and good-looking, too." He also notices how "proper" Love talks, similar to his Aunt Carrie who had been taught to speak proper grammar in a private school run by a French woman. Love comes to Cold Sassy when Rucker contacts a company in Baltimore, asking for a milliner (a person who designs and/or makes hats) for his store.
Some people in town referred to Miss Love as "that Yankee woman,"
and her arrival immediately sparks rivalry with Loma who considered herself
the fashion consultant of the town. Nevertheless, nearly everyone liked
Love-at least until she married Grandpa Blakeslee.
The narrator characterizes both Rucker and Miss Love from his own perspective. He notices the minor-but close and personal details-that would be noticed by a teenager, but probably ignored, or at least not discussed, among adults. The important thing about his grandfather isn't that he has money, which Will probably takes for granted anyway, but that he has all his teeth and still stands straight and is good looking. Those things alone tell the reader that he has enough money to take care of himself properly as luxuries such as dental care would have been unavailable to the poor. He hasn't had to work overly hard, so he hasn't developed a stooped appearance from the onset of back problems. Yet, he is a man of contradictions-a Baptist, confederate, and Democrat who successfully defied even the laws of prohibition.
As for Miss Love, the narrator takes note of the things a young boy in the throes of puberty would notice-her generous bosom, her scent, and her seductively attractive eyes, and friendly smile. She uses proper grammar, a mark of education and suggestive of a higher class background than Mary Willis gives her credit for. She is also fairly young and has all the characteristics that would create the typical "older woman" crush in a teenage boy.
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Ruff, Dr. K.. "TheBestNotes on Cold Sassy Tree".
. 09 May 2017