Study Guide for Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns|
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COLD SASSY TREE - FREE STUDY NOTES / BOOK SUMMARY
Love impresses Will-and stirs his hormones a bit-when she readily explains her situation. She doesn't want people to hate or disapprove of her, but Grandpa told her the talk would die down if she just kept quiet. She explains that Rucker had proposed as a business arrangement because he needed a housekeeper, and it was cheaper to marry one than pay for one. As part of her payment, he will deed the house and furniture to her. When she had hesitated to accept, he offered to set aside $200 for her in his will as well. She agreed to his proposal when he refused to accept reasons of social etiquette or community scandal. Since it wouldn't be a "real" marriage anyway, it wouldn't matter what people thought.
Miss Love also tells Will that she had fallen in love with someone else
one time, but it hadn't worked out, and afterward she decided that God
didn't intend for her ever to get married. However, she wanted a home
and a family that would accept her more than anything. Rucker's proposal
would give her a guarantee of a home. She could only hope that his family
would eventually accept her. Will doesn't think that will happen, but
can't bring himself to say so.
Two forces are at work in this chapter. First, Love needs someone to talk to and, as she has seen Will in the store every day, she feels comfortable with him. She may also simply feel that she can trust him as he certainly isn't going to get himself in trouble by telling either his mother or his aunt that he has talked to her. Also, she may secretly hope that Will will find a way to let his grandfather know just how much the antagonism of the town has hurt her. She surely knows that Will was very close to his grandmother and wants to dispel any notion that she is trying to take his grandmother's place.
Will himself has simply blurted out his question without thinking. It's an honest question, one that everyone has wondered about for different reasons. In his case, he can see that Love is so much younger than Rucker and, as Love is obviously a lady of some style, he can't help but wonder why Love would want to live in a house with no bathroom, indoor plumbing or electricity. What she tells him reveals her own extreme loneliness and longing for acceptance. Family and a home are more important than any modern convenience.
Will is also romantically attracted to Love, although he doesn't realize it until eight years later.
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Ruff, Dr. K.. "TheBestNotes on Cold Sassy Tree".
. 09 May 2017