Study Guide for Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns|
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COLD SASSY TREE - PLOT ANALYSIS / BOOK REVIEW
Blakeslee also talks about the treatment Miss Love has received at the hands of the church ladies. Since she could not very well go to church in the face of such animosity, he and Love begin to hold their own church service at the house.
Will wonders why Grandpa scolds him for telling lies about Loma, but
says nothing about his breaking the confidence Love had placed in him
regarding the living arrangement. He later discovers that Love herself
had informed the town that she and Blakeslee were not sleeping together.
The adult, eight-year-later voice, is apparent in this chapter. Although
Will tells about the scoldings he receives, he also describes the adults
with words that show the humor in the situation. It was improper for him
to tell such stories about a lady, but Loma has not made herself very
well liked in the town, so it is funny when she becomes the victim of
stories so outrageous that no one could believe them. Thus, the stories
really don't cause any harm to Loma. Instead they focus in on Will's wild
Will and his mother are sitting together on the front porch. Mary Willis starts proclaiming that she hates "that woman," especially after what happened at the store. While Will was on his camping trip, Love went to the store, dressed in red, and was criticized for that in the same way she was criticized for wearing black at Mattie Lou's funeral when she wasn't really a part of the family. Love tried to be friendly to Mrs. Predmore, but Mrs. Predmore turned on her and accused her of having no respect for the family or the dead. Angrily, Love announced that she isn't going to be taking Mr. Blakeslee's name because she isn't really married to him except legally.
When Mrs. Predmore taunted her about refusing her "husband's"
name, Love explained that she is only there to cook and clean house, and
that in return Rucker has deeded the house to her. Love rode away with
her head high, but Mama seems to find satisfaction in the news from Effie
Belle that Love was later seen crying.
The camping trip that took Will out of the town solved the problem of revealing Love's sleeping arrangements and provided an opportunity for Love to confront the ladies on her own. She probably could not, or would not, have said the things she did if Will were present, yet the reader knows such a "secret" is a smoking gun that must go off at some point. It is a minor incident in the "rising action" that has its own climax and resolution.
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Ruff, Dr. K.. "TheBestNotes on Cold Sassy Tree".
. 09 May 2017