Study Guide for Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns|
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COLD SASSY TREE - FREE STUDY GUIDE
The business of starting his own "church" is Blakeslee's way
of thumbing his nose at the town for the way they have treated Love. He
doesn't really expect many people to attend, but in addition to his disappointment
in people's reactions to his marriage, he is angry that people are accusing
Love of stealing Mama's trip to New York when he thinks it was his own
idea. In reality, it was Love's idea in the first place. Rucker rarely
made the trip unless he had to, usually leaving it to Hoyt.
Hoyt finds a way to perform a "one-up-manship" on Rucker.
One Sunday morning just before Rucker and Love leave for New York, Hoyt
stays home from church. Mary Willis thinks he must be sick because he
is the treasurer and never misses, but he has nothing wrong with him.
After church, he pulls up in a shiny new, red Cadillac convertible. Will
knows that Love would be thrilled to have a car, probably even more than
taking a trip to New York. In his mind, that makes them "just about
The car is a symbol of success and status. They don't need the car,
but getting one shows the Hoyt has enough money to get anything he really
The presence of the Cadillac takes Cold Sassy's collective mind off
of Grandpa and Miss Love. Nearly everyone in town takes a turn riding
in it. Will learns to drive it so he can help Hoyt haul everyone around.
Rucker refuses to take a ride, saying a car is a "fool contraption."
That week, he and Love leave for New York.
The car functions as an objective correlative, defusing a conflict that is beginning to get tedious. The town can't continue bickering over the Blakeslees forever, but neither can they just benignly accept Love after making such a fuss over her. The only alternative is to give the town something else to focus on, which the car does. There is never any apology to Love or any visible acceptance of her. It is the nature of people; they never admit they have done anything wrong. They simply move on as if their own malicious behavior had never occurred.
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Ruff, Dr. K.. "TheBestNotes on Cold Sassy Tree".
. 09 May 2017