Study Guide for Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns|
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COLD SASSY TREE - BOOK REVIEW / NOTES
The incident creates a little subplot in the story as we hope that he
will be able to have a future with Lightfoot and help to lift her out
of the hopeless plight of her mill town life. Of course, it can't happen
as Cold Sassy is not yet ready to break the barriers they have set up
between the people of "class" and those they consider poor white
In an attempt to lighten his punishment, Will tells his mother that he kissed the mill girl. It doesn't help as she shames him mercilessly, and Hoyt not only whips him but also takes the car away for two months. The people in town sympathize with Will, putting all the blame on Lightfoot. Will feels that he should be credited for the shame he feels when his friends talk dirty about Lightfoot, but he admits to himself that ever since he saw Love and McAllister, he has had a "deep down itch" to kiss someone. Also, he feels sorry for Lightfoot as he knows that she is not a bad girl even if she is one of the mill people.
Grandpa and Love return home. Hoyt goes to the depot to get them in
the new car and Mary Willis decides to invite them to supper. Things go
well at first, as Love and Grandpa pass out all the presents, but during
supper Aunt Carrie asks questions about things they did in New York. Miss
Love tries to keep the focus on the time spent in the warehouse and in
visits to churches and museums, but Grandpa scandalizes Hoyt and Mary
Willis by talking about attending musicals and going dancing. Since he
can't dance himself, he gave a quarter to another man to dance with Love
while he watched. When a stony silence settles over the supper table,
Aunt Carrie says that a person ought to be allowed to dance if he wishes
to. Will realizes that Aunt Carrie knows the town laughs at her behind
her back on account of her "educated" ways, but she makes sense
to him. He decides that a person should be able to do whatever he wants,
as long as he isn't hurting anyone-including kissing a mill girl.
Aunt Carrie's ideas are a foreshadowing of changes that will be coming to Cold Sassy, although not immediately. Most of the people do not yet understand the value of an outside education, nor do they appreciate the types of entertainment found in the bigger cities. Love also shows her sensitivity to the social rules by trying to discuss only their business and visits to places that imply a state of seriousness if not actual melancholy. Grandpa, however, is more straightforward. His isn't mourning Mattie Lou any longer, and he isn't about to hide his experiences of a good time just to make others happy.
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Ruff, Dr. K.. "TheBestNotes on Cold Sassy Tree".
. 09 May 2017