Study Guide for Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns|
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STUDY GUIDE FOR COLD SASSY TREE BY OLIVE ANN BURNS
13. "A man with a bad conscience, and stubborn enough to lug
something this heavy all the way from Texas, he ain't a-goin' lug it back
home." Rucker, pg. 151.
Trying to figure out what to do with McAllister's saddle. He shows that he
realizes the former relationship was more serious than either McAllister
or Love have let on, and that he knows McAllister had wronged Love in
some way. Any attempt to try to get rid of the saddle will just draw more
attention to it than keeping it.
14. "Queenie doesn't care what she eats out of, Miss Love. No
more'n she cares if pot licker runs off of the turnip salad and soaks
her biscuits or if the cream gravy gets all over her mashed sweet potatoes.
She likes usin' a pan. It holds more'n a plate.' Being an outsider, Miss
Love couldn't understand that Queenie really just didn't care. Yankee,
I thought burning..." Will, pg. 205.
Will and Love briefly discuss why the black servants eat in the kitchen and
use old jars or pie pans for their food. Love tries to tell Will that
it's because white people don't want black people using their dishes and
things. Having been brought up in that environment, Will can't see the
discrepancy and believes that their black servant really doesn't care
what she eats from. His anger, however, suggests that he realizes Love
is telling the truth.
15. "It's been eight years since Loma gave me that book, and
not long ago I read through all I wrote down on its blank pages. That's
why I can remember so much that happened to Miss Love and Grandpa, and
what went on in the family and the town, and what people said and how
they said it, and how I felt when it was happening. Reading my notes in
the journal brings it all back." Will, pg. 216.
It is ironic that as much as Will hated Loma, she was the one responsible
for getting him to write his stories. It suggests that Will and Loma had
a lot more in common than he recognized as a child.
16. "I caught her wrist and pulled her up. And then I kissed
her. I swear I hadn't once thought of doing such a thing, and I'm sure
she hadn't either. But before you could say doodly-squat, my arms had
circled her and she had flung her arms around my neck, and I could feel
her wet cheek against mine...She kept saying, 'No, Will, no, no, no, no...'
But she didn't push me away." Will, pg. 246.
In his efforts to comfort Lightfoot who is grieving the death of her own father,
Will begins kissing her. His own attraction for her takes over his sense
of propriety or self control, but she doesn't resist until a snoopy neighbor
17. "Poor Grandpa. All the fun had gone out of it for him. But
Miss Love was right. If folks saw her perched high and mighty beside him
in the back seat of a shiny motor car, they'd call her snooty, or grave-snatcher.
They'd recollect that all Miss Mattie Lou ever had to ride in was a buggy
pulled by a mule-unless you counted Mr. Birdsong's glass-sided hearse
pulled by fine black horses that she'd rode to the cemetery in."
Will, pg. 271.
He realizes that his grandfather is being pig-headed and blind in his anger
over Love staying behind during the unveiling of the new car. Also, Miss
Love seems to be the only person who can behave contrary to Rucker's wishes.
However, it is natural for grandpa to want his wife to share in the celebration
of the new car and the extension of his business, so the narrator doesn't
fault him too much.
18. "Loma was jealous. the store window being like a little
stage and her having taken elocution, she considered herself the only
person in Cold Sassy qualified to act like a dummy." Will, pg.
A humorous, tongue in cheek, response to Miss Love's attempts to have a "mannequin"
in her store window. Apparently, Will thinks like his grandfather, that
it's a bit silly, and he finds it equally humorous that Loma would be
jealous over it. In some ways, perhaps both women are acting a little
19. "Whelm, faith ain't no magic wand or money-back gar'nttee,
either one. Hit's jest a way a-living'. Hit means you don't worry th'ew
the days. Hit means you go'n be holdin' on to God in good or bad times,
and you accept whatever happens. Hit means you respect life like it is-like
God made it-even when it ain't what you'd order from the wholesale house...."
Rucker, pg. 363.
Explaining his understanding of religious faith to Love shortly before he dies. Rucker dies in the same way he lived, believing that the proper relationship with God was one that asked him to help you bear whatever troubles you had rather than asking to be relieved of them. The discussion foreshadows his death.
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Ruff, Dr. K.. "TheBestNotes on Cold Sassy Tree".
. 09 May 2017