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Study Guide for Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

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1. Cuts his hair and beard

2. Someone who designs and/or trims hats.

3. It takes place too soon after the death of his first wife, and Love is considered a class beneath him.

4. If Grandpa can get married, then it must be time to stop mourning.

5. Blind Tillie creek

6. He feels so guilty about doing it that he doesn't enjoy it.

7. The dog can hear the train coming.

8. Widows and school teachers

9. 59

10. Love's former fiancé

11. To take a sip of his whiskey

12. Boston

13. He blankets the grave in roses.

14. Aunt Carrie tried to dye it black for the funeral. The natural color was red.

15. As a joke on the Yankees

16. He crawls off of it himself with encouragement from Lightfoot.

17. Because he is lazy and once deliberately caused an injury to a tenant's child.

18. To get the boys' attention off of Love

19. He tries to look stern but ends up sputtering. Although Hoyt whips Will, he also tells him that if he is going to make up a story, be sure he doesn't pin it on anyone people know.

20. Love tells them herself

21. A quart jar

22. She wants to get away with Rucker herself.

23. LaGrange College

24. From the grove of Sassafras trees that once grew at the outskirts of the town.

25. Aunt Carrie

26. A trip to a fair

27. Tricks him into naming the store "The Rucker Blakeslee Hotel"

28. She was born on Valentine's Day.

29. Gets Hosie Roach to quit school

30. Shaves


1. Discuss the ways in which Will's family show that they have more than their share of prejudice for people they consider beneath them.

2. How does Will show that he matures during the year that Love is married to his grandfather.

3. Explain the ways in which Will and his grandfather are alike, and the ways in which they are different.

4. Compare and contrast Loma and Will.

5. Analyze Grandpa's religion and show how it is different from that of the rest of the family.

6. Analyze Grandpa Blakeslee's power and authority over the people of Cold Sassy.

7. In spite of deliberately scandalizing his family, Rucker Blakeslee is a keen judge of human nature and knows how to manipulate it to his own benefit. Write about at least three occasions when Grandpa shows that he is aware of things that other people don't realize he knows.

8. The story is told from Will Tweedy's view point. Analyze his discussion, showing how the eight year later recollection of the adult Will may have influenced the way the teenage narrator tells his story.

9. Love's greatest longing is for a home and "kin-folk." Disregarding the fact that she has a child who will be accepted, explain whether or not Love achieved her goal of simply "belonging."

10. Do you agree or disagree that Grandpa Blakeslee had a more deeply sensitive nature and love for his family than the people of Cold Sassy gave him credit for? Explain your position with examples from the story.

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Ruff, Dr. K.. "TheBestNotes on Cold Sassy Tree". . 09 May 2017