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Narrator-14 year old boy growing up in Cold Sassy, Georgia in the 20th Century
*Free Spirit, Faced with issues of love and death, perspective on life begins to change
-Mary Willis's younger sister
-few years older than Will
- bossy, jealous, and petulant woman
-dreams of being a writer or actress
-hates her dead-end marriage to Campbell Williams
- brash, humorous, and domineering man
-owns the general store in Cold Sassy
- acts according to his own code of decent conduct, not the towns
-pretty, affectionate, and strong-willed woman
-succeeded despite her troubled childhood
- has charm, sense of humor, and posseses a smart business sense
- lives a cheerful life, ignoring or defying the the expectations of Cold Sassy
Married to Hoyt Tweedy
maddie lou and Ruckers daughter
deeply affected by her mother's death
betrayed by fathers choice to remarry
- stern, pious man who loves his family
-has a weak spot for modern technology
Loma's Husband. A failure at his home and his work. Loma and Rucker drive him to despair.
- a pretty, studious girl from Mill Town
-object of Will's affections
-marries Hosie Roach
-21 year old mill boy
- attends school despite his age
- Will considers him his enemy
- shows great promise
What are some recurring themes in Cold Sassy Tree?
Themes: The Struggle to Understand Death, The Dawning of the Modern Era, The Fight to Overcome Social Constraints
Motifs: Humor as a Coping Mechanism, Family as a Burden and a Blessing, Language as a Reflection of Class and Place
Analysis: Chapters 1-4
Will Tweedy's grandmother has been dead for three weeks and his grandfather announces his plan to marry a Yankee woman half his age.
Analysis: Chapters 5-10
Will relates the description of his grandmother's death and wonders if Grandpa Blakeslee had feelings for Miss Love before his wife's death. Speaking of, he has a near-death experience from almost getting hit by a train.
Analysis: Chapters 17-20
Will and Grandpa Blakeslee become the talk of Cold Sassy, from the train incident to the elopement. Will questions Miss Love's intentions, and it unfolds as a buisness marriage: Grandpa needs someone to look after him and Miss Love needs a place to live.
Analysis: Chapters 21-27
Miss Love confronts her ex-boyfriend and Grandpa offers to annul the marriage for her happiness. Will goes on a camping trip with the boys and conjures up nasty rumors about Aunt Loma.
Analysis: Chapters 28-31
Miss Love's patience is tested when the rumors begin to aggravate her. Meanwhile, Will is surprised by his sudden closeness with Miss Love and Aunt Loma.
Analysis: Chapters 32-35
Grandpa Blakeslee is accused of purposely stirring the pot when he invites people to his stay-at-home church sermons and flirts with Miss Love when they head for New York. Will has his own personal awakening when he goes on a date with Lightfoot and is caught kissing her passionately.
Analysis: Chapters 36-41
Will is punished for dating Lightfoot (someone of a lower class) by being banned from the Cadillac for two months. He is able to find a loophole when Grandpa decides to sell cars. During a Sunday drive, Will accidentally crashes the car when driving away from an overturned vehicle. The radiator needs fixing and they stay at a stranger's house for the night. Grandpa confesses his desire for Miss Love, and she confesses a dark family secret: she was raped as a child, and she believes no man could love a victim of rape.
Analysis: Chapters 42-46
Relationships are restored: Grandpa Blakeslee and Miss Love fall in love, and Will and Aunt Loma are back on hostile ground. Campbell kills himself for being such a failure, and Grandpa hires Loma and Hoise to work for him. Lightfoot tells Will she's getting married to Hosie and gives him a buckeye to remember her by.
Analysis: Chapters 47-50
Two robbers hold Grandpa at gunpoint and demand he take them to where the money is kept. Grandpa manages to disarm them, but is brutally beaten and rushed to the hospital. He later catches pneumonia and dies from it. Miss Love gives birth to his son and Will Tweedy offers to take care of him. Cold Sassy changes its name to Progressive City and cut down the sassafras tree. Will saves a tree root, as well as the newspaper clipping about his escape on the train trestle, a photograph of him, Rucker, and Miss Love, his diploma from an agricultural college, and the buckeye Lightfoot gave him.
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