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Death Is Part Of Life
I have been told that death is in fact a part of life but that tends to
becontradictory. When I examine the death in the book Cold Sassy Tree
byOlive Ann Burns, I uncovered a considerable amount of death, as really
boththe beginning and end of the book involve the death of a character.
In the beginning of Cold Sassy Tree, Miss Mattie Lou passes on. She
isWill Tweedy’s grandmother. Because of her passing, life in Cold Sassy
willnever be the same. The entire town is affected, most of all, Grandpa. Heis
a wise man, he knows he can’t take care of everything himself and
threeweeks after her death asks Miss Love to marry him. This enrages the
townespecially Grandpa’s two daughters. The entire town says that it was
toosoon, because Miss Mattie Lou hadn’t even been dead for 3 weeks he
musthave liked Miss Love before and was just waiting on Mattie Lou to die.
This proves that people have standards for how long other people
shouldgrieve and how they should do it. Grandpa has a right to live his life
theway he chooses and no one in the town should condemn him for it.
Grievingis different for all people some people can accept death sooner,
othersnever do, some people cry all the time, others hold it all inside.
Sometimes especially in small towns the death of a person is handled
inone of two ways. In Cold Sassy, it is the most talked about subject intown,
like after Grandma got sick, “Mrs. Avery down the street kept saying,“Now
don’t y’all git your hopes up too much. I seen it many a time - asick person
gits better just fore they go’n to die.” (37) but other placesdeath can be a
untouchable subject. The people of Cold Sassy had no respect for Grandpa,
just because he chose to marry Miss Love did not meanhe didn’t love Mattie
Lou, he just had to move on. Grandpa told hisdaughter Mary Willis he had to
move on because, “Ma was as dead as she’dever b-be!” (15) Just like
everything else in life, death must be taken instride, it might take a side step
or two but eventually he had to get backon track.
Why is it when someone dies they are the one that is affected least
bythere passing? Yes, grandma’s life ended but it was everyone that was
leftbehind that was affected, Grandpa, Miss Love, Will, the town. Also,
whengrandpa dies at the end of the book, it seems that it is his son and
MissLove that are really the ones that are affected.
Death is the end of life so therefore it isn’t really a part of life butthe
death of others we love occurs during our life making life a largeportion of
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Cold Sassy Tree, Jackson County, Georgia, Death, Sassy
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