Aubrey H. Period 3 American Literature April 11, 2013 Character Analysis Struggles in life influence people to develop into who they will truly be. The struggles depicted in Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns caused certain characters to be the way they are. Will Tweedy is the narrator and the main character in the novel. He is a fourteen-year-old boy growing up in Cold Sassy, Georgia. As a young adult with a free spirit, he appears to be very defiant throughout his teenage years.
After Will’s grandmother, Mattie Lou, dies and his widower grandfather, Mr.
Rucker Blakeslee, gets remarried to Ms. Love Simpson he begins to struggle with issues regarding love, prejudice, and death. During this process we see that Will is developing a new perspective on his own life, he is growing up from a naive boy to a courageous man. Will is thought to be the mirror image of his grandfather Rucker Blakeslee, who is also very rebellious and tremendously friendly to everyone in Cold Sassy.
Will has to deal with many conflicts in his life, including being run over by a train and being put in the middle of his grandfather’s new marriage.
This round, dynamic character can be thought of as an individual who is friendly, loyal, and courageous. In the beginning of the novel Will Tweedy does not know how to feel about the tragic events that were occurring around him. With his mother, Mary Willis, and his Aunt Loma being so distraught about their fathers new marriage only three weeks after their own mother died, he is forced to hide a lot of emotions he encounters. The new marriage was such a mystery to everyone in Cold Sassy and Will seemed to be the only one with enough confidence to ask what was truly going on.
After blurting out the question to Ms. Love, “How come you married my grandpa? ” (Burns, 126) Will immediately wished he could have taken it back. Spending time with Ms. Love allowed him to accept her presence within his family; he soon understood why Grandpa Blakeslee would marry her. Ms. Love’s exclamation, “The Lord answers prayers in strange ways” (Burns, 133) really showed Will that she didn’t have any bad intentions with his family. This simple interaction seems to change Will’s perspective on life and love.
When Will came extremely close to death when he was going through Mill Town, Lightfoot McLendon coincidently came over and helped him out by assisting him off of the train tracks. Lightfoot McLendon is a very attractive and intellectual young girl from the impecunious Mill Town. Lightfoot is the object of Will’s affection as a young teenager. Will was on the train tracks when the train was approaching, he laid flat on the trestle as it got closer; he survives by lying flat between the tracks so the train passes just overhead without touching him.
After this the train stopped and Lightfoot comes running towards Will to help him come off the tracks safely when the train almost killed him. During all this commotion Lightfoot happened to leave her bucket of blackberries near the trestle, in an attempt to make her feel better Will invites Lightfoot, “Why’n’t we go pick some more early in the mornin’? Mama’s been astin’ me every day when am I go’n get her some blackberries. ” (Burns, 83) This lie was made up just to help Lightfoot out, knowing this was very upsetting to her and her poor family.
He knew Lightfoot was embarrassed that she was so upset over a few berries, so he validated her feelings. Will is a very considerate, caring young boy. Upon the conclusion of this novel it is logical to believe Will is going to find himself trying to hold his family together while times are complicated. Ms. Love and Grandpa Blakeslee will then fall in love and Will would remain to be the only one who believes them that they weren’t scandalous when Mattie Lou was still alive. He will grow up to be a fine gentleman but end up falling for his young crush Lightfoot McLendon.
The two of them will get married and have children. While Will Tweedy and Lightfoot McLendon are living in Cold Sassy people will treat Lightfoot the same way Ms. Love Simpson was treated when she moved to Cold Sassy and married Rucker Blakeslee, as if Lightfoot is less human than others who live in Cold Sassy. Will is going to be a respected, cherished man in Cold Sassy, similar to his Grandpa Blakeslee. Perhaps the novel will end with Will finally being pleased with his life and the people in it.
It is imperative when analyzing characters to observe their traits and reactions when placed in stressful situations. These situations tend to show the true colors of an individual. Overall, Will Tweedy is portrayed to be a loyal, considerate and courageous character. His future seems fairly predictable due to foreshadowing within different interactions throughout the novel. So far Will’s life has been a series of unfortunate events and those of which have constructed him as a person.
Cite this Cold Sassy Tree Character Analysis Will Tweedy
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