Cold Sassy Tree
Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. How is Rucker’s behavior in his marriage with Mattie Lou different from his behavior in his marriage to Miss Love Simpson?
2. How does Rucker’s decision to hire Hosie Roach affect Will? Is Rucker’s decision to hire Hosie generous to Hosie or inconsiderate to Will?
3. Cold Sassy Tree concludes with Will listing the objects he has saved from his childhood. How do these objects relate to the story he has just told?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. Discuss each of the prominent female characters in Cold Sassy Tree. Are they relevant to contemporary ideas of womanhood, or can they be read only as figures from a bygone era?
2. Why is Rucker initially so resistant to technology, both inside and outside of the home? What makes him change his mind?
3. At any point, is the marriage of Miss Love or Rucker in serious jeopardy? What causes the problems that threaten the marriage, or what prevents them?
4. Do Will’s feelings toward Hosie Roach change over the course of the story? If so, how do they change?
5. How do you think we are supposed to feel about the modernization of Cold Sassy? Overall, is it a change for better or worse?
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