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Many critics have likened Will Tweedy to the boy hero
Huckleberry Finn from Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures
of Huckleberry Finn. Like Huck, whose travels in the South
help him learn about life, Will’s experiences help him understand
such complex issues as death, prejudice, and love. Will narrates
the novel, and although he is twenty-two when he narrates the events
of the story years later, he recaptures the adolescent humor and
innocent perspective that allow him to view his grandfather’s marriage
and the ways of the South with unbiased eyes. This youthful voice
keeps the narrative lively, while his adolescent humor lightens
the novel’s serious examinations of death and morality.
In many ways, Will Tweedy and Rucker Blakeslee are the
same man at opposite ends of life’s spectrum. Critics frequently
describe Will as the mirror image of Rucker in outward appearance
and personality. Will and Rucker share a penchant for practical
jokes, storytelling, and fighting. Their characters also progress
along the same arc—though in different directions—over the course
of the story. The novel tells the story of Will’s maturation and
Rucker’s renaissance. Will must learn from his grandfather how to
speak his mind and discard the social constraints of Cold Sassy.
As Will learns to become defiant and brave, Rucker, whose defiance
hardened him, learns to become happy and youthful. Both Will and
Rucker move toward the middle point on the spectrum.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Cold Sassy Tree!