Well, good gosh a’mighty! She’s dead as she’ll ever be, ain’t she? Well, ain’t she?

Rucker says these words at the end of Chapter 1 in response to Mary Willis’s and Loma’s indignant reactions to the news of his second marriage. Rucker’s careless response to his daughters’ outrage reveals much about his character. Because he feels that he is right, Rucker exercises no tact. Instead of speaking gently to his daughters and explaining the benefits of his remarrying, he speaks roughly of their dead mother, using the approach most certain to offend Mary Willis and Loma. Rucker uses slang to make his point, which contrasts with the refined language that his daughters speak. Rucker responds to their pleas with the colloquial exclamation, “Good gosh a’mighty!” Rucker responds so unfeelingly partly because he feels genuinely frustrated when his daughters do not understand something that seems so clear to him and partly because he does not care enough to avoid shocking them.