Grandpa Blakeslee in Burn's Cold Sassy Tree

Grandpa Blakeslee in Burn's Cold Sassy Tree

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In life, people crave guidance. At some point, everyone needs a helping hand. Some people turn to one another, while other turn to great forces of power, such as God. Many people live accordingly to the rules of God, and in turn are directed in leading a better life. In the brilliant novel Cold Sassy Tree, by Olive Ann Burns, Grandpa Blakeslee is such a person. Whenever Grandpa faces an obstacle, he turns to God.
Grandpa turns to God whenever he needs true help. Grandpa is a type of person who is mild, witty, and rather religious. Grandpa uses religion to solve many of his problems. At the beginning of the story, Miss Love was the target of gossip. The entire town viewed her as an outsider and couldn’t understand why she married Grandpa, especially after his wife had recently died. After Grandpa elopes, he comes back to the house and finds a group of people mourning the sad death.
When Grandpa prays, “Lord above, afore this gatherin’ assembled, I ask You to bless the memory of Miss Mattie Lou” (99). Everyone stood shockingly, in silence as Grandpa continued the prayer. When he finishes singing the praises of his deceased wife, and asking for guidance for his new one, the crowd has a change of heart.
It was a strange thing that happened then. My mama went up to her pa and kissed him and, crying, hugged Miss Love, who, crying, hugged her back. My daddy kissed Miss Love on the cheek and then shook hands with Grandpa. Uncle Camp naturally did the same thing (100).
Slyly, Grandpa used the power of God to divert the feelings of the crowd.
While Will is talking to Grandpa about his frightening encounter with the train, he asks Grandpa if “[he is] alive [because] of God’s will” (97). Without fail, Grandpa responds with wise words. He tells Will that “God gave [him] a brain” (97). This shows that Grandpa believes God doesn’t deal with the everyday mumbo jumbo, only the things that are life altering. He believes that God doesn’t need to be there for us twenty-four hours a day, but will give us certain abilities that assist you when you need assistance.
Conclusively, Grandpa starts to give Will a sermon.

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Grandpa preaches “[One] don’t git thangs jest by astin’” (98). This shows that Grandpa is a well-educated man who understands the importance of God. He doesn’t waste his time asking for petty things because he’s assured that God has much better things to help you with. Grandpa is well aware of life and which favors God will and will not grant.
What makes people want direction and guidance? People need a standard to meet in order to achieve serenity. Whatever makes one comfortable is the correct solution for him or her, whether it is Christianity or Scientology, the message is still the same: “Live a good life”.
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