Religion and Coming of Age in Olive Ann Burns’ Novel, Cold Sassy Tree Essay

Religion and Coming of Age in Olive Ann Burns’ Novel, Cold Sassy Tree Essay

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Religion and Coming of Age in Olive Ann Burns’ Novel, Cold Sassy Tree

In the small southern town of Cold Sassy, Georgia, at the turn of the twentieth century, teenage boys had to grow up fast. They were not in any way sheltered from the daily activities of the town. This was especially true for fourteen year old Will Tweedy. Olive Ann Burns’ first, and only completed novel, Cold Sassy Tree, tells of young Will’s coming-of-age. His experiences with religion, progress, and death in Cold Sassy escorted him along the path to manhood.

During the early 1900s, the south was full of religious fervor. Most small communities were based around two or three church families. Cold Sassy Tree, which is a recounting of Will’s memories, contains many references to religion and God. Rucker Blakeslee,...

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