Dating back to the early 1900’s and all the way through to the present, romantic relationships have been viewed differently. From strict unwritten dating regulations to not having regulations at all, recent generations have become more liberated in making their own decisions. The progressing times have made us become a more accepting society and have caused a decrease in the strong practice of religion and class. Even though differences such as religion and class in relationships were more than an issue they were not always a complete deterrence.
In the novel Cold Sassy Tree (1984), Olive Ann Burn's plot focuses heavily on religion and its role in society. Mary Willis Blakeslee, a Baptist, is tried for heresy by the deacons of the Baptist church for marrying Hoyt Tweedy, a Presbyterian. “The deacons voted to put it in the church records that ‘Mary Willis Blakeslee has swapped her religious birthright for a mess of matrimonial pottage’” (11). After her father Rucker Blakeslee confronted the deacons they agreed to remove the pottage element from the document (11). Although this confrontation with Grandpa intimidated the deacons it didn’t impede them from excommunicating Mary Willis from her “birth church.” As it ended up she decided to attend the church of her husband, Hoyt Tweedy. As Cold Sassy Tree illustrates, in Georgia in the early 1900’s religion played a major role in marriage decision along with membership to the church. This sort of attention that Mary Willis acquired was very hard for her to tolerate emotionally. It was important to her to appear respectable to the community. Regardless of this embarrassment caused by the Baptist...
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... the level of education problems such as outside gossiping, financial differences, differences in interests, and the decrease in one’s pride can occur.
Religion and class are still issues in relationships but members of our generation tend to question them less, yet these issues have never been a complete deterrence to a happy and healthy relationship. As time periods change so do the values and morals of the upcoming generations. As illustrated the younger the generation, the more liberated they become to make their own decisions and mistakes. It is the mistakes that we learn from that teach us life’s greatest lesson. After all, if we never made a mistake how would we know if we are leading a correct life?
Burns, Olive Ann. Cold Sassy Tree. New York: Dell Publishing, 1984.
Accarino, Susan. Personal interview. 20 March 2001.
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