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Ivy Rowe's ideas of the past in Fair and Tender Ladies.

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Introduction

Logan Buccolo

English 101

Mr. Butler

December 9, 2001

Ivy Rowe’s Ideas of the Past in Fair and Tender Ladies

In Lee Smith’s Fair and Tender Ladies, Ivy Rowe has a constant attachment to her past. This attachment is one of the main themes in the novel. It is one of her main reasons for letter writing and why she does some of the things that she does, because she does not want to lose her grip on her past. Ivy Rowe, in Lee Smith’s Fair and Tender Ladies, uses letter writing to keep a hold of her grip on the past and where she came from.

In Letters from Sugar Fork, Ivy writes for a number of reasons. She wants to see how and what other people are doing, wanting to improve her writing skills, asking for help from her grandfather at one point, in addition to just having some way to release all her thoughts and emotions. These letters, being a window into her mind, show us the progression of her as she grows. There is one letter in particular, which shows how important this correspondence is to her.

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Middle

In Letters from Majestic, Ivy continues to use letter writing as a means to express emotions and thoughts that she could not otherwise express. “I feel I am bursting with news but I can not tell it to a sole, I have no one to talk to.” (Smith, p. 96) This quote shows just how much Ivy needs to write. She has no one to talk to and cannot express her feelings to anyone save through writing these letters. She continues to feel as thought she needs to hold on to the past and continue with her exploration of herself by looking backwards instead of forwards. That is one of the biggest themes in this book. Her journey of exploration by looking backwards instead of forwards. It is rare that in any of her letters she really talks about things to come. It is always about what has already happened and what is happening, very rarely does she talk about what is to happen later.

Other reviewers of the novel agree that Ivy’s letter writing is helpful for her and the people she writes to. “The adolescent Ivy's letters are often therapeutic.

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Conclusion

Bibliography:

Henderson, Lara Beth A True Storyteller: Appalachia’s own Lee Smith October 1, 2000, http://www.etsu.edu/haleyd/engl3134/ejournal/henderson.html

Robbins, Dorothy Dodge “Personal and Cultural Transformation: Letter Writing in Lee Smith’s ‘Fair and Tender Ladies’” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction (Winter 1997, Volume 38 n.2): p. 135

Hill, Dorothy Combs “An Interview with Lee Smith” The Southern Quarterly 28.2(1990):5-19

Ivy Rowe’s Ideas of the Past in Fair and Tender Ladies

Logan Buccolo

English 101

Mr. Butler

...read more.

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