Ivy Rowe's Ideas Of The Past In Fair And Tender Ladies

860 words - 3 pages

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. "I hate you,
you do not write back nor be my Pen Friend I think you are the Ice
Queen instead. I do not have a Pen Friend or any friend in the world,
I have only Silvaney who laghs and laghs and Beulah who is mad now all
the time and Ethel who calls a spade a spade…I will not send this
letter as I remain your hateful, Ivy Rowe."(Smith, 17) This letter
shows just how important letter writing is to Ivy. As she is not able
to receive correspondence from Hanneke she cannot fully express
herself and has a hard time with her anger, as is evidence by the
excerpt from her letter.

Ivy also writes to Mrs. Brown about her experiences in Sugar Fork. She
talks about how she shot a gun and is able to paint a vivid picture of
the winter season. "Ice just shining on each and evry limb of evry
tree and isickles thick as your arm hanging down offen the house. It
was lik I looked out on the whole world and I culd see for miles, off
down the mountain here, but it was new."(Smith, 18) This also ties
into her past because it shows us why she later has such an attachment
to Sugar Fork. The beauty of the mountain stays with her the rest of
her life.

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

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