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The Grass Harp

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  • September 18, 2012
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Keith C
English 150
3/13/11
“Love is a chain of love”, what this means is that once you open yourself up to love you can let in other forms of love. It can be described as somewhat of a snowball effect, once you get love rolling it gets bigger and bigger. However, I do not think the main them in The Grass Harp is “Love is a chain of love”, I believe the main theme is the conflict between personal and community standards of behavior. In the Grass Harp, all the important characters in the book have been ostracized by society or are on the outside by circumstances both within and beyond their control. The most appealing characters in The Grass Harp refuse to accede to the practical or the conventional. Dolly will not allow Verena and Dr. Morris Ritz to exploit her "dropsy cure" formula, although she could have fancy labels and a profitable business. The Harvard-educated Judge Charlie Cool has found that his ideas of justice do not correspond precisely with the law; thus, he champions the cause of social misfits such as Dolly Talbo, Riley Henderson, Sister Ida Honey, and Catherine Creek, who ,more than any other character in the movie, celebrates eccentricity. Fiercely loyal to the woman she calls "Dollyheart," Catherine accepts Collin but remains suspicious of Judge Cool and actively dislikes Verena, whom she refers to as "That One." Families in the film are rarely are part of traditional families. In fact only minor characters like the Riordans and the Countys belong to conventional nuclear families. Sister Ida Honey, for example, left her family after bearing her brother-in-law's illegitimate child, and of her fifteen additional children, only a few were not born out of wedlock. Superficially more conventional is Judge Charlie Cool's relationship with his sons and their wives, but he tells Collin and Dolly that they spy on him and they are ashamed of him. This theme of being on the outside mirrors Capote's own life and...