Jon Taylor Mr. Thomas 05/02/13 True Grit Questions Question 1 Mattie’s world revolves around her conception of what “true grit” is. She has an idea graven into her mind that grit is dead-set fearlessness. Based on this notion, she sets off to revenge her father’s death. Mattie is a cold sort of character. She visualizes grit as undaunted courage, but her version is also extreme. She doesn’t back away from a fight, no matter who it is with. Mattie’s idea of true grit is hardness, the idea that no form of weakness, emotionality included, should get in the way.
When she takes off on her revenge mission, she does so by thinking she is the only one in the world with such grit. “People do not give it credence that a 14 year old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her fathers blood…” (p. 11) This quote is the opening line in the book and it becomes apparent to the reader that Mattie looks down on anyone who shows fear, seeing him or her as cowards, incapable of having “true grit. ” The one thing that Mattie’s inexperience and age realize is grit comes in different forms.
True grit is also visible when a person goes through with something, knowing from the start the he or she will not win. Question 2 I agree with her mindset of an “eye for an eye” because she is living in a time of transition where sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands in order for anything to happen. The country was not quite stabilized yet, land territories were still a bit of a mess for the government as noted in the book when Tom got away. I think her methods reflect who she is as a person. She has the relentless stubbornness where she will not stop until her goal is achieved and in that sense her methods are sound.
Her religious upbringing is quite strong as she cites several Bible passages. On page 40 of the paperback when she watches the prison wagon unload the convicts she makes the statement, “They had ridden teh “hoot-owl trail” and tasted the fruits of evil and now justice had caught up with them to demand payments. You must pay for everything in this world one way or another. There is nothing free except the Grace of Gad. You cannot earn that or deserve it. ” This statement I believe is the essence of Mattie and her view of the world. It is why she is determined to bring down Tom. Question 3
This question has forced me to dig deep into my brain to remember the story of Huckleberry Finn. I do not remember much so I must go add it to my TBR list so I can answer this question because it intrigues me. Without reading Huck in a loooonnng time, I have to go with Mattie as being my favorite because I really liked her as the protagonists. She quickly became one of my more memorable main characters in the hundreds of books I have read lately. I think it does provide a and coming of age jumping off point because I think today more than ever females have a strong voice and are being heard.
Mattie had such a strong personality in the novel and just did not take no for an answer to where she almost intimidated one of the most ruthless characters in that time period. It goes again mainstream of the time, as women were not usually given the right to be outspoken and defiant like she was at the turn of the century. Question 4 Mattie achieves her goal. The story is a monologue and told from Mattie when she is much older. She is single, missing an arm, taking care of her sick mother, and loves her money and church. She is such a stone-faced type character that you don’t get much emotion from her on any level.
It is hard to determine if this is the life she wants. She mentions she could marry, but why do it when they only want her money? The positive to her demeanor is that she has no self pity for her circumstances so I don’t really think she views her life in terms of where she wants to be or not, but rather it is what it is. I don’t think she has changed much. She is still her same old self in terms of her outlook and behavior. She has settled into one location. Probably like most people she takes things one day at a time. She knows people talk, but it does not bother her.