The Grass Harp Social Concerns

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In The Grass Harp, Capote raises the issue of society's attitudes toward the disabled, race, religion, the elderly, and family. Collin Fenwick overlooks Dolly Talbo's eccentric behavior because he appreciates her kind and gentle personality, but many of the townspeople believe she is weak and perhaps slightly retarded; some even describe her as her sister Verena's "cross." When Dolly, Catherine, and Collin leave home and take up residence in a tree-house, their neighbors agree that Verena should send the sheriff to bring the runaways home. Both civic authorities and average citizens speak patronizingly to Dolly; only Collin, Catherine, and Judge Cool seem aware of her skills as an herbalist. Interestingly enough, most of the respect Dolly receives comes from outsiders—mail order customers who swear by her dropsy cure and even Dr. Morris Ritz, who comes from Chicago to exploit her formula.

Catherine Creek, clearly another eccentric...

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This section contains 510 words
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