Most American in The Profit of the Smoky Mountains Essay

1783 Words Feb 13th, 2015 8 Pages
LITR221
Due: 23 November 2014
Granny (Mis’ Cayce) A Unique American Woman
What makes Appalachian Americans unique? Starting with characteristics one that most Appalachian’s share is an intense desire for freedom. “Freedom to live as they pleased, with lots of space to themselves– “elbow room”, as Appalachian Daniel Boone used to say. People who settled Appalachia were not inclined to be bound to institutions, religious or otherwise. Those ties and that external authority were part of what they wanted to leave behind. These people brought their traditions, values and beliefs with them. They came into contact with Native Americans, and while doubtless there were fights for land, the settlers and Indians reached an understanding” (How
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“Southern mountain dialect (as the folk speech of Appalachia is called by linguists) is certainly archaic, but the general historical period it represents can be narrowed down to the days of the first Queen Elizabeth, and can be further particularized by saying that what is heard today is actually a sort of Scottish-flavored Elizabethan English. This is not to say that Chaucerian forms will not be heard in everyday use, and even an occasional Anglo-Saxon one as well” (Dial).
While searching “The Profit of the Great Smoky Mountains” one character that stands out as being a unique American is Granny or Mis’ Cayce. Mis’ Cayce is an elderly woman whose birth was probably in the early 1800’s in the Appalachian community she still lived in. She grew up, grew old and will die in the region, probably without ever leaving it. In her first introduction she wore a “cap, which had a flapping frill and was surmounted by a pair of gleaming spectacles. A bandana kerchief was crossed over her breast, and she wore a blue-and- white-checked homespun dress of the same pattern and style that she had worn here fifty years ago” (Murfree).
Her dress was that of 18th century garments. The frilled cap was probably a Bavolette which “was a ribbon frill at the back of the bonnet. Its purpose was covering the neck, which was considered an erogenous zone in the mid-19th century” (History of Hats for Women). The Bavolette…