SHANTY TOWN index page
Synopsis: "Shanty Town"
As do all people the characters in Shanty Town change with the passage of time; none remain stagnant. Underlying the personal struggle of bigotry, family conflict, physical limitations, and socio-economic oppression is the age-old contest between love and fear. Some characters fail to recognize the common threads that tie all people together while others slowly understand that all of us are capable of personal growth, even against all odds.
Supporting the plot is the richness of two cultures, that of the African-American southerner of post-Civil War days and the dominant culture of the rural Deep South. In the African-Americans we witness an undying devotion to spirituality and their unwillingness to give in to a world of fear. We recognize sights and sounds in the shanty town residents that mirror those heard in the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s. The passion of their collective emotions is communicated in their melodious spirituals, their playfulness, and even in their resistance. In the white culture of the Cassville residents we see how people struggle to define what is right, even if it means masking their fears by overpowering the helpless. The story's two heroes, one an elderly white male and the other a beautiful young African-American female, teach that love is indeed more powerful than fear.
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Synopsis: "Addie's Daughter"
Rafe Earle has but two wishes before he dies. He wants his moderate wealth will be put to good use by his sole heir, nephew Oliver, and he wishes Oliver to marry to keep alive the family name. A spurned attempt to buy land from a reclusive neighbor, Willie Hadley, and the "murder" of the same sets off an untoward chain of events. Young Carrie Bristow, heiress to the land and daughter of Willie's estranged daughter, Addie, and weakly husband Brice take up residence on the family homestead. They intend to raise melons as Carrie simultaneously hopes to discover secrets about her mother's hushed past. Driven by an obsession to secure the young woman's land for his nephew, Rafe unhatches a plan of deceit and goads Oliver to run the new neighbors off their land. Tragically, the plan nearly works, but at the expense of Brice's life. But fate turns on Rafe with such harsh abandon that when a voice from the past reveals to Rafe the secret that for a lifetime has eluded Carrie, Rafe sees no honorable way to beg forgiveness from the one he has betrayed - Addie's daughter.
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