differences between southern and northern values and ways of life
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Although Amanda might be considered the "epitome" of Southern life, her view of such life is skewed by her memory of a number of gentlemen callers on a given afternoon. She values gentility, good manners, a life in which a woman can be taken care of by her "love," and in general a way of life which almost hearkens to the time of the Southern plantations. The North, on the other hand, seems to be a place where all such gentility is gone as people simply go about their business and care little about manners or good actions. From Amanda's point of view, the South is dead (as Tom runs away from it as his father already has); the North, with its less gentle ways has overrun that which was best in the South.