Spoon River Anthology Questions and Answers
by Edgar Lee Masters

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How did Oaks Tutt die in "Oaks Tutt" from Spoon River Anthology?

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"Oaks Tutt" is one of the 244 fictional accounts of life in Spoon River by Edgar Lee Masters in the Spoon River Anthology. While there is no suggestion that Oaks Tutt dies in the poem, he does learn some important lessons.

Tutt had a comfortable childhood, brought by a mother who "was for women's rights" and a father who was a "rich miller at London Mills." Their social standing gave him the confidence to dream about fixing the wrongs of the world. As he states in the poem:

When my father died, I set out to see peoples and countries
In order to learn how to reform the world.

After Tutt visits ruins in Memphis, Rome, Athens, and Thebes, he comes to the conclusion that they were destroyed due to their lack of belief in the Christian God.

Injustice, Untruth destroyed them. Go forth!
Preach Justice! Preach Truth!

Tutt goes back to Spoon River and says,

farewell to my mother before beginning my work

At the end of the poem he gets into and loses a debate with a man called Jonathan Swift who asks him

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 682 words.)

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