What do Bessie's preparations for departure reveal about her character in "When the Legends Die"?
Bessie's preparations reveal a number of things about her character. For one thing, she is obedient. When her husband flees the law, instructing her to follow him to where he is hiding in the mountains, she does so unquestioningly. At the same time, she is also independent and capable, because it must have taken a great deal of courage and trust to leave everything behind and travel alone with a young child to follow her fugitive husband to an unpredictable future.
Bessie's preparations for her departure are extremely minimal - for a trip of questionable duration she takes with her only a few items of clothing and utensils. This shows that she is not terribly materialistic. She does not need very much to get by. It also shows that she is one with nature. Bessie is able to gather seeds and berries for food, and to make a living out of baskets she weaves. In the absence of material goods, it is the land which will sustain her.
Bessie retains the "old ways" of her culture, and passes its stories and customs on to her son. It is from this basis that she draws the inner peace and resiliency with which she faces whatever challenges life may bring her.