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Compare how Charles Dickens and Mildred D Taylor portray the social and personal problems of the main characters in Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry and Oliver Twist. Who overcomes their problems more successfully?

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Introduction

Jennifer Neary 10H Wider reading assignment Hartford high school 17th Jan 02 Compare how Charles Dickens and Mildred D Taylor portray the social and personal problems of the main characters in Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry and Oliver Twist. Who overcomes their problems more successfully? Roll of thunder hear my cry is a book written by Mildred D Taylor about racial prejudice in 1930s Mississippi. The main character is a small black girl called Cassie Logan and the story is mainly about the social difficulties that Cassie and her family face due to prejudice. Oliver twist is a book written by Charles Dickens about discrimination due to social class. The book is set in 19th century London. The main character is a small orphaned boy called Oliver and the book follows his journey towards finding his fortune and family history. The main characters of these two books actually have more in common than it may at first seem Cassie Logan is a nine-year-old black child who lives in Mississippi surrounded by her family and friends. The Logan family have their own land although many other families are sharecroppers on land owned by mr Harlan Granger, a moderately rich white man who used to own the Logan's land and tries to get it back from them throughout the story. ...read more.

Middle

I landed bottom first on the ground. No day in all my life had been as cruel as this one" Another example of racial prejudice is the education that the children receive. Black and white children go to different schools. Jefferson Davis, the school for white children, is funded by the government and has privileges such as a school bus. Great Faith Elementary, the black school, is funded by the black church. They receive second hand equipment and only get books when they are in such poor condition that they are considered unfit for use by white children. Although the school is funded by the church, The education board still have a say in what goes on such as firing mama for teaching about slavery, the reason being that it was not in the books that they had been given. Throughout the story we see lots of examples of injustice being done. The law and authority figures only protect the white people. One example of this is the reason that mr Morrison looses his job. Although two white men initiated a fight with him, he takes the punishment of losing his job and the white men are acquitted. Another example of injustice is the Berry's Burning. ...read more.

Conclusion

Oliver never really overcomes his problems but escapes them when he joins a higher social class at the end of the story. The way in which Cassie deals with her problems is somewhat more realistic than the manner in which Oliver does. Even though there are some bigger problems which she can do nothing about, she overcomes her own personal difficulties quite well therefore making her the more successful of the two characters at dealing with problems. I enjoyed both books immensely. I can't say which one I preferred because I liked them both equally but for different reasons. I liked Oliver twist because I already knew the story from watching a video when I was younger and it was interesting to read the book. I liked the old fashioned style in which the book is written although some parts were hard to understand. I thought that roll of thunder was a good book because I liked the way it was told. I thought that seing the story from Cassie's point of view gave it a more dramatic effect because most main events had an effect on her either directly or indirectly. It was also a good read because I had heard of the story but had never read it. I preferred Cassie as a character because she was well rounded and realistic. I found the character of Oliver Twist rather unbelievable and too perfect. ...read more.

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