• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider the characters of Mary Logan in "Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry" and Gilbert Dawson in "The Sexton's Hero" showing how they reflect the theme of heroism

Extracts from this document...


Consider the characters of Mary Logan in "Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry" and Gilbert Dawson in "The Sexton's Hero" showing how they reflect the theme of heroism. Mary Logan in "Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry" and Gilbert Dawson in The Sexton's Hero both have many similarities, all of which reflect the theme of heroism. Both have to fight against the expectations of the society they live in. Mary Logan lives in the USA in the 1930's. She is a young black woman living in a white mans world, she is a teacher and her family own land, which the white landowners are not very happy about. The white people believe that blacks a less worthy then whites and should know their place. Gilbert Dawson is a man living in Lancashire in the 1850's, he is meant to be strong and ready to fight, however he doesn't want to fight and this angers the rest of the community. Both Mildred D. Taylor and Elizabeth Gaskell wrote their books to change peoples views on different things. Mildred D. Taylor wanted to change peoples views on black people, and Elizabeth Gaskell wanted to change peoples views on haw people should act. Both writers see people as equal. In the dictionary a hero is: "A person who is admired for being brave" Mrs Gaskell's definition is "One who acts up to the highest idea of duty he has been able to perform, no matter at what sacrifice." ...read more.


She tries to persuade the black community to shop elsewhere: "she spoke of finding another store to patronise." She does this because the Wallaces, who run the local store, are suspected of burning a black family. Mary Logan teaches her students about slavery even though she is not allowed to. " To make matters worse her lesson for the day was slavery" She wants her students to know the truth about their history. She even covers an offensive page in a black textbook. "Then she took the paper and placed it over the glue." She fights against white expectations because she believes that one day there will be freedom, and she wants her children to live in a fairer society. Mary Logan speaks out for the share-croppers who don't have a voice. She is fighting for justice. Both writers show the difficulties that the characters face because they go against the expectations of the community. In "The Sextons Hero" Gilbert Dawson is treated very badly by the community, after he refuses to fight. People thought there was something wrong with him. The called him a "monkey or a foreigner," and drove him out of the community. Letty, who is supposed to be in love with Gilbert, tries to blackmail him into fighting the sexton. When he would not fight, Letty was spiteful and eventually left Gilbert for the Sexton. ...read more.


His Bible symbolises his integrity, he lives by it. "There were many a text in the Gospel, marked broad with his carpenter's pencil which more that bore him out in his refusal to fight." He believes so much in what it says, that he is willing to sacrifice the girl he loves, to abide by it. In "Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry", religion also plays an important role in peoples lives, though not as much as in 'The Sextons Hero'. For the black community, the Christian church is seen as the corner stone of their lives. It is referred to as part of everyday life. Great Faith church is where the Logans and the rest of the black community worship and assemble. The annual revival : "ran for seven days and was a occasion everyone looked forward to." It shows the community spirit as everyone got together. Mary Logan's values of equality and justice spring from her simple Christian foundation. Both Mary Logan and Gilbert Dawson are committed to their duty and both have to make sacrifices to fulfil that duty. Gilbert Dawson makes a bigger sacrifice than Mary Logan as he sacrifices his life to save that of Letty and the Sexton. Gilbert is a traditional hero as he saves the day. However Mary Logan is more of a modern hero because she stands by her principles. Ultimately, both Gilbert Dawson and Mary Logan reflect the theme of heroism as they both stand up for what they believe in. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mildred Taylor section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Mildred Taylor essays

  1. Discuss the theme of family life in Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry.

    This of course does not help matters and contributes to the lack of discipline in their children's lives. TJ one of their sons is a perfect example of this, they should have taught him the difference between and wrong and they should have taught him respect.

  2. What aspects of racism are presented by Mildred Taylor in the book 'Roll of ...

    Barnett that they were there first. His reaction to her is very rude and aggressive. "Whose little nigger girl is this?" he bellows and when Cassie does not back down, he advises Stacey, "then you get her out of here, and make sure she don't come back till yo' mammy teach her what she is."

  1. Compare aspects of prejudice in "Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry", by Mildred Taylor, ...

    They leave at 3:30 in the morning, and when they reach the marketplace, Big Ma must park in an isolated spot because she is black, this is another example of segregation, the whites are keeping the best spots for themselves and giving the rather useless, empty spaces at the back to Big Ma.

  2. Racism in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Analysis

    Cassie is mentally hurt after this situation. Racist comments are at is summit as the story progresses. Kaleb Wallace, to Mr. Morrison, sputtered, "You big black nigger, I oughta cut your heart out for what you done! My brothers laid up like they is and you still runnin around free as a white man.

  1. Examine the writes' presentation of racism and their narrators' courage in the face of ...

    Mrs Dubose continues to fight her addiction even though she is fighting a losing battle. Her courage helps her through it and allows her to succeed. Scout learns that courage is a vital part of life to support one through hard times.

  2. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry - Character of T.J. Examine the way ...

    Here I question myself on why he is seeking it. Did he not get attention because of the poverty in his family? Or was it because of his sick father? Whatever the explanation he was definitely obtaining plenty of recognition from R.W.

  1. Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

    The dirty, worn-out, books that were unfit for the whites are given to the black children by the White school Board of Governors. We must also consider the daily torment of the Logan children and TJ through the school bus.

  2. How does Mildred Taylor effectively portray prejudice during the 1930's Mississippi in her novel, ...

    To create an atmosphere of rage and shock in Little Man's character he was described as becoming quite aggressive as he, 'Sprung from his chair like a wounded animal, flinging the book onto the floor and stomping madly upon it.'

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work