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Explore Mildred Taylor's ability to create unforgettable incidents in Roll of Thunder, Hear MyCry.

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Introduction

Explore Mildred Taylor's ability to create unforgettable incidents in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. There are many points one can consider when explaining why Mildred Taylor creates unforgettable incidents but I will need to use examples from the book to illustrate the variety of techniques deployed. The incidents I will use are: The book stamping episode (Chapter 1), the bus ambushing episode (Chapter 3), the episode where T.J. cheats in the test and lets Stacey take the blame (Chapter 4), the episode in Strawberry where Cassie is pushed off the sidewalk (Chapter 5), the episode where Cassie exacts her revenge on Lillian Jean (Chapter 8), the episode on the bridge where Mr Morrison moves the Wallace's truck (Chapter 10) and the Barnett robbery, subsequently followed by the mob at the Avery's house and the cotton fire (Chapters 11 & 12). Action plays a big part in why this novel is so unforgettable. Action is exciting and so it appeals to us and that is why we remember it. In the book stamping episode the action comes first when Little Man stamps on the book followed by him and Cassie getting whipped. The first part appeals because it portrays an image of rebellion and most of us would like to rebel even if we would never actually go so far as to do so. ...read more.

Middle

However, even though we and the children are shocked by this, Miss Crocker is not. She actually punishes Little Man for his protest. From this episode we are given our first impressions of life for a black person in 1930's Mississippi. We as a generation are taught to accept all types of peoples and so feel outraged at this incident and so it is memorable. Another example of shock can be found in Chapter five where Cassie is pushed off the sidewalk. "You can't watch where you're going, get in the road. Maybe that way you won't be bumping into decent white folks with your little nasty self." In our modern society, although we try not to bump into each other, if it happens, a quick apology is given, or in some cases a barely audible grunt and then both parties continue on their way. Race or colour is not even a consideration for most people. Here a young girl is being told to walk in the road because of the colour of her skin. This incident makes the reader think about equality in society and how it has changed since the 1930's. For this reason it is memorable. Perhaps the main example and the most memorable instance of racism causing shock can be found in Chapter eleven as T.J. ...read more.

Conclusion

For this reason it is memorable although it could be said that it is the other aspects of this episode that make it memorable. The next episode containing suspense is the one where T.J. lets Stacey take the blame for cheating in chapter four. "But knowin' Stacey, I betcha ole T.J. ain't gonna get away with it," Here we are told that Stacey will pay T.J. back for letting him take the blame and there are no doubts about how. Every sentence after that is just building up the suspense until the inevitable fight. We are willing the fight to take place and for Stacey to have his revenge and so when he does it is enjoyable and consequently we remember it. We can see that Mildred Taylor uses techniques such as description, shock and suspense to make this novel memorable. However it is not just these techniques that we remember the novel for. This novel is an insight into a previous time period. It shows us the worst side of our nature and the terrible consequences of bigotry and racism. On the brighter side though, whilst there are still many problems with our society, we can see that over time, our perceptions have changed and we have become more accepting of other people. This novel makes us consider our behaviour and so for this reason, the novel is memorable. If we can improve in this way, maybe one day the other problems in our society will be resolved too. 2,385 words ...read more.

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