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Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor is set in the 1930's Mississippi, in the southern states of America.

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Introduction

Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry! Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor is set in the 1930's Mississippi, in the southern states of America. It is a heart warming novel based on the Logan family, and their friends and enemies in society. In particular it focus's on the four Logan children, Stacey, Cassie, Christopher-John and Little Man. In this study, I will be analysing each of the Characters and how differently they were treated to the white people at this time due to racism. I will also be examining the setting of the novel and how it portrays life in Mississippi at this time. Mildred D. Taylor helps to portray almost all images to us in ways, which will give us all the information she requires us to know, and prevent us from being bored with mass description. She does this by using a "drip feed approach". She tells us important facts about the characters indirectly: If I hadn't known the cause of it, I could have forgotten very easily that he was, at twelve, bigger than I. The novelist also uses direct speech in the very first line of the text, which gives us a sense of immediacy. This helps to get the reader quickly engrossed in the novel, as they are not put off by intense description. The writer uses the broad Mississippi dialect in direct speech when the characters are talking to one another. This helps us, the readers to place ourselves in the novel. ...read more.

Middle

I was on the verge of blurting out the awful truth about the bus and the men in the night, but then I remembered the pact Stacey had made us all swear to when I had told him. Christopher-John, Cassie's other younger brother, is a bit less witty and courageous than his siblings. He is a rather pudgy character and is less outgoing and single minded than the rest of his family. He is prepared to sit back and accept things as they are rather than go and put things right: "But we all wanted to do it," I comforted. "Not me!" denied Christopher-John. "All I wanted to do was eat my lunch!" Stacey the oldest child but still only thirteen, is the main male role model in the Logan household, prior to the arrival of Mr Morrison. Stacey feels responsible for his younger brothers and sister and feels the need to protect them: Stacey glowered at T.J. a moment longer, then walked swiftly to Little Man and put his long arm around his shoulders saying softly, "Come on, Man. It ain't gonna happen no more, least not for a long while. I promise you that." Stacey is not only loyal to his family but also loyal to his friends. When he is faced with the decision to either be truthful to his mother or face a punishment as a result of being loyal to T.J. he chooses loyalty and therefore suffers the consequences. The society the children live in forces them to mature much more rapidly than in our society. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Poured the blackest tar they could find all over him, and plastered him with chicken feathers." The children cannot understand why the white and blacks are separated; however they are forced to understand as a matter of life and death. They are robbed of their childhood innocence long before they should be due to the dangers they would face if they stepped out of line. The author is also trying to put across the message that because of the discrimination towards the black people they live in extreme poverty. The Logans are better off than most black families as they own land, however they need money so badly that the father is forced to work away from home on the railroads for money. The schools are given books for the first time however, they are not the long awaited books they were hoping for, but torn worthless books which were no use to them. In concluding, Mildred D. Taylor has successfully portrayed the hardships the black population of the southern states of America, had to endure in the early 1930's. In the first four introductory chapters, she set the scene using descriptive tactics. She introduced us to most of the main characters and told us a bit about their physical appearance and their personality. And she most importantly explained to us the difficulties the Logan family and generally, all black families faced, due to their race and how unfair society was towards them. We learn how white people took the law onto themselves, carrying out vindictive murders at the drop of the hat. Even in the first four chapters, Mildred D. Taylor has evoked sympathy for the black people. By Emma-Jane Reilly 11E Mr Devlin! ...read more.

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