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Theme of Land - Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry

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Introduction

Mildred D. Taylor's novel 'Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry', is set in Mississippi, a white-dominated society. The Logans were indefatigably fighting to stand up for, and enforce their fundamental rights. This area's main source of income was agriculture, and for agriculture you need land. Most blacks were too poor to own land, and hence share-cropped on white land, which left them very dependent on the whites. The complete control over their lives coerced them to subjugate to the whites and silently bear the all the injustice iniquitously meted out to them. It was arduous to defend one's rights when you lived in constant fear of having your source of livelihood being cut, or even dire consequences. Hence, for the Logans, the land was a source of pride, their only possession that kept them independent of the whites, and gave them the courage to fight for their rights and challenge the whites. ...read more.

Middle

... long as I live and the family survives, you'll never have to. That's important..." This shows that the land meant survival for the family, without which, their very lives could be in jeopardy. As mentioned by Papa, it doesn't matter to whom the land legally belongs, to him, it's just Logan land, and everyone does their little bit for the land, even Uncle Hammer. In the end, he sells off his Packard, his most prized possession, to save the land. While he actually is very emotionally attached to the car, he casually says "What good is a car? It can't grow cotton. You can't build a home on it..." The whites on the other hand, used the land to suppress the blacks. While the blacks worked hard and share-cropped their land, all they did was relax, and enjoy the fruits of the Negros' hard work. Like the Logans, for Mr. ...read more.

Conclusion

She raises the question in our minds, that why then, can't there be everlasting unity between the two communities. Its ironic that in the end, the Logans who had sacrificed so much for the land, burnt it up in hopes to save TJ, the abhorrent character who had made Mama lose her job. They burnt the very land they had toiled so much for, and due to which they were forced to economize. The land that they had gallantly defended from the whites. They were lucky that their plan worked, at least partially. Although they probably weren't able to save TJ from a harsh punishment, they got him a fair trial in court, and a just punishment. Their land had served a good cause. Cassie's thoughts conclude the book, and as she cries for TJ, and for the land, she realizes that it would be long before blacks actually got justice. ...read more.

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