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Roll of thunder hear my cry themes essay

The overriding theme is the initiation of the two eldest Logan children into the real world of Depression-era Mississippi, and they learn a number of lessons along their road to self-discovery.

Two general subthemes are visible within the framework of initiation, two areas of adult life that Cassie and Stacey must learn about in order to survive. One is the negative pole: The other is almost the antidote to the first: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is historically accurate and psychologically realistic—and brutal.

Jamison may be correct in saying that not all Southerners are bigots, characters such as the Wallaces and the Simmses predominate in this world of poor whites and African Americans, and the novel is filled with incidents of discrimination and brutality.

It is an ugly, violent world in which the Logan children are growing, but their parents try to give them the skills and support to make their journey a little less hazardous.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Themes

The theme of discrimination is thus from the beginning set against its opposites: The physical embodiment of this positive pole is the Logan land, which gives the Logans freedom and a sense of their own worth and helps them hold themselves up in a world of white power and discrimination. The Logans are historically realistic and overwhelmingly positive in their love and their pride. These values are grounded in the land, Mildred D. Taylor is telling her readers: Give all the other families here—white and black—land of their own, and they would not witness bloodshed and humiliation.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a novel woven out of black history, a story not only of economic survival but also of the survival of the human spirit in the face of incredible obstacles. The language of the novel is as local and natural as the land. Another distinctive characteristic of this novel is the richness of its detail. Domestic life on this southern Depression-era farm is rendered sensuously: Finally, the novel is noteworthy for its unforced symbolism.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry: Theme Analysis

Objects and incidents in the novel are important for their narrative value, and at the same time they often represent something larger.

The Logan land, for instance, is a motivating force in the story, but it also symbolizes the Logan history in slavery and freedom.

  • She eventually fools her nemesis Lillian Jean Simms into believing she wants to be friends, then turns on her in a demonstration of her own power;
  • The other is almost the antidote to the first:

Weather, likewise, has a double meaning: Morrison sings at the opening of chapter 11 is not only a presage of rain but also the heavenly response to a cry of anguish.

Finally, even human-made objects can have this symbolic import: Avery hungers for is a sign of his need for that power but a clue to his ultimate weakness. The style and language of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, in short, work against the didactic qualities of this fine novel and help to underscore subtly its significant themes.