What do you think are the most important messages and themes in the novel 'Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry'

Essay by toland123High School, 10th grade December 2004

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'Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry' by Mildred D. Taylor is a powerful novel about the Logan family and the problems and injustices that they have to face. The book is set in Mississippi in the 1930s. This is important because at the time, white people were very cruel and racist towards blacks, and sometimes they treated them as slaves. The novel revolves mainly around the black Logan family, and book is told from the point of view of a black child - Cassie Logan. There are many themes and messages portrayed in the book.

The most important theme in the novel is the racial prejudice and segregation between the black and white people. This is prevalent throughout and only at the end is there some cooperation.

The racism towards blacks even takes place inside the schools. For example, black students are forced to walk to school regardless of the weather; but white students are privileged and have the pleasure of a school bus.

Also, the whites' school bus deliberately tries to shroud the black children with dust when it drives by - " ' ...the bus had sped past, enveloping him in a scarlet haze while laughing white faces pressed against the bus windows' " - p. 14 lines 8-9. This always leaves Cassie and her brothers fuming but what could they do?

Another example of racism in schools is the table on p.23 that is printed on the inside cover of a black child's 'new' book. The last row of the table says "12... September 1933... Very Poor... Nigra. " This means that eleven children have used the books and worn them out before they were handed over to the black schools. When Cassie and Little Man see this they are outraged to be considered...