Roll of Thunder

Essay by achenJunior High, 9th gradeA, October 2014

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Andrew Chen

The Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Mildred D. Taylor's Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry is set during the Great Depression, in the rural areas of Mississippi. The majority of the people in this community are sharecroppers, who are greatly dependent on plantation farming. The Logan family is fortunate because they have a piece of land of their own, so unlike other black sharecroppers they do not have to be dependent on the white members of the community. However, due to the sharp decrease in the price of the cotton crop, the family have to work hard to keep it in their hands, whilst also providing food in order for them to survive. The situation is further worsened because of the severity of racism and segregation in the society. The Logans are one of the few families who own land and this causes resentment from the whites whose beliefs are that black people are inferior and the white population must maintain their supremacy.

David Logan (papa) and his brothers both believe that this prejudice must be stopped, but trying will put a great strain on bonds between families and friends as they fight for what maybe equality. Papa fights non-violently, paying off the mortgage to officially own the land but his behaviour is forced to change when the prejudiced white individuals come threaten him and his family. Cassie who is Papa's daughter is the main character and plays her own role as she struggles to decide the right from the wrong, realising the depth and severity of racism after being raised in a loving environment.

Racism and racial conflict are key parts of this book. The first example is the conflict between the Logan's and the Jefferson Davis Bus. Each morning the children are tormented by the...