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Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1824 words Published: 28th Apr 2017

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This assignment evaluates on how the Novel “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred Taylor had been written as a form/Machine to achieve the purpose of the author. Hence, the author has developed several themes in the novel to clearly state its purpose when someone reads it. The thesis statement of this assignment is on whether the author had been able to achieve her purpose through development of themes in the book and if the themes easily communicate her intended purpose which she wants the readers to understand with ease.

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The author has more than one purpose which she has strived to meet using the novel. The author had been able to maintain the novel scope to revolve around family life and how it is to be in school in an environment which the black children were being discriminated as compared with the white children. She has been able to develop a theme of racial discrimination which was live during the time which the book is referring to. This is one of the social issues which had been a major problem in United States up-to date although it has been addressed and blacks and white people are being treated the same way although there is the stereotype in the society of some feeling that they are superior while others are inferior.

She has also ensured that she instilled the purpose of family in once life and development. Hence, by developing the theme of importance of family she has proved that those who are defiant or do not regard family as an integral part of their development and well being by abandoning their family have failed (Gradesaver par, 7). While, those uphold values of the family, respect and protect it are victorious. She has feature life of slaves and how they valued land as a symbol of independence therefore, through out the novel she has repeated that the black Americans were not ready to loss their lands. The novel gives hope to the hopeless despite of the destruction which they have gone through this is an aspect which had been encouraging to the readers. She has as well incorporated the aspect of friendship and greed she emphasized on how sometime friendship would be risk taking especially if a friend devotes to assist someone in a risky situation they expose themselves to risks involved (Hill, 54). The purpose of educating the reader on how to mitigate hatred she has underscored that greed is one form which causes hatred and should be shunned.

Creating importance of family

In the novel “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred Taylor themes as well as character development are the key aspects that have been used to achieve its intended purpose. By creating in a well thought manner the importance of family, the author achieve among the various purposes he intended to put across to the audience. It is apparent throughout the novel that Cassie has learnt that there is nothing more important than one’s family. She is amazed by what Jeremy said regarding his hatred to his elder brother. Additionally, the tale and experiences portrayed through a number of characters such as Big Ma regarding family (husband and sons) as well as the desire of Mr. Morrison to put himself in danger so that he defend the Lagans clearly depicts that the family is equally an important aspect to an individual (Taylor 15). It is worth noting that this thus makes characters act the way they acted. Similarly, it is evident that those who cut their ties with their families members have lost direction for instance TJ while those who devoted their lives for the sake of their families exemplified by Papa are heroes.

Using time to explain events

To capture and make the audience know the events in relation to time the use of time in cycle achieves that. The entire book events spread throughout the year as it commence with harvesting of cotton and ends with an anticipation of another harvest. By accustoming events with whether conditions for instance summer, winter, rainy season, sunny, green spring and dusty conditions. For instance, the little Man is usually given a sign of hope that rains will end and it will be sunny. The use of time in the book typically serves the purpose of assuring individuals that the events which are hard and unbearable one time will come to an end (Taylor 201). Similarly, it creates fear within the society especially in terms of racial discrimination. For instance the when TJ was thoroughly beaten, the unrest created will settle and will eventually be seen again in future if nothing is not done.

Hope and destruction

On the same note, trying to depict that there is hope even if human beings are always faced with numerous destructions has been brought out through various characters. For instance there were incidence that there were no chances to escape from losing life as well as land and other properties. Various characters such as Taylor and Uncle Hammer exemplified outstanding behaviors that made them as well as their dependent come out successful (Taylor 132). The later sold his car to pay bank note without refute. In the incident where people from two distinct racial backgrounds came together to put out the fire. It is will human for us to forget our differences and join hands and address issues at hand is what the author has brought out in her piece of work.

Property ownership as a symbol of independence

Using land as a representation of autonomy is also used by the author as a theme to achieve her quest of showing that individual who own land are influence and independent. Throughout the book Papa together with Mama and Big Mama asserts, “We won’t loss the land” those individuals and families that own land such as the Lagons are in apposition to afford a better life and do not undergo humiliations of landlords. The family sees land as directly linked to the entire family, on the other hand, the white; Granger thinks that owning land is a ticket to be dominant over the blacks.

Human feelings and the environment

On the same note, using environmental attributes to echo how human feel concerning issues they are facing has also been achieved by the author. Weather conditions such as muddy conditions, dusty depict how the blacks are being discriminated especially in acquiring education (Taylor 21). Thunder storm aims at asserting the emergence of violence which will eventually be calmed.

Importance of coming of age through experience

The author has tried to develop a character from Cassie that help the reader to see the importance of people coming of age though experience. By this, she is able to know the extent of the racism that happens in the south through her own experience making her learn the drawbacks of the vice in the community. This is also passed to the reader of the novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. The intention of the author was to pass a message to the people about the importance of love, family and self-respect by building the character of Cassie inclined toward the same. She is made to achieve this through the hard way and by age to ensure that when she starts making her own decision, she is able to make mature one. She is seen being humiliated during an accident in strawberry to ensure that she learn life is not always fair. She has to experience TJ destruction so that she realize that any mistake n matter how small to a young black person, can lead to a very severe punishment. Her parents’ worries of losing land make her realize with time that nothing is secure so she must always be cautious. These development help the author to pass her intended message to the reader about the importance of hard experiences in life to ensure that they ignite a mature responsibility, love and caring in ones life.

Importance of good friendship choice

The author tries to educate the reader on the caution that one has to have when choosing ones friend in life. She talks of Papa telling Stacey that they should be aware of friendship with black. She went ahead and justifies by showing the reader this risk through TJ friendship with RW and Melvin. She wants to pass a message about the importance of a good and responsible friendship, which can only be achieved, by persistence and forgiveness.

Importance of independence and self-respect

The writer has shown the importance of parent instilling self-respect and independence to their children. This is demonstrated by the way Mary and David Logan instill the same to their children. Cassie demonstrates these self-respect shock utterances to Mr. Barnett treatment in the store. She also creates this by self-assurance by explaining the Little Man reaction to the derogatory statements in the book. The writer shows that the children must have a balance in the survival and their self-respect. This helps the author to convey her message to the reader about the importance of choosing independently and self-respect in once life.

Greed as a cause of hatred

The reader is able to demonstrate the effect of greed towards causing hatred among the people. She shows Mama being fired by the school board at her middle of teaching. She is teaching about the cruelty of the slave and the economic advantage that the whites had in slave trade. Through their malicious greed, Wallace and Granger are able to propagate this through violence to control blacks. Their deeds were ignited by their will to buy Logan Land oblivious of the harm that they were causing to the people. Therefore, the author is able to convey a message to eradicate this vice from the public. By this hatred, that lead Papa’s wife to lose her job he develop hatred towards the board members and in turn, he came up with the idea of starting fire as a strategy to save TJ life. Such vices play a negative role in the society and the writer’s motive is to curb it in the society at all cost.


In conclusion the author has been able to use the novel to meet the purpose which she intended to pass over to its readers. She has therefore ensured it being successful by development of well articulated themes and building up of characters around a family setup which most readers can be able to identify with (Taylor, 87). The main purpose which has come out very clearly in the book is about racial discrimination and how liberation of such discrimination which is viewed by many as slavery brings in independence and self-respect to those who have been affected.

She has articulated that self respect is achieved through independence of someone being able to make choices freely and being accept responsibility freely without being forced. Slavery and discrimination has denied those who are oppressed when they are making decision as they are limited to what those who they refer to as their masters perceive is right for them.


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