The title of the novel, “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry,” really says a lot in just that short phrase. You can tell that you are going to be reading about a hard life, hard times, and struggles. The “Hear My Cry” leads me to believe that there is something serious going on and it isn’t being fixed. Which come to find out, this story is about racism, a problem succeeding for generations of black families.
The opening in the book in chapter describes a lot of the hardships this family already faces. Though they have more money than their neighbors they are still considered poor, they own land and still owe at least half their mortgage, the children, Cassie, Little Man, Stacey, and Christopher-John’s, father has been away from home and working on the railroads for almost two years. It seems like this family is just getting by and trying to figure out how things will work out. The kids don’t completely understand why things are the way they are, however, Cassie being the oldest asks a lot of questions. She is in search of answers and meanings. She doesn’t get why life is so rough for her family and why they have to work so hard to have money and land.
The story teller of this novel is omnipotent and can tell us things about each character. However, like with Claudia from “From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” we know Cassie’s thoughts and feelings more. We have a closer view of her perception over all. She is the main character.
I think the author of this novel, Mildred D. Taylor intended the audience of this story to be for both boys and girls. They can both enjoy a heartfelt story like this, based on truth and honest about a real life issue of those times, discrimination.
At the end of the story, why does Cassie weep for T.J., whom she despises throughout the novel?
How does the character of Jeremy prevent a too-easy categorization of good and evil? Just as T.J. allies himself with the white characters, R.W. and Melvin, so Jeremy allies himself with the Logans. In what other ways are Jeremy and T.J. alike? In what ways are they opposites?
Cassie has a good concept of what’s fair or not, of justice and injustice; and although TJ did commit a crime, he didn’t murder anyone. He was blamed for other people actions, and since he’s black it was easier for him to convict than the whites kids. Cassie knows the racism is wrong, and even though she despises throughout the novel because of his behavior and attitude, she can see beyond that and still have compassion in this time of injustice. Cassie is loyal to this perspective.
Jeremy was apparently different from the other white kids. He too, like Cassie I think had an understanding of what was truly right. He didn’t care that the Logan family was black; he just wanted to fit in too, just like them. Maybe he understood that concept since he didn’t have real friends. I think TJ and Jeremy are alike because they were really both searching for a place and for their identity, they went outside the ‘norm’ and tried to fit in in their own way.