The Use of Cassie as the Narrator in Taylor's Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry
Cassie is an intelligent, outspoken, self-confident, and independent
young girl who is also the narrator of the novel. Roll of thunder,
hear my cry, is a coming of the age story for Cassie as she awakens to
the true extent of racism in the south over the course of her tenth
year. As she narrates the events, this leads her to mature and grow
up. There are quite a few factors, which need to be examined to
respond to the above question.
By looking through the eyes of a child, we get a fresh prospective on
the way that the society of Mississippi works. Cassie doesn't have any
assumed knowledge and so the readers can ask 'why' with her. Due to
her ignorance, she asks a lot of questions and so the readers identify
with her, therefore there is more empathy. For example, if she was an
adult most people wouldn't explain things to her and the readers
wouldn't get to know important things like 'why the land was so
important' and we learn in chapter one she 'may not understand that
now', but 'Papa said that one day I would understandâ€¦.I wondered'.
An example of Cassie's naivety and ignorance is the Strawberry
incident when she doesn't realise that the whites have to be served
before the blacks and assumes that 'Mr Barnett has simply forgotten
about TJ's order' so she decides to 'remind him'. We as the readers
get to see the reactions of the people, if Cassie hadn't done that
then we wouldn't see how racist these white people are to blacks.
Also, the novel shows us that not only the adults were affected, but
the younger generation were too. Cassie is amongst both children and
adults so we get some view on how the adults felt. However it is
mainly the children who found it more difficult to understand 'the way
of things' as Mama explains to Cassie that 'things are not always we
would have them to be' even though 'it aint fair'.
Adults in the novel tend to be more bias than children. Cassie is
shown to like Jeremy to a certain extent for who he is and not just
for the colour of his skin. However, someone like Uncle Hammer would
probably not take to being friends with him and...