What is the importance of family in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry?
The novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, is set in Mississippi, in the
Deep South of America, in the 1930's and covers a year in the life of
the Logan family. The Logans are a respectable black family closely
bound in love, respect, and support for each other. The story is told
through the young eyes of Cassie Logan and through her experiences we
see the great importance of family throughout the novel. Family plays
one of the most important themes of the story and it seems as though
the author, Mildred Taylor created the Logan family to present them as
a role model family for life.
Throughout the novel, the guiding role of parents is clearly shown by
Mama and Papa Logan. They teach their four children by example at
several points in the story. One of these times is when Mama covers
the offensive pages in the books at school. The other teachers regard
mama as something of a maverick because of her liberal views. When
told that her children have, "got to learn how things are", she
replies that they will, but they don't necessarily, "have to accept
them". She glues paper over the offensive pages, despite what others
think, and therefore shows Cassie and Little Man the way to behave
when an incident like this occurs.
Mama and Papa use firm discipline with their children throughout the
story. This is shown when Papa whips the children for going to the
forbidden Wallace Store, and when Mama whips Stacey for cheating in
the test. Mama and Papa use this punishment to discipline their
children, and, as a result, they learn their lesson. After the
children are punished for going to the store they never go there
again, proving that their parents message is clear.
Throughout the novel Mama and Papa listen carefully to their children
and offer advice to help them deal with the situations they find
themselves in. There are several instances of this including when Papa
and Cassie go into the woods to discuss the Strawberry incident, and
how Cassie might deal with Lillian Jean. Papa listens to her and says
that, "the Bible says you're s'pose to forgive these things". He goes
on to say that he thinks that means, "forgiving", but not,
"forgetting". He points out that he will never forget what John
Anderson did to his trees. He warns Cassie to, "think real hard", on
whether Lillian Jean is, "worth taking a stand about", but also
reminds her that whatever she does, she must make sure there are no
repercussions for her and her family as, "it could be bad". As a
result of Papas advice, Cassie successfully gains revenge over Lillian
Jean and she makes entirely sure that nothing comes out of it.
Mama also gives Cassie valuable advice after the incident in
Strawberry. She carefully explains to Cassie why things are the way
they are, and why Big Ma had little option in Strawberry but to behave
the way she did. Mama gives Cassie a detailed description of...