Racism in Chapter 5 - Roll of Thunder

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Racism in Chapter 5.

As we know, racism is a strong theme in the novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, and in chapter 5, the theme of racism is shown in a huge way. The way Mildred Taylor uses this racism not only portrays the harshness and cruelty of racism, but it is also quite scary and shocking. The use of Cassie and the she says things, allows us to see how a child is thinking, and it gives us a whole different perspective on things.

We are first introduced to racism on page 116. We notice that Big Ma has set up, a long way away from the front gates. Cassie begins to ask questions, but as a knowledgeable reader, we understand that it is to do with racism, but when we read, we’re hearing from Cassie’s point of view, this makes it a lot more powerful. Cassie is very naïve, and as a result in this, she is asking lots of questions, ‘well, what the devil we doing way back here then! Can’t nobody see us.’ As we are reading we just want her to know about all the segregation and white supremacy, but the fact that she doesn’t understand, isn’t only frustrating, but saddening, because we just know that something is going to happen, because Mildred builds up huge amounts of tension by Cassie asking lots of questions. ‘Them white folks’ wagons Cassie.’ This short sharp line tells us what we want to hear. We know that they are, but when Big Ma says this, t means that Cassie now knows what the reason of it is. The structure of this bit of speech from Big Ma is short and sharp. It delivers a huge message in a quick, but effective way. Its effective because she tells it how it is, and helps us as the reader understand Cassie’s response. ‘Shoot’, just a one word response. Cassie had been going on about why they were so far back and was getting upset about it, and when she finds out why, it frustrates her even more, because she doesn’t understand why, but she just wants to change it.

We don’t see any racism until page 120. Cassie, Stacey and T.J are in the...
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