Roll of thunder hear my cry

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
There is a wide variety of books to choose from to enjoy reading and read for a specific reason. One book that I feel would be a good choice is Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry. This book is mainly about the racism and prejudice that went on in 1933 and around that time. It focuses on a family and the hardships they faced everyday of their lives. I believe after finishing this book that I was taught lessons. This book may also lead you to having emotional feelings. After reading the details that are so horrible and seem unimaginable I become so amazed and have pity on the white people back then. Most of all, I would recommend a friend to read this book because the book is so strong in the areas of theme, and character development.

First of all, a reason I think a friend would be pleased with this book is the theme. To me it seems as if it is rare to find a book that would admit many disturbing facts about how whites treated blacks around 1933. Most people would try to hide or want to deny such harmful things that actually took place. On the other hand, throughout this book the author presents truthful facts and I believe this would cause the readers to appreciate the theme. For example, the author tells of a time when a black family’s house was burned down just because the father of the house believed that a store owner was cheating him with his money. Another example of racism shown in the story is the white children being able to attend better schools and take buses to school, while black children walk. The readers may become very interested in what this entire book is about and what it was like back then. People may have always wondered how bad the prejudice and racism was. The theme was one of my two favorite reasons I enjoyed this book so much and I think a friend would think the same.

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Another reason why I believe a friend would appreciate this book is because the character development is very appropriate. In this story, there are characters with all different personalities and ages. It shows how every character pulls through all their hard times. There are characters who are very loyal, and there are characters who are very dishonest. There are characters who are brave, and there are characters who are fearful. The difference in every character only makes the book more interesting. For example, in the story there is a man named Uncle Hammer who has a very bad temper. He wants to attack the white people when he hears of stories when they hurt blacks. However, more wise and calm people like Mr. Morrison have to stop him for his own safety. For those reasons, I find that the characters suit this story well and that is why I think the characters are one of the two main reasons that this is such a good book.

Overall, I think that most of my friends would find this book interesting and unique. I really would suggest and recommend for friends to read this book and they would hopefully enjoy it as much as I did. This story starts out kind of boring and you have to get used to it, but then towards the end it gets better and you will appreciate it more. Nevertheless, the strength in theme and character development make this book so good. That is why I would recommend for a friend to read this book.

Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry

“Jeremy Simms & TJ Avery are two relativly minor characters in the story ROTHMC. However, they both reinforce the themes.” Discuss Aprox 1000 words
There are many important Themes in the novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry. These themes include: racial prejudice, loyalty, honesty, friendship, personal integrity and respect for others. Although Jeremy Simms and TJ Avery are fairly minor people in the book, their characters are used to inforce and strengthen the themes of the novel.


We first meet TJ Avery when Cassie, Stacey, Little Man and Christopher-John are walking to school. Right from the very start we find out that none of them actually likes TJ, except for Stacey. The reader sees that he is a liar, a cheat and a coward. He is ashamed of being black and he lets the Logan family down in many ways throughout the novel.

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One of the ways that he lets them down is when he gets Miz Logan fired. He went up to the store and told Kaleb Wallace that Miz Logan failed him on purpose and that she was destroying school property.

‘…I got fired…Harlen Granger came to the school with Kaleb Wallace and one of the school board members. Somebody told them about those books I’d pasted over…but that was only an excuse.’; (Pg 151)
This highlights some of the themes by TJ’s total lack of loyalty and personal integrity.


One of TJ’s biggest mistakes in the book is befriending two white boys, R.W. and Melvin Simms (Jeremy’s brothers). He thinks they are his friends and he doesn’t know that they are just using him. By hanging around with these two he ends up getting himself in a lot of trouble. They talk him into stealing the ‘pearl-handled pistol’ from the Barnett’s store.

‘R.W. broke the lock off the gun case with an axe and gave TJ the much-longed-for gun.’;
But it goes terribly wrong and TJ wants out, R.W. and Melvin force him to stay.

‘…R.W. whopped Mr Barnett solidly on the head from behind with the flat of the axe…Mrs Barnett dashed across the room and flailed into R.W….Trying to escapeher grasp, R.W. slapped at her and she fell back, hitting her head against one of the stoves, and did not move…’; (Pg 197)
So, although TJ thought that being friends with white folk would benefit him, he got in a lot of trouble. All the whites come after TJ and try to murder him. Mr Logan sacrifices 1/4 of his cotton in order to save TJ. Because of this incredible act of friendship towards TJ, TJ only got arrested – as opposed to killed. TJ causes a great deal of damage to himself and the people around him and everyone just wishes that he would grow up.


Jeremy Simms is a complementry character. He is a quiet and timid boy who is kind and loyal. He is one of the few white people who see the blacks a equals. He always walks to school with them, despite the fact that he gets ridiculed and beaten by his family and piers.

‘He was often ridiculed by the other children at his school and he had shown up more than once with wide red welts on his arms which Lillian Jean, his older sister, had revealed with satisfaction were the result of his associating with us. Still, Jeremy continued to meet us. (Pg 17)
His family are fairly poor, white sharecroppers who hate all blacks. Jeremy, however, tries not to get involved in this racism. Cassie has her first real experience of racial prejudice when she takes a trip into Strawberry. Cassie accidentally bumps into Lillian Jean. Cassie apologises but Lillian Jean demands that she ‘get down in the road’; and she verbally abuses her. Jeremy tries to help Cassie.

”Ah, let her pass, Lillian Jean, she ain’t done nothin’ to you”;
Then Mr Simms comes along and forces Cassie to apologise. Again Jeremy tries to stand up for Cassie.

”I – I Cassie apologized already.’
…..

‘She d-did Pa. R-right now, ‘fore y’all come, she did-”; (Pg 96)
Another time that Jeremy tries to show his friendship is at Christmas time. He secretly comes over to the Logan’s to give them presents, even though he doesn’t expect anything in return. His father does not know that he is there and he takes this opportunity to give his present of a homemade flute to Stacey.
”Thanks Jeremy, it’s real nice’, Stacey said.

…..

As Jeremy reached the door, I cried After him, ‘Merry Christmas, Jeremy!’ He looked back and smiled shyly. ‘Merry Christmas to y’all too.”;
Although Jeremy would make a much better friend than Stacey, Mr Logan doesn’t want Stacey to get too friendly with Jeremy.

”…Right now you and Jeremy might get along fine but, in a few years he’ll think of himself as a man and you’ll still be a boy to him…”; (Pg 129)
Its rather ironic really, Jeremy is a white boy who wants to be black and TJ is a black boy who wants to be white. Although they are both minor characters in the novel, they help to inforce the themes. Jeremy shows this by possesing all the good characteristics, while TJ reinforces the themes by being the complete opposite to Jeremy.

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