Land in Mildred D. Taylor's novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Essay

Land in Mildred D. Taylor's novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Essay

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Consider the Importance of Land in Mildred D. Taylor’s novel, ‘Roll of
Thunder, Hear My Cry’

The novel puts an emphasis on land throughout the story; it is
repeatedly mentioned and discussed, and linked to other main themes
and factors in the book.

It is clear from early on in the novel that land is a main theme and a
very important factor. A clear example of this is that by the third
page of the story, it is already described in detail how the Logans
came to own their 400 acres of land in the first place, and hinted at
as to how it is an effort to continue owning 200 acres of it, in the
mention of “why” Papa had to “work” on the “railroad”; and the
“mortgage”.

Throughout the book, it is made clear to the reader that the land is
important in a number of ways. The constant referral to the theme
right through the story emphasises this.

There are many links to the land through other themes in the book,
such as racism, slavery, inequality, family, and money, as well as
bravery and determination. Because these are imperative factors, their
association with the land accentuates its significance.

Racism and the land tie together through the duration of the book.
Because of racism and the inequality that exists between blacks and
whites, to the Logans, owning land is a symbol of their freedom,
independence and equality – this is put forward in many ways, such as
when Big Ma tells Cassie how Logans came to own land after slavery was
abolished, and she refers to it as when “freedom” came. As a result of
this ownership, the Logans, to an extent, are free of the racist
policies, which other sharecropping blacks have to endure. The whites,
such as Mr Granger, also see blacks owning land as a representation ...


... middle of paper ...


...so that both races will work together to achieve a goal –
something that nothing else seemed able to break.

Also signifying the importance of land yet again, is at the very end
of the book when the reader is told how Cassie “cried” for TJ, and
“for the land”. Showing that the land is so important to everything,
even a nine-year old can comprehend this and cry about it.

Studying the book, quotations and evidence from it, it is clear that
land is undoubtedly a theme of great importance, possibly the most so
out of all the themes in the book, as everything seems to come down or
link in some way to the land – slavery, inequality, money, family,
bravery – even racism itself involve the land through some means. It
is can safely be assumed, that land is the essence of the story, tying
in with all the other factors which Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry plays
on.

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