The Bus Sabotage Incident in Roll of Thunder, Hear by Cry

The Bus Sabotage Incident in Roll of Thunder, Hear by Cry

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The Bus Sabotage Incident in Roll of Thunder, Hear by Cry


The bus sabotage incident is one of the acts which clearly reflect the
major most theme of the novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Racism. We
see how the black children are being cruelly treated and dealt with by
the white children's school bus. This incident doesn’t only show us
racism on an individual or personal level but indirectly we also
notice that racism on a national level is also being played. This is
because if we notice that the black children are walking on foot to
school while the white children go to school by bus. This is because
the government doesn’t give the black school enough money to buy a
bus.

However, the incident takes place in late October, when the rainy
season had started. One day, while the Logan children are walking to
school, they are forced to jump into a muddy ditch to save themselves
from the speedy white children's school bus which was about to hit
them. From one of the windows of the bus, one white child yells at
them," Nigger" and "mud eater". The children are all angry at this and
promise to take revenge. They are all frustrated especially Little
Man. Stacey, the eldest of them all, is the one who plans for the
revenge. He asks them to meet in this place where they were forced to
go in the mud during lunch time. They go out to the road and dig a
ditch with the help of shovels. Soon this ditch becomes filled with
rain water. That afternoon, the bus falls into their trap. It gets
stuck in the ditch which causes the breaking of its axle and water
logging the engine. Its repairing would take weeks. The bus driver
tells the white children,

" All y'all gonna be walkin' for at least two weeks by the time we get
this thing hauled outa here and up to strawberry to get fixed".
Chapter 3 pg. 55

Knowing this, the children get happy that their plan worked out as

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they wanted. When they reach home that day, they tell Mama and Big Ma
about this incident, not telling them that they were the ones behind
it. The women laughed over this at dinner and enjoyed it. However, the
story doesn’t end here. Later that night, and while the children are
studying, they over hear Mama talking to T.J's father. He was warning
her that the night men are coming back again tonight. He said,

"It's… it's them again. They are ridin' tonight." Chapter 3 pg. 60

This makes Mama afraid and she puts the children to bed. They are all
terrified and have the feeling that they would be caught. However,
Cassie tries to sleep but wakes up in the middle of the night on the
sounds of cars and people. She looked at them scared but soon she
heard them deciding that this was the wrong house. Later, T.J tells
them that they tarred and feathered a black man because he was
accusing a white man who owned a mercantile in Strawberry, of cheating
him.

This incident tells us a lot about eh Logan children's characters.
Little Man gets angry quickly and especially when it comes to
cleanliness. That is why he was the most annoyed of this bus. Stacey
who is the eldest is shown to us as a smart and clever boy who is
ready to break the rules in order to take revenge for his rights. This
incident tells us about the children in general that they all loved
each other and were united in everything. It's true that this incident
ended up for their side but it is to be noted that the latter
incidents don’t!

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