Describe in detail the character of Jeremy in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Jeremy Simms is a very interesting character in the novel. As a white boy whose father is one of the group of white men that go round lynching and abusing blacks at night, we would expect him to demonstrate the same kind of belief in white supremacy that his sister, Lillian Jean does. Of course, the clearest example of this is when Lillian Jean expects Cassie to apologise for bumping into her and then to walk on the road to let her pass. However, Jeremy has a friendship with the Logan children, and in particular, Stacey. Thus it is that Jeremy tries to appease Lillian Jean and get Cassie out of trouble.

In particular, on Christmas day, Jeremy brings a bag of nuts to the Logan family and also gives Stacey a present that he made especially for him: a wooden flute. As such, Jeremy is an important character as he seems to symbolise the possibility of friendship between whites and blacks, in spite of Papa's beliefs otherwise:

"Far as I'm concerned, friendship between black and white don't mean that much 'cause it usually ain't on an equal basis. Right now you and Jeremy might get along fine, but in a few years he'll think of himself as a man but you'll probably still be a boy to him."

However, in spite of the doubt that Papa has about Jeremy and his friendship with Stacey, it is clear that Jeremy seems to symbolise hope of a better, more equitable world in this novel where blacks are not discriminated against and where they can be respected and loved by whites.

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