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What fantastical elements can we see in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry?

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katemu90 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 12, 2012 at 2:08 AM via web

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What fantastical elements can we see in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry?

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

Posted February 12, 2012 at 1:25 PM (Answer #1)

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This is an interesting question to ask, because clearly the emphasis of this novel is on the realism of black-white relations at the time when the story is set, and the kind of discrimination and racism that blacks experienced in a society where there were no laws to protect the kind of situation that the Logan family face. There is one section that I think might be more fantastical than realistic, and this is when Stacey in Chapter 3 organises his siblings to dig the ditch in the road to prevent the bus for the white children from taking them to school. When it rains and the ditch fills with water, the driver just thinks it is a puddle and so goes right through it, with satisfying results for Stacey and his crew:

By the time most of the students managed to get to the other side of the ditch, their clothes were dripping with the weight of the muddy water. No longer laughing, they moved spiritlessly toward their homes while a disgruntled Mr. Grimes leaned moodily against the raised rear end of the bus.

Stacey and his brothers and sister might have got their revenge, but the way in which they were able to do this without more questions being asked and without any repercussions to me seems a bit fantastical. It is an amusing incident in this story, but it makes me think that blacks actually had very few opportunities to gain any sort of revenge without getting into trouble.

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