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Please give one example of tension among Granny and the filmmakers.  Toni Cade...

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roginarizk | eNoter

Posted October 24, 2011 at 10:06 AM via web

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Please give one example of tension among Granny and the filmmakers.

 

Toni Cade Bambara's "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird"

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 24, 2011 at 2:20 PM (Answer #1)

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From the beginning of the narrative of "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird," there is an immediate conflict established among Granny and the white filmmakers who intrude upon the Cain property. For, as Granny makes rum cakes, she instructs the child narrator,

"Go tell that man we ain't a bunch of trees....I said to tell that man to get away from here with that camera."

Granny senses immediately the exploitation that occurs.  Without permission, these two men have come into the Cain yard and as they lurk around, they record what they see for the food stamp program. As the cameraman cuts across the neighbor's yard, Granny steps onto the porch, holding the screen door with her hands. When the man does not give her the courtesy of a "Good morning," Granny does it for him; ashamed he holds his head down.  Then, in a condescending manner, he says, "Nice place you got here Aunty.  We thought we'd take a--"

"Did you?" said Granny with her eyebrows.

"Nice things here," said the man, buzzin his camera over the yard.....

"I don't know about the thing, the it, and the stuff," said Granny, still talkin with her eyebrows.  "Just people here is what I tend to consider."

Granny realizes that her place has been chosen to be filmed because it is a curiosity, something that will arouse the interest of the public, especially in its misrepresentation. She senses how others have treated her and her possessions.With the camera man's actions, Granny recalls how Mrs. Cooper came in and touched everything, remarking on how clean it all was.

When Granny asks the cameraman to shut "that machine off," he replies, "Now, Aunty," but Granny quickly interrupts, "Your mama and I are not related. ['Aunty' is a term whites used in addressing older blacks, but such a term is demeaning]  Still, he pursues his topic,

"...we'd like to have a statement from you....for the film. Part of the food stamp campaign....I see you grow your own vegetables....If more folks did that, see, there'd be no need---

Although Granny makes no comment, the men back out of the yard, filming as they go.

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