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In Toni Bambara's "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird," for the most part, the children play the role of onlookers while the adults are given the active roles in the conflict. Although Granny tells Cathy and the narrator to "tell that man to get away from here with that camera," she is out of the door and accosting him before the girls reach him. As the cameraman and his associate attempt conversation with Granny, but she is abrupt. Smilin man asks her to give a statement for their film about the food-stamp program.
Granny wasn't sayin nuthin....The twins were danglin in the tire lookin at Granny. Me and Cathy were waitin, too, 'cause Granny always got somethin to say. She teaches steady with no let up.
Essentially, then, the conflict involves the encroachment upon the property of Granny and Granddaddy Cain; the effort to exploit Granny is what incites her anger. Further, Grandaddy's calm
"Good afternoon" as he holds out his hands for the camera, with the observant narrator remarking,
...he held that one hand out all still and it gettin to be not at all a hand, but a person in itself.
So, while this young narrator and the other children observe the conflict between Granny and Granddaddy and the cameramen, the reader perceives these characters through the eyes of a child who loves and admires them.
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