How does Cassie get revenge on Lillian Jean Simms in "Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry"?Chapter 8

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lillian Jean Simms truly believes that as a white girl, she is superior to "her little colored friend".  Cassie, outraged at being treated literally like a slave, feigns subservient respect towards Lillian Jean; flattered, Lillian Jean "allows" Cassie to carry her books everyday, and begins to confide her secrets and the secrets of her friends to her.  One day, Cassie lures Lillian Jean into the woods, telling her "I got a real nice surprise for you".  She then goads the bigger girl into slapping her, after which Cassie, having been technically hit first, "flail(s) into (Lillian Jean)...punch(ing) her in the stomach and buttocks, and twist(ing) her hair".  Being careful not to touch her face, Cassie pulls Lillian Jean's hair and makes her apologize for the demeaning way she has treated her over the past months.  When Lillian Jean threatens to tell, Cassie says that if she does, Cassie will "make sure all (her) fancy friends know how (she) keeps a secret...(and) bet(s) (she) won't be learning no more secrets after that".  She also points out that if Lillian Jean, who is thirteen, does tell, she would only get laughed at for letting herself get beat up by a nine-year-old.  Cassie leaves Lillian Jean bewildered, and the tragedy of the incident is that Lillian Jean honestly does not understand why Cassie would be so upset by Lillian Jean's treatment of her (Chapter 8). 

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

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