What are 3 beliefs, attitudes and values of Granny?In other words, Granny's self-concept.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Toni Cade Bambara's "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird," the significance of the title is illustrated by Granny's reactions to the two men who intrude upon her family:  The blues are emotionally charged songs that relate many hardships or agonies of people; and, the mockingbird is a very territorial bird that fiercely defends its nest.  Like the mockingbird who is disturbed by any interlopers, Granny resents the cameramen's invading the family's privacy by suddenly showing up on their property and filming them as those they are some type of exhibit, and not real people.

Besides valuing her privacy, Granny has a personal pride; therefore, she finds the cameraman's addressing her as "aunty" demeaning and insulting, as this term has been used by white people to address old black women in a patronizing manner. To let the man know that she does not appreciate his addressing her in such a racially condescending manner, Granny tells him, "Your mama and I are not related."  She also resents the men's saying that they are filming for the food stamp program, implying that Granny and her family are too poor to support themselves.

Finally, Granny values her home and her land, and resents the men's speaking of her property as "nice things" and "stuff." She tells the man with the camera,

"I don't know about the thing, the it, and the stuff,....Just people her is what I tend to consider."

Cognizant of how his wife feels, Granddaddy Cain lets the men know, "This is our own place." His act of nailing the hawk and then killing it with the hammer demonstrates to the two interlopers how the Cains feel about people intruding upon their property.  Then, Granddaddy's breaking of the camera underscores the tall man's feelings. Clearly, he and Granny both value privacy, respect, and ownership.

Read the study guide:
Blues Ain't No Mockingbird

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