What is one example of direct and indirect characterization for the Granny and Granddaddy in "Blues Ain't No Mockingbird?"

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beateach | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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In Toni Cade Bambara’s short story “Blues Ain’t No Mockingbird” she provides insight into the character traits of Granddaddy and Granny through direct descriptions and through their actions. The author describes how impatient, and fiercely proud and protective Granny can be when she tells how the family picks up and moves when Granny starts packing and says, “Let’s get on away from here before I kill me somebody.” This usually happens after someone offers the family charity or comes snooping around Granny’s kitchen. The narrator also tells the reader that Granny was always teaching and explaining something usually through a story. Granny’s sarcastic nature becomes evident when she speaks to the second man from the county. He calls her “aunty” to which she responds, “Your mama and I are not related.”

Granddaddy Cain, or as Granny calls him in true Southern style, Mr. Cain, is characterized as the strong, proud, silent type. He does not have much to say, his actions and the few words he speaks are all he needs to get his point across. Granddaddy shows his strength when he swiftly throws the hammer at the bothersome bird and kills him with one fell swoop. When he takes the cameraman’s equipment, it does not take much for him to make a mess of it. Yet, he keeps his composure and shows his pride. “You standin’ in the misses’ flower bed,” say Granddaddy, “This is our own place.” The men from the county quickly get the message that they are not wanted on the farm.

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