Why did Granddaddy kill the the first hawk in "Blues Ain't No Mockingbird"?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Toni Bambara's "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird," Granddaddy kills the first hawk because it is the mate of a giant hawk that will come for her and he can then kill it and be rid of both hawks who are killing his chickens.

Of course, this scene is symbolic. Just as Granny is alone with the children when the men appear and she tries to deter them, instead, she is victimized by the hawks of cameramen. When the male hawk comes to claim his mate, so, too, does Grandaddy come to the defense of his family by destroying the camera. However, like the struggle of the male hawk, his efforts to save his mate from exploitation are ineffective. But, just as Smilin jumps up and down and swipes futilely at the male hawk, he becomes helpless against Mister Cain, who wreaks his vengeance by breaking the camera with his huge hand.

"You standin' in the misses' flower bed," say Granddaddy. "This is our own place."

The two filming men look around, but they depart.


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