Why does Big Ma park her wagon at the back of the field? What is Cassie's reaction to this, and what does her reaction tell us about her?
Hello! You asked about Big Ma and Cassie in Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry. On this particular day, Big Ma, Cassie, her brother Stacey and his thirteen year old friend TJ are on their way to Strawberry to sell butter, eggs and milk. The second Saturday of every month is market day in Strawberry.
Big Ma parks her wagon at the back of the field where only two wagons are stationed. Cassie demands to know why Big Ma doesn't just park "near the field entrance where several farm wagons and pickups were already parked," since that's closest to where everyone will be selling their produce. Big Ma tries to hush her, but in vain. It just doesn't make any sense to Cassie why they should have to park the wagon so far away. She reasons that there's "plenty of room, and we could sell more," if they only parked up front. Eventually, Big Ma lets on that only the white folks get to park their wagons up front.
Cassie's reaction is priceless:
"Shoot." I mumbled, taking one of the buckets from Stacey, "by the time a body walk way back here, they'll have bunions on their soles and corns on their toes..."
While her reaction may show that she is a precocious nine year old, we can see that she is also intelligent, outspoken and very self-aware. She has a strong sense of justice and is curious about the racial undertones to every social exchange.
Thanks for the question!