Blues Ain't No Mockingbird

by Toni Cade Bambara

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In "Blues Ain't No Mockingbird," what does the man's suicide story reveal about Granny?

Quick answer:

In "Blues Ain't No Mockingbird" by Toni Cade Bambara the short story about the man committing suicide shows how Granny feels about the people who come filming her family and their land.

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In “Blues Ain’t No Mockingbird” by Toni Cade Bambara, the author uses a flashback in which Granny tells the story of a man on the brink of committing suicide by jumping off a bridge. She describes how the camera crew records the actions of the minister, police officers, and the man’s woman as they try to save the broken man. She also explains that the camera operator saves a bit of film just in case the man jumps because those images will be the money shots. This flashback shows Granny’s distain for the men who come filming the Cain’s land and belongings forgetting about the human side of the story. The film crew assumes that Granny’s family is poor and may be in need of the information from the Food Stamp documentary they are filming. They even attempt to have Granny speak to the camera and offer her information. Although the two situations seem very different, Granny is trying to explain the similarities. The film crew is making assumptions and trying to grab the money shot instead of considering the real story, the human reality behind the story. In addition, she is making the point that in each case the camera operators were delving into private situations that were none of their business.

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