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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

by Mildred D. Taylor

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What is the theme of hope in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Taylor?

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Hope is a very important theme in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. It is what keeps the Logan family going through extreme adversity, hardship, and systemic racial oppression. Hope may not guarantee that the Logans will pull through, but it's pretty much all they have to cling onto in the midst of a society that resents their very existence.

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It's no exaggeration to say that the Logan family in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry would have nothing without hope. Hope is all they have. An African American family living in a society riddled from top to bottom with racial prejudice and white supremacy, the Logans have no choice...

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but to cling onto the hope, however forlorn it may seem, that things will one day get better.

Yet on the whole, it seems that the Logans' hope, though completely understandable under the circumstances, is somewhat misplaced. The sad fact is that white society is simply not prepared to give them a break. The hope that one day they and other African Americans in the Deep South will be treated with the respect and the dignity that they deserve is remote, to say the least.

Occasionally there are glimpses of a better world, such as when white and Black folk come together to put out a fire. But this is borne out of necessity rather than choice, and once the fire has been put out, everyone returns to their racially segregated communities, and the position of the Logans remains as precarious as ever.

And yet the Logans must still go on, fighting for their land, their home, and their very lives. This is not something they would be able to do without hope, the only thing that they really have in a cruel, vicious society that aims to keep them in a permanent state of subjection.

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Clarify the importance of the storytelling theme in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Taylor.

Storytelling is presented to us in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry as being an essential part of African American culture. It performs a number of vital functions, all of which conduce to the cohesion and stability of a community constantly under siege from systemic racism and injustice.

First and foremost, storytelling allows the Black community to get in touch with its history. This is all the more important when one considers that Cassie and other African American children are not taught about their history at school, so the stories that she hears from adults in her community are essential if she's to learn about her identity.

Such stories engender pride but also serve to remind the African American community of the numerous injustices they have faced throughout their history and continue to face in the present. An understanding of history and its link with the present allows them to see how and why they are in the particular situation in which they find themselves.

That may not alleviate the racial prejudice they face on a daily basis, but it does at least strengthen bonds among the community, thus inducing a greater sense of solidarity, of common endeavor, in the midst of a fundamentally unjust society.

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