Warriors Don't Cry

by Melba Pattillo Beals

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Student Question

What passage identifies the author's purpose in Warriors Don't Cry?

Quick answer:

A passage that identifies Melba Pattillo Beals's purpose in Warriors Don't Cry is the following. It shows the immense pain and humiliation that the Little Rock Nine suffered as they attempted to integrate Central High School. They responded to the harassment at the hands of white students by reacting with stoicism, meaning that they did not feel that they could react with fear or anger. As a result, they became warriors that were not able to show pain. Their natural human emotions in the face of a great deal of pain were suppressed, and they suffered as a result. They grew up quickly and lost any sense of being innocent children.

Expert Answers

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One passage that identifies Melba Pattillo Beals's purpose in the book Warriors Don't Cry is the following:

"My eight friends and I paid for the integration of Central High with our innocence...The physical and psychological punishment we endured profoundly affected all our lives. It transformed us into warriors who dared not cry even when we suffered intolerable pain" (page 2).

Her purpose is to show the immense pain and humiliation that the Little Rock Nine suffered as they attempted to integrate Central High School. They responded to the harassment at the hands of white students by reacting with stoicism, meaning that they did not feel that they could react with fear or anger. As a result, they became warriors that were not able to show pain. Their natural human emotions in the face of a great deal of pain were suppressed, and they suffered as a result. They grew up quickly and lost any sense of being innocent children.

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