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The successful and renowned author Mildred D. Taylor was born in Mississippi, Jackson and has used her excellent writing style to create the thrilling and compelling novel “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” to put across her knowledge and experience of the complexities of the south when there was legalised segregation of Blacks and Whites. The interesting and diverse characters in this story were skilfully created by Taylor to put across the varied and often devastating injustices that regularly occurred in the south during The Great Depression of the 1930s.
For the purposes of this essay I will be discussing the experiences and reactions of two very different characters, Uncle Hammer and Mr. Morrison. The reason for my choice is that I feel they are characters that in some way stand out when looking at their experiences and actions in regards to the question. They are two very diverse characters particularly physically Mr Morrison was a “human tree in height, the long trunk of his massive body, his skin the deepest of ebony” relating to where he came from which was two “strong like bulls” parents which suggested that he had a family heritage of stud farms.
Uncles hammer “dark, red-brown skin, a square jawed face”. These two men are used in this novel to represent an understanding of the south through experience of violence. Uncle hammer fought in the civil war along with his brother who had died. Mr Morrison had regularly been confronted by violence through family and the loss of his job. They use this violence to battle racism that is put towards them and confront it when needed in their environment but in different ways and Uncle Hammer will do anything to stop racism as he does not like it for the fact his brother was killed by whites.
When Mr Morrison is confronted there is no stopping this machine that was brought from knowledge of the creations in stud farms “They was both of them from breeded stock and they was strong like bulls” but he only acts in self-defence. In contrast uncle hammer is the owner of land whilst Mr Morrison is a poor sharecropper. They are two very diverse characters although they have similar qualities. Mr Morrison the poor sharecropper has only friends he can rely on because of his story in the railroad business.
He shows how grateful he is and this lands him a job in the Logan family business. Uncle hammer gets land from the Logans because he can protect their business from going down the drain. Mr Morrison a calm man had a tragic event; he experienced the killing of his own father and mother during the civil war when they had come after them that are the white people. Mr Morrison had also another experience of segregation when he got fired from the railroad business for beating up the white people.
He was fired got fired because he was black and therefore was not good enough while the whites had stayed on to their job. This showed an example of how the south was at this time. On the other hand, Uncle Hammer experienced the same occurrence as Mr Morrison but his family was his two brothers that sacrificed themselves to make life better for blacks. During the civil war Uncle Hammer and his two brothers fought for how they believed the world should be.
Uncle Hammer came out with a broken leg “limping slightly on his left leg” His brothers failed to return and he has come back to avenge his brothers and also to get justice. In conclusion, to this compelling book Mildred D Taylor used these two characters due to the fact that they were the tellers of what the south was like during the period of legalised segregation. They used their understanding to explain the difficulties as well as what would happen to Blacks if they were to disobey Whites.