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Stacey feels responsible for his younger brothers and sister and feels the need to protect them: Stacey glowered at T. J. a moment longer, then walked swiftly to Little Man and put his long arm around his shoulders saying softly, “Come on, Man. It ain’t gonna happen no more, least not for a long while. I promise you that. ” Stacey is not only loyal to his family but also loyal to his friends. When he is faced with the decision to either be truthful to his mother or face a punishment as a result of being loyal to T. J. he chooses loyalty and therefore suffers the consequences.
The society the children live in forces them to mature much more rapidly than in our society. Stacey is very mature and he is well aware of the differences between right and wrong: Despite any effort to persuade Stacey otherwise, when Mama came home he confessed that he had been fighting T. J. at the Wallace store and that Mr Morrison had stopped it. He stood awkwardly before her, disclosing only those things he could honourably mention. T. J. is Stacey’s best friend. He is very self-centred and is loyal to no one except himself. He seems to have no conscience and is very sly: “…
At first T. J.wouldn’t do it, but then he seen Miz Logan startin’ toward ’em and he slipped Stacey the notes… ” Jeremy is an exception to the rule. He is a white boy but he disobeys his parents and continues to socialise with the black children. This even surprises the Logan children: I’t was only then that I realized that Jeremy never rode the bus, no matter how bad the weather. To help us visualise the setting of the novel Mildred D. Taylor uses occasional light, evocative description. She uses just enough for us to understand the image she is trying to portray without using too much which could cause us to loose interest.
These short paragraphs of description are very effective, as she does not tell us directly what the scene is like but through similes and metaphors: Before us the narrow, sun-splotched road wound like a lazy red serpent dividing the high forest bank of quiet, old trees on the left from the cotton field, forested by giant green and purple stalks, on the right. The Difference between the Great Faith school for black students and the Jefferson Davis school for white students is acute. The Great Faith Elementary and Secondary School… was a dismal end to an hour’s journey.
Consisting of four weather beaten wooden houses on stilts of brick, 320 students, 7 teachers, a principal, a caretaker, and the caretakers cow, which kept the wide crab grass lawn sufficiently clipped in Spring and Summer. Jefferson Davis County School, a long white wooden building looming in the distance. Behind the building was a wide sports field around which were scattered rows of tiered gray-looking benches. The Jefferson Davis School for White Students gives an image of wealth and prosperity in comparison to the Great Faith school for Black students. The Logan Household is warm and inviting.
The features shown in the house show that the Logan family were very skilful people. They seem to be a lot wealthier than other black people at this time: The furniture, a mixture of Logan-crafted walnut and oak, included a walnut bed whose ornate headboard rose halfway up the wall to meet the high ceiling… The theme of this novel is racism and discrimination towards the black people at this time. There are many occasions in the first four chapters alone which express this racism. The most white people feel they are superior to black people in every way.
They feel that if a black person steps out of line by doing the slightest thing they have the right to punish or even murder them. They seem to have no hesitation about taking the life of a black person as they feel black people are there to be taken advantage of Something as simple as saying something offensive to a white man: Mr Barnette says, “you callin’ me a liar, boy? ” And Mr Tatum says, “Yessuh, I guess I is! ” Could end up with a black man being severely punished by a gang of white night men: “Tarred and feathered him! ” T. J. announced hastily. ”
Poured the blackest tar they could find all over him,and plastered him with chicken feathers. ” The children cannot understand why the white and blacks are separated; however they are forced to understand as a matter of life and death. They are robbed of their childhood innocence long before they should be due to the dangers they would face if they stepped out of line. The author is also trying to put across the message that because of the discrimination towards the black people they live in extreme poverty. The Logans are better off than most black families as they own land, however they need money so badly that the father is forced to work away from home on the railroads for money.
The schools are given books for the first time however, they are not the long awaited books they were hoping for, but torn worthless books which were no use to them. In concluding, Mildred D. Taylor has successfully portrayed the hardships the black population of the southern states of America, had to endure in the early 1930’s. In the first four introductory chapters, she set the scene using descriptive tactics. She introduced us to most of the main characters and told us a bit about their physical appearance and their personality.
And she most importantly explained to us the difficulties the Logan family and generally, all black families faced, due to their race and how unfair society was towards them. We learn how white people took the law onto themselves, carrying out vindictive murders at the drop of the hat. Even in the first four chapters, Mildred D. Taylor has evoked sympathy for the black people. By Emma-Jane Reilly 11E Mr Devlin! Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mildred Taylor section.