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Compare aspects of prejudice in “Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry”, by Mildred Taylor, and, “The Son’s Veto”, by Thomas Hardy. Prejudice: The act of prejudging a subject or group of subjects on the basis of opinions that are not grounded in fact or experience. Prejudice can be on the basis of race, religion, political view, age, appearance or cultural affiliation Many people have different views on prejudice, what it is and whether it’s right or wrong. Some people may believe that prejudice is racism, but prejudice is when you have an opinion of someone or something without knowledge of what they or it are really like.
It may be class or colour, rich or poor, it’s all prejudice. In this essay I will compare the aspects of prejudice in “Roll Of Thunder, Hear My Cry” by Mildred Taylor, and, “The Son’s Veto”, by Thomas Hardy. I will look at how segregation is achieved in each story and the consequences of it. “Roll Of Thunder”, is a story about a black family in the southern states of America in the 1930’s. At this point in American history, prejudice against blacks was at an all time high. Sharecropping was a part of life then. The story focuses on the Logan family and their struggle against racism.
They have their own land, so they don’t have to share-crop, but the local land owner, Harlan Granger, wants their land, and this book is about their struggle to keep it, and their fight against racism. “The Son’s Veto”, is a story of a young woman who has suffered from class prejudice for all her life since she fell down some stairs and was forced to use a wheelchair. Before she had her injury she was courting a gardener named Sam, when she had her injury, the vicar she was serving felt sorry for her, and decided that he should marry her.
Now, because of the social status of the vicar, she could not refuse, but this would be social suicide for the vicar. The story shows the prejudice that Sophy has to suffer, and how even those very close to you, can prejudge. In the very beginning of “Roll Of Thunder”, the Logan children have a long walk to school, as they are walking along the dirty, dusty road, a school bus from the Jefferson Davis School, a white school comes speeding towards the children. The bus driver deliberately drives the children towards the muddy banks of the road, he comes so close that the children are forced to dive into the bank.
As the bus speeds past there are white children on the bus laughing and shouting “nigger, nigger, mud eater” and other comments, this shows us that racism is very prominent here because even children are taught to speak like this to people. Another matter is when little man receives his badly conditioned book from miss Crocker, he is incensed that the books have been discarded by white pupils and handed down to the inferior black schools as soon as they are no longer good enough for white pupils.
The point is also driven by the fact that there is chart in the book, which states the condition that the book that is in, and the colour of the pupil using it. It states that the book has been in circulation for eleven years and now that the book is in a dismal state, the book is given to the “nigra” student. The perception of society’s feelings to the blacks is made clear to us early in the story by these incidents, showing us that the whites thing they are somehow better than the blacks, and deserve better books and equipment, we also see that blacks are hated so much that even children are taught to taunt them, and make fun of them.
In “The Son’s Veto”, the story is started off at a charity fair, and Sophy, the main character in the story, is sitting in a wheelchair, with passers by staring at her as they move past. Why do they need to look? Is it abnormal for a person in a wheelchair to come to a charity fair? No, what we are seeing is the attitude of people towards others of a lower class than themselves. The book says “… a boy of 12 or 13 who stood beside her, and the shape of whose hat and jacket implied that he belonged to a well known public school. The immediate bystanders could hear that he had called her ‘mother’.
” This show us that the bystanders are surprised to see a woman like that, of a working class, to be the mother of a well made boy like this. A little later Sophy talks to Randolph, her son, and she says “He have been so comfortable these last few hours that I am sure he cannot have missed us” immediately after Randolph exclaims “Has, dear mother, not have! ” He speaks with impatient fastidiousness that was almost harsh, and Sophy immediately adopts the correction with no retaliation or resent for him making it, this is showing us that it’s not just society that looks down on her, but her own son!
The perception of society towards Sophy is made clear early on the story because of both of these incidents, the passers by staring at her, and her son correcting her grammar. In “Roll Of Thunder” we see many cases of segregation by colour, segregation is when one group of people separate themselves to better social standards that another group of people. One of the earliest cases we see is that the white pupils from the Jefferson High come past in a school bus, but the Logan children have to walk to school, This is where the segregation of the classes really begins.