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“When something bad happens to you, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” Said by Unknown. The person who had said this meant that if something bad happened to someone, they can either let it always be there, haunting them or they could learn from it and move on. This shows that being brave and strong can benefit people, exactly like how the characters in Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor did. In the novel, the Logan family members, are going through tough times during the segregation and the Great Depression era. They face many problems and get into sticky situations but face them with bravery and courage. Three characters in particular, Mr. Morrison, Papa and Jeremy’s emotional strength reveals how brave they are throughout hard times in the novel.
Mr. Morrison shows his courage when he faces racism. When being head on with racist people, he chooses to ignore them instead of letting what they say hurt him. An example of his strength against racism is when he saw “Kaleb Wallace, standing on the front porch of the store with the Simmses. They stared at Mr. Morrison as we passed, but Mr. Morrison looked through them as if they were not there.” (85) Stacey had caused a big fight at the Wallace store and when Mr. Morrison had conveniently come by the store and saw the trouble Stacey had got in. He had chose to ignore the racist Wallaces and Simmses who were just enjoying people of a different race fight. Mr. Morrison had pretended that they weren’t “even on the face of the earth” and continued on, helping Stacey. Mr. Morrison, another time, blocked out the Wallaces’ racist, deluded and biased remarks. Mr. Wallace had raged and said to Mr. Morrison, “‘You big black nigger, I oughta cut your heart out for what you done!’ […] ‘You gonna move your truck?’ Kaleb Wallace gazed up at Mr. Morrison…” (224) Earlier in the month, Mr. Morrison had hurt Kaleb’s brother since the Wallaces’ had been very racist to all the blacks in the community and had shot Papa in the leg for reasons for their own benefit. Mr. Morrison had not been daunted by the Wallaces’ previous actions and had held his head up high, being very calm in situations of racism. Mr. Morrison demonstrates his inner strength throughout the novel in many scenes.
Papa shows his bravery when he gets hurt but still pulls through it. Papa had gotten shot in the leg but still fought on. Stacey says, “‘Ya’ll know he couldn’t make the slope with that bad leg of his.’ I look at him suspiciously. I had seen Papa move on that leg. He could have made the slope if he wanted to.” (270) Even though Papa had got shot in the leg, he still persevered, trying to overcome the pain of his injury. He takes risks to help others, putting himself on the line, how courageous he is. Papa had also ran into financial problems yet still problem solved the situation. Papa sighs and asks, “‘ Nothing more?’ ‘A couple of dollars, but that’s all.’ They were both silent. […] ‘No worry,’ Papa muttered as both of them grew quiet.” (229) Papa had been calm when he had been hurt by the lack of money income for the family, showing his inner strength. Most people would just give up after what Papa’s been through, showing that he is chivalrous.
Jeremy shows how dauntless he is when he ignores other people’s opinions about him. Jeremy blocks out bad things that others say about him, “Was often ridiculed by the other children at the school and had shown up more than once with a wide red welts on his arms which Lillian Jean, his older sister, had revealed with satisfaction were the result of his association with us. Still, Jeremy continued to meet us.” (14) Even though Jeremy is teased by the other kids and is even beat for hanging out with the Logans, he still continues to meet and be friends with the Logans. Jeremy ignore the taunts and does what he feels is right. Another time, Jeremy had come over to the Logans to bring a gift out of generosity despite the trouble he may get into if his parents found out. “Jeremy, who had heard, flushed a deep red and quickly handed Mama a small burlap bad. […] As she opened it, I peeked over her shoulder; the bag was full of nuts.” (155) Uncle Hammer and the Averys had been angry, asking why a white boy was in the house but Jeremy had just blushed but continued to give Mama his gift to them, not running away like most people would. These two events shows Jeremy’s strength and courage.
Courage is a very defining characteristic in Mr. Morrison, Papa and Jeremy. Throughout the entire book, three characters have been showing their inner strength and over the more situations they face, the stronger they get. The message that is proven through Mr. Morrison, Papa and Jeremy’s actions are that they all were brave through hard times and had stood up against the hard situations. This message relates to everyone because people should not be persuaded by others’ opinions and just push on. Since most people do not stand up for what they believe and aren’t brave and push through hard times, going through the character’s paths may help some people become more sure of themselves; becoming more brave since they see others being brave.
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