What is the climax of “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry”?

Updated 21 March, 2023
The climax of "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" by Mildred D. Taylor is the scene where TJ Avery, Stacey's friend, is caught stealing by Mr. Barnett, the storekeeper. After Mr. Barnett accuses TJ of theft, a group of white men arrive and a scuffle ensues. Stacey and Cassie, his sister, become involved in the altercation, and Mr. Morrison, the Logans' friend and protector, intervenes to help them escape.
Detailed answer:

The climax of "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" is a pivotal scene that marks a turning point in the story. It takes place at the Wallace store, where Cassie and her brothers encounter the white men who are responsible for the attack on T.J. The tension builds as the white men threaten the children and demand that they apologize for their actions. Cassie's defiance and refusal to apologize sets off a chain of events that leads to a violent confrontation between the Logans and the white men. The climax is a moment of intense emotion, where the characters' conflicting values and beliefs are brought to the forefront. As the scene unfolds, the reader is held in suspense, wondering how the conflict will be resolved.

Mildred D. Taylor's use of vivid imagery and sensory detail heightens the impact of the climax. For example, she writes, "The sun was high now, and the heat rose in shimmering waves from the dusty earth. Sweat trickled down our backs and stung our eyes, but none of us moved. We stood, hot and angry and afraid, waiting for what would come next." This description not only creates a sense of physical discomfort, but also emphasizes the characters' emotional state.

In addition, the climax serves to highlight the novel's themes of racism, injustice, and resistance. Cassie's refusal to back down in the face of oppression is a powerful moment of defiance and resistance against the systemic racism that pervades her world. Overall, the climax of "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" is a gripping and emotionally charged scene that propels the story towards its resolution.

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