Land in Mildred D. Taylor's novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

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Consider the Importance of Land in Mildred D. Taylor’s novel, ‘Roll of
Thunder, Hear My Cry’

The novel puts an emphasis on land throughout the story; it is repeatedly mentioned and discussed, and linked to other main themes and factors in the book.

It is clear from early on in the novel that land is a main theme and a very important factor. A clear example of this is that by the third page of the story, it is already described in detail how the Logans came to own their 400 acres of land in the first place, and hinted at as to how it is an effort to continue owning 200 acres of it, in the mention of “why” Papa had to “work” on the “railroad”; and the
“mortgage”.

Throughout the book, it is made clear to the reader that the
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Because the Logans are so greatly in disagreement with racism and its effects, they fight so badly, and do all they possibly can to stay in possession of the land. This is the underlying essence of what the whole book is about – the Logans’ battle against racism - their land provides them with a chance, slight although it may be, to win this battle.

This links to the land’s importance and how it roots right back to the days of slavery, where racism and the whites’ stance of themselves as superior were in full swing. Although at the present time in the novel, slavery has been abolished, it is clear in the story that the whites resent this eradication and feel the blacks are without doubt inferior, evidence of this is when Mama explains to Cassie that Mr
Simms pushed her for bumping accidentally into Lillian Jean because he
“thinks” Lillian Jean is “better” than her because “she’s white”. This feeling of superiority amongst whites is further reason as to why Mr
Granger does not like the Logans owning what used to be his land during the “slave days”. The reader is made aware also of Harlan
Granger’s desperation to re-take ownership of the land, Mama tells the children he has been “worryin’” her about the “land again” – this stresses the land’s value once

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