When Cassie disobeys Lillian Jean’s order to get into the road she is pushed by Mr Simms and made to apologise again only this time addressing Lillian Jean as miss. “I braced myself and swept my arm backward, out of Lillian Jean’s reach. But someone caught it from behind, painfully twisting it, and shoved me off the sidewalk into the road. I landed bottom first on the ground. No day in all my life had been as cruel as this one” Another example of racial prejudice is the education that the children receive. Black and white children go to different schools.
Jefferson Davis, the school for white children, is funded by the government and has privileges such as a school bus. Great Faith Elementary, the black school, is funded by the black church. They receive second hand equipment and only get books when they are in such poor condition that they are considered unfit for use by white children. Although the school is funded by the church, The education board still have a say in what goes on such as firing mama for teaching about slavery, the reason being that it was not in the books that they had been given.
Throughout the story we see lots of examples of injustice being done. The law and authority figures only protect the white people. One example of this is the reason that mr Morrison looses his job. Although two white men initiated a fight with him, he takes the punishment of losing his job and the white men are acquitted. Another example of injustice is the Berry’s Burning. Mr Berry is accused of looking at a white woman in a suggestive manner and so his family and his house are burned. A white person would definitely be treated in this way.
The story does however contain some moments of sweet revenge for the Logans but not without risks, for example the crossing of Soldiers Bridge. Because Uncle Hammer has a car like Mr Granger’s, the Wallace brothers who are waiting at the other side of the bridge, touch the brim of their hats respectfully until they realise that uncle hammer is driving. This event gives Hammer and the children great satisfaction but mamma is clearly worried “One day we’ll have to pay for it. One day we’ll pay” Cassie, when she is dealing with personal problems has to think about the consequences of her actions regarding her family.
This requires intelligence on her part. One occasion that she is successful at this is when she challenges Lillian Jean in the woods in the woods. Cassie leaves no visible marks on Lillian Jean’s face and makes her feel embarrassed to tell anybody about what has happened. This ensures that no harm will come to her or her family as a result of the fight. Oliver Twist faces some similar problems to Cassie such as lack of education. Oliver only gets any sort of education at all as a result of joining a higher social class. In both stories the law favours those who are better off .
In roll of thunder The law helps white people. In Oliver Twist, it favours those who are more wealthy and of a higher class Oliver also has to deal with evil characters such as Bill Sykes, Mr Bumble and to some extent Fagin. Unlike cassie, when Oliver is dealing with personal problems, he only has to think about the impact that his actions will have on him as he has no close friends or family. When he is provoked by Noah Claypole’s insult to his mother, he lashes out in a blind state of aggression and rage. “Crimson with fury, Oliver started up, overthrew the chair and table; seized Noah by the throat; shook him, in the
violence of his rage, till his teeth chattered in his head; and , collecting his whole force into one heavy blow, felled him to the ground” Because Oliver has no family from which to obtain emotional support from, he deals with many social problems by running away the. This does on one occasion however, get him into trouble. When he is out on his first job with Charlie and the Artful Dodger, the Dodger robs mr Brownlow. When the gentleman turns to see Oliver standing behind him. Because Oliver assumes that Mr Brownlow thinks that he is the offender he runs away and ends up in court once he is caught.
Many lessons are learned by the two main characters of these two books throughout the course of each story. Both children learn the importance of a close and loving family. In Roll of Thunder, Cassie relies on a lot on other family members for protection and emotional support. Oliver Twist does not know what it is to have a family until the very end of the book when Mr Brownlow, who was a close friend to his father, takes him in. They also learn about the values of honesty and self-respect. Cassie Logan is constantly being told my mama that she is no better or worse than anybody else
“White is something, just like black is something” Oliver, by being honest and not participating in the pick-pocketing, inherits his fortune which would have gone to his half brother had Oliver been in trouble with the law. At the start of both stories the children are quite shielded from the outside world. Cassie is protected by her family and introduces gradually to the prejudiced world gradually. Oliver is shielded by the workhouse and has to learn about life’s difficulties quite quickly and suddenly. The children overcome their problems in different ways.
Cassie Logan is agitated quite easily. She tends to face her problems rather than turn away from them. One example of this is the incident with Lillian Jean where Cassie cleverly deceives her and then attacks her. Cassie however will have to go on facing the same sort of problems throughout her life, as she cannot make a big enough impression on the way people think. Oliver twist escapes problems in a different way. Oliver runs away from many of his difficulties. He runs away from Mr Soweberry’s when he is starved and kept in the cellar after his fight with Noah Claypole.
He also runs away from Mr Brownlow when he thinks that he is in trouble with him. Oliver never really overcomes his problems but escapes them when he joins a higher social class at the end of the story. The way in which Cassie deals with her problems is somewhat more realistic than the manner in which Oliver does. Even though there are some bigger problems which she can do nothing about, she overcomes her own personal difficulties quite well therefore making her the more successful of the two characters at dealing with problems. I enjoyed both books immensely.
I can’t say which one I preferred because I liked them both equally but for different reasons. I liked Oliver twist because I already knew the story from watching a video when I was younger and it was interesting to read the book. I liked the old fashioned style in which the book is written although some parts were hard to understand. I thought that roll of thunder was a good book because I liked the way it was told. I thought that seing the story from Cassie’s point of view gave it a more dramatic effect because most main events had an effect on her either directly or indirectly.
It was also a good read because I had heard of the story but had never read it. I preferred Cassie as a character because she was well rounded and realistic. I found the character of Oliver Twist rather unbelievable and too perfect. 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.