When T. J hands Mr. Barnett the list of items his mum wants, Mr. Barnett is very rude to him. He only looked at the list ‘without looking up’. This is very disrespectful of Mr. Barnett and he sees black people as possessions of white people. This is similar to in the times of slavery, where black people were sold to white people and they became their possessions. Mr. Barnett asks T. J ‘You one of Mr. Granger’s people? ‘ This question suggests a lot about the attitude that Mr. Barnett has towards black people. It suggests that Mr. Barnett sees black people as possessions.
Mr. Barnett stops serving T. J because a white woman comes in and takes priority. Mr. Barnett refers to T. J, Cassie and Stacey as ‘just them’, ‘without a word of apology. ‘ This tells the reader that Mr. Barnett thinks they are nothing compared to white people. It also tells the reader that black people are mot respected. Many years ago, some white people hated blacks so much that they formed groups to attack and harm innocent black people. ‘The Klu Klux Kang’ was one such organisation. Its members wore white robes and rode armed in the night. Cassie’s reactions to Mr.
Barnett are agitated, annoyed, impulsive and persistent. The questions Cassie asks show all these adjectives. ‘What’s he doing? ‘ and ‘Where’s he going? ‘ Cassie objects and cries when she asks these questions. This illustrates that Cassie is very young and she does not understand. Mr Barnett refers to the white lady as ‘Miz’, this shows prejudice against black people. Mr. Barnett serves the woman ‘without a word of apology’. This suggests that he does not care if they are not served. ‘as is were not even there’ shows the bad manners and covetousness. Mr. Barnett still does not look at Cassie.
Mr Barnett’s language shows us he is racist, rude, prejudiced and disrespectful to black people. He uses the term of abuse ‘nigger’ and spits in front of Stacey. Stacey and T. J want to get out of the store to avoid trouble. ‘as if nothing had happened’ could suggest that T. J does not realise what is going on, or suggests that he is used to it and just accepts it. He may have experienced it before. T. J’s family are poorer than Cassie’s. Cassie is angry at Mr. Barnett because he treated the other woman politely, addressing her name. When Cassie asks Mr. Barnett again serve her, T.
J and Stacey, Mr. Barnett ‘recoiled’. This is a very unpleasant reaction and his body language shows he is disgusted by Cassie touching his shirt. He refers to Cassie as ‘little black self”, this is how he speaks to Cassie, in ‘a low, tight voice’. This comment shows he is racist and ignorant. He is also very angry at Cassie because as a black child, she must not try to cause any trouble. ‘face red and eyes bulging’ shows the bitterness of Mr. Barnett and the adjectives make him appear very nasty and unpleasant. ‘Mr Barnet ‘spat’ over the counter which is particularly oafish and abusive.
The language used to describe the way Mr. Barnett speaks shows what he is like and how racist this society is. Stacey tries to stop Cassie from opening her mouth to Mr. Barnett. ‘Come on Cassie, let’s get out of here. ‘ This indicates that Stacey already knows the consequences of the situation. Stacey is older so he may have more experience of racist situations. He tries to warn Cassie but she refuses to listen. Stacey ‘bit his lower lip’ shows that he is really angry but he knows the danger of opening his mouth. As a black child, he must keep his mouth shut but Cassie does not understand this.
Cassie is pushed out of the shop by Mr. Barnett and she continues to retaliate back to him. ‘I already know what I am’. Cassie is still unaware of what could happen. Stacey crosses the street ‘sullenly’, this is a good adverb and it shows she is not happy with what has happened. But he cannot do anything about it. ‘hands jammed in his pockets’ shows Stacey is also extremely mortified. It could suggest that Stacey feels like punching Mr. Barnett but he knows the consequences. T. J’s face is ‘totally bland’, which illustrates he is not surprised buy what has happened.
Both Stacey and T. J are more aware than Cassie of the treatment of black folks. Cassie’s behaviour illustrates she is very brave to retaliate back to Mr. Barnett but she is also innocent. After Cassie is pushed out of the store by Mr. Barnett, Cassie bumps into Lillian Jean by mistake. Cassie is ordered to address Lillian Jean as ‘Miz’ by Big Ma, it is because Big Ma understands the position of black people in this society. When Cassie bumps into Lillian Jean she is very stressed out and still angry and puzzled by the incident in the shop. Lillian Jean was just being herself.
It starts as an argument between the two girls and escalates into a dramatic situation with Lillian Jean further. Lillian Jean asks Cassie to apologise because she believes white people are better than black people, and she has been brought up in a family that thinks the same. Lillian Jean does not know any better. Mr Simms, Lilean Jean’s father) his attitude towards Cassie is extremely harsh and cruel; he orders Cassie to apologise angrily, ‘When my gal Lillian Jean says for you to get yourself off the sidewalk, you get, you hear? ‘ This shows the tone of Mr.
Simms voice, and Cassie is obviously very frightened of him. He grabs Cassie’s arm and throws her off the side walk. Cassie is ordered to address Lillian Jean as ‘Miz’ because Lillian Jean is white and Cassie is black. This is similar to the situation at the school, where black people are given the worst books and also when white people have better service in shops. Mr. Simms is very cruel to Cassie because he automatically assumes that Lillian Jean is not at fault, only because she is white. Mr. Barnett’s attitude towards Cassie is just as bad as Mr. Simms. Mr.
Barnett calls Cassie a ‘nigger’ and throws her out of the store. Mr. Simms treatment towards Cassie is harsh, he is a father defending his child and though he is racist, it is on a more personal level because he knows Cassie. Cassie’s reaction towards Big Ma is shocking for her because she expected Big Ma to stand up, but instead she betrays her, or at least that’s the way Cassie sees it. Cassie feels rejected and betrayed by Big Ma, ‘she took them ole Simms’s side without even hearing mine’ say’s Cassie. Big Ma made Cassie apologise to Lillian Jean because she knows what could happen if she does not.
She is an old lady who does not want any trouble. Cassie is furious with Lillian Jean and wants to get her hands on her. We know this because she say’s ‘I’d like to get my hands on that ole Lillian Jean’. Cassie cannot stand to call her ‘Miz’ and hates her for trying to get off the sidewalk, as it is way out of line. Cassie is enraged with Mr. Simms and she cannot understand how four cruel incidents happen to her in one day, the Mr. Barnett incident, the bumping into Lillian Jean, Mr Simms throwing her off the sidewalk and when Big Ma makes her apologise.
She is extremely disgruntles because bumping into Lillian Jean was the last thing Cassie needed. Cassie does not talk to Big Ma on the way home and stays silent for the whole journey. This shows that Cassie is angry with Big Ma in particular. Cassie relied on Big Ma to be the one person who would protect her but she thinks she was betrayed. Cassie was protected, but she cannot see how because no one has told her. The lessons Cassie have learned are: black people have a smaller area to sell their things, where white people have better places to sell their things in the market.
Black people are served last in the shops and that black people have to show respect to white people even if they are right. White children ride the school bus. Near the beginning of the novel, Cassie is a young nai?? ve girl, she finds it difficult to understand the way a black society live. For example, when she thinks Big Ma betrayed her but Big Ma was actually protecting her because she was unaware of the consequences. Later on, Cassie starts to accept the attitude of white people, for example, the Jefferson Davis school bus. Cassie knows Mr.
Grimes splashes them every morning because they are black but she learns that not all white people are the same, for instance, Mr. Jamison. Mr. Jamison is white and wants to help the Logan family and help pay their mortgage. She learns how black people are treated; they are burned or lynched which is what happens to T. J. Cassie learns about the society she lives in Mama talking to her about the Strawberry incident. She tells Cassie ‘We have no choice of what colour we’re born or whether we’re rich or poor. What we do have is some choice of what we make of our lives once we’re here’.
This is the main point of how Big Ma explains it to Cassie. Cassie learns from Lillian Jean, by the way she treated her. She learns how black people are meant to be treated from Lillian Jean because no one in her family has told her as she is nai?? ve and they may think she would not understand just yet , but Lillian Jean makes it clear to Cassie what she is. Mr. Barnett does not want anything to do with black people. The place where Cassie lives is an effective device for telling the story because it helps Cassie to grow up quickly and realise the society she lives in is really like.
Because Cassie is young, it is interesting to see how she reacts to racist situations, which she has never experienced before. Racism is a big factor in the novel, which Cassie learns to accept through a number of experiences. At the beginning of the chapter, Cassie is feeling excited and looking forward to seeing Strawberry. At the end of the chapter she is feeling angry, humiliated and betrayed by Big Ma because of what happened. Throughout the chapter, things become worse for Cassie. However, she learns from her experiences and she shows her bravery and she even teaches Lillian Jean a lesson, by getting her revenge.
The novel lets the reader see through the eyes of a child and experience the innocence and disbelief in the cruelties of life brought by racism and prejudice. It examines many issues for example, courage, bravery, prejudice, the power to succeed and the strength to survive. Black people have known that ‘courage comes only to those who earn it’. Cassie does earn her courage and she shows it in a number of incidents. 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.