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Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird

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on 22 November 2013

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Transcript of Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird

"Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird" by Toni Cade Bambara

Theme Analysis

1970's at Grandmothers House in a rural community, American South.
A strong willed and caring woman who can also be strict. She is disgusted by the camera men and believes that they are thinking of only their own interests. The Narrator's Grandmother.
Granny's Husband and the Grandfather of the narrator. His strong presence alone can be persuasive. Very respectful and polite. Considered to be "like a king" by some. Takes action towards the camera men by ruining their film.
Grandaddy Cain
First of all....
The overall theme of the story is that when people are disrespectful, inconsiderate, invading your privacy, and want to use your state (financially, emotionally, physically) to their advantage, you must take a stand and stick to your beliefs.
Twin boys who are the neighbors of the narrator. They are typical twin brothers who wrestle and play games. They are very much intrigued by Cathy's story telling.
Terry and Tyrone
Young girl who is very intellectual and loves stories. She is a cousin of the narrator. She acts very mature for young age.
Nicknames given to the two camera men by Granny and the family. They want to film a movie picture of Granny's house for a food stamp campaign. They do not respect Granny's wishes to leave. They are disrespectful and thoughtless of the feelings of Granny, Grandaddy, and the young children.
Camera and Smilin
The audience know the narrator is a young girl and that she lives with both her grandparents. She enjoys playing with Tyrone and Terry. However not enough information is given of her as she is mostly a bystander watching the events unfold.
The Narrator
Grandaddy - is a symbol of nobility, described as a king, has a strong presence even forces the camera men to hand over the camera. "They called other men just waiters, but him: The Waiter".

Grandaddy's hands - symbolize strength as well as comfort. The narrator describes his hands as huge when she has a flash back of when she used to sit in them and he would "deliver her to her mother like a gift on a tray".

Camera - symbolizes exposure and a lack of privacy.

Hawks - represent granny and grandaddy. One comes to help the other in a time of need.

Hammer - symbolizes power, strength, and protection.
What is the theme of the story???
How does the Setting support the theme?
Immediately after learning about the setting the audience can conclude that this is a period of racism. An African American family/neighbors living in a rural community during the 60-70s. The audience knows that there will be stereotypes and disrespect especially towards the black community. The setting helps lead the audience to the concluding theme because of these details they can take away from the setting just by knowing the location/period.
How do the symbols support the theme?
How do the characters support the theme?
Granny and Grandaddy Cain's characters really support the theme the most. The children are really just bystanders in the situation but they learn valuable lessons from Granny and Granddaddy. Granny immediately questions the Camera men and their right to take pictures of her property without permission. She is offended by the fact that they want to film for the food stamp program at her place. She takes a stand against these camera men but they continue to disrespect her wishes by not leaving. They wish to take advantage of the state of the house because it is a perfect place to campaign their food stamp program (provides financial assistance for purchasing food for low to no income families in the US). They also disrespect her by calling her "aunty", a stereotypical name for an elder African American lady at this period. Granny taking a stand wasn't enough however. It required her husband to take a stand as well. Grandaddy Cain asks politely for the camera men to leave. They once again do not so he stares at them intimidatingly and just from his look forces them to hand the camera over. He rips the film off and tells them that they are standing in the flower bed. Then he says to them "this is our own place".
Grandaddy supports the theme immensely. He is the one to take the final stand against the camera men which finally makes them leave without any film of the house. His hands are what rips the film out of the camera. Once again showing the symbol of strength. Right after they leave he picks up his hammer. This is the moment where the hammer can be seen as a symbol of protection. The camera is another big symbol that supports the theme. The way the camera is being used by the camera men (for exposure/financial benefit) is what causes Granny and Grandaddy to take this stand. The hawks of course symbolize the situation with Granny and Grandaddy. One comes to help the other in a time of need. This shows their commitment and strong beliefs, again supporting the theme.

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