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Plot Diagram for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Transcript of Plot Diagram for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
"The Mob vs. T.J." p253-256
Plot Diagram for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
By Jackson, Matthew, Adam, Parker, and Aidan
"Setting & Characters"
"1. Mr. Jamison Gets Involved" p254-256
"3. The Fire" p261-266, p271-272
Cassie, Stacey, T.J., Mama, Papa, Mr. Morrison, Big Ma, Harlan Granger
Little Man, Christopher-John, R.W., Melvin, Jeremy, and Lillian Jean Simms, Jim Lee Barnett, Kaleb, Thurston, and Dewberry Wallace, Mr. Jamison, 'Miz' Crocker
Mama, Cassie, Big Ma, Christopher-John, and Little Man are anxiously awaiting the news of what ends up happening when Mama smells smoke. The cotton fields are on fire! Mama tells the kids to stay home while she and Big Ma go fight the fire. Meanwhile, the mob is still raging. Harlan Granger comes running out of his house, yelling that there is a fire 'set by lightning' and everyone needs to fight it. This stops the mob, as everyone unites to save the land, and T.J. is temporarily safe.
Man v. Society
The novel's main conflict is the black community trying to overcome oppression from the overbearing white society.
"1. The Books" p22-27
"2. The Bus" p48-51
The whites' bus keeps splashing the Logan kids for entertainment. Stacey comes up with a solution: the Logans dig a disguised ditch and end up breaking the bus, forcing the whites to walk.
"Burning of the Berrys" p9
"3. Strawberry" p102-130
Stacey, Big Ma, Cassie go to Strawberry to sell things from their wagon. Cassie is confused about why they can't be at the front of the lot. Later in the day, Stacey & Cassie are at the Barnett Mercantile. Cassie is clearly angry about the lack of service from Mr. Barnett, and she gets kicked out of the store. While leaving, Cassie bumps into Lillian Jean on the sidewalk. Mr. Simms sees, and makes Cassie unjustly apologize. When she refuses, he pushes her off the sidewalk.
"4. Uncle Hammer" p122-124, p138-139
"5. Mama Gets Fired" p182-191
T.J. decides to bring his cheat notes to Mrs. Logan's final. She catches T.J., and he flees to the Wallace Store. Once there, T.J. tells Kaleb Wallace about Mama's teaching, and as a result, Mr. Granger, Kaleb, and a school board member observe one of Mama's classes. Once they find she's not following the books, they fire her. This leaves the Logans short on income.
"6. Vicksburg Ambush" p209-216
On the way home from Vicksburg, Mr. Morrison, Papa, and Stacey are attacked by the Wallaces. In the pandemonium, Papa gets shot and his leg broken. Mr. Morrison attacks the Wallaces, forcing them to retreat. Papa now must stay home (and out of work) indefinitely. With both parents not working, the Logans are now more vulnerable, and their land is at risk.
"7. T.J.'s Story" p244-248
T.J. knocks at the Logans' door late at night, helpless and horribly injured. He tells the kids what happened: He and R.W. and Melvin Simms robbed the Barnett Mercantile. The Barnetts came down, and the Simms boys knocked them out. T.J. told R.W. and Melvin that he would tell everyone what happened, but they beat him up to prevent it. T.J. then wandered to the Logans' hose for help.
Mr. Jamison comes tearing into the scene in his car. He pulls across the road to block the way of angry whites trying to take T.J. away. To make it even more impossible for the car to be moved, he then throws the keys into the bushes, never to be found. He also brings the sheriff, hoping that the mob will turn things over to him, ending T.J.'s harassment.
"2. Papa's Solution" p257-260
"4. Mr. Jamison Brings Bad News" p272-274
The next day, after a restless night of fire-fighting, the fire is finally extinguished. Mr. Jamison comes to the Logans' house and speaks with Papa, updating him on the situation. The bad news is that Mr. Barnett died the previous night, and this will likely worsen T.J.'s punishment. He also explains that people are convinced the fire was started by lightning, and Papa should be careful to keep it that way.
After Mr. Jamison has left, Stacey and Cassie ask Papa about T.J. He tells them that T.J. is in jail, and may have to face the chain gang. "Is he going to die?" they wonder. Papa tells them he may. Both kids are distraught; Stacey runs away to the forest, and Cassie cries in bed. Life goes on for the Logan kids, but T.J. will never be free again.
The Logan kids agree to take T.J. home. Once there, T.J. gets inside, and the Logans start to leave. Then, an angry mob shows up and drags T.J. and his family back outside. The mob then thrashes T.J. around, and tortures the other Averys. Stacey sends the other three Logan kids home to get help, while he stays hidden and watches.
Extremely worn books were given to the black
children, complete with offensive "nigra" labels.
Mama covers the labels so that the children will agree to use the books. This opened up the world of racism to the Logan children, and set them on their journey of seeking justice.
T.J. tells the Logan children about how the
Berrys were set on fire by angry drunk white men.
This shows the Logan children (and other blacks)
how the whites will stop at nothing to keep the blacks down, and sets up the racism for the rest
of the story.
Uncle Hammer learns of Mr. Simms's cruelty to Cassie and wants to do something about it. He tries to go to Mr. Simms's house to beat him up, but Mr. Morrison stops him and convinces him that he should stay home, and he eventually agrees. Later, when about to cross a bridge, the Wallaces see Uncle Hammer and, thinking he's Harlan Granger, let him cross first. Uncle Hammer tips his hat, and the Wallaces are angered by his trickery.
As Cassie and the two youngest kids arrive home, they immediately tell Mama & Papa what's happening. Papa fears he'll have to use his shotgun, but Mama begs him to find another solution. It turns out that Papa secretly sets a fire in the fields because he knows it will force the mob to stop hurting T.J. While he is at work doing this, Mr. Morrison heads to the Averys' to retrieve Stacey.