Character Insight Project *Cassie* Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Katie Cunningham
EDSC 304: Student Sample
 Narrator
and protagonist
 9 years old; second-oldest sibling in the
family; the only daughter
 Stubborn, brave
 Has a fiery temper
 Has a strong sense of justice—wants to
be treated fairly by everyone
 A little naïve—doesn’t understand why
White people mistreat Black people
 Cassie
is excited to learn from her teacher,
Miss Crocker, that they will finally have
 Cassie sees that the “new” textbooks are
actually rejects from the White school—they are
old, torn, beat-up looking
 Cassie’s brother, Little Man, refuses the books
 In solidarity, and out of principle, Cassie
refuses the books as well
 Cassie and Little Man are whipped for their
decision, but they hold strong to their beliefs
I would not have been as brave as Cassie!
I watched as my younger brother, Little Man, bravely gave
his book back to Miss Crocker. His voice quivered a bit,
but he stood tall. I wanted to help him, to shout “I don’t
want my book either!” but I couldn’t do it. I felt like I was
glued to my seat.
When Miss Crocker said she would have to whip Little
Man, tears filled my eyes. He was so brave, and I felt so
foolish. Why couldn’t I help him? Why couldn’t I say
something? I was ashamed that I didn’t stand by my
brother. Some day I hope he is as proud of me as I am of
 Big
Ma takes Cassie, along with Stacey
and T.J., to the town of Strawberry
 They go to the general store to do some
shopping for the family
 The clerk says he’ll help Cassie, but ends
up helping all the White customers first
 Cassie complains to the clerk, who yells
at her and embarrasses her by ordering
her out of the store
I would have been too humiliated to say anything!
As soon as the store clerk started yelling for me to leave, I
felt my face burn with embarrassment. I must have turned
beet red. This man was being completely unfair, and I
hadn’t done anything wrong! But I couldn’t speak. I knew
everyone in the store staring at me, and suddenly I felt so
On the way home, I thought of all the things I could have
said, but didn’t. I wanted to go back and give him a piece
of my mind! Why had my mind gone blank in the
 Last
summer, I tried to play baseball with
my four cousins (all boys)
 They told me I couldn’t play because it
was a “boys’ game” and that I couldn’t
keep up
 I knew it was unfair, and that I was good
enough to play, but I was embarrassed
and didn’t say anything
 Cassie
would have spoken up!
 Cassie never compromised what she
believed in—she spoke her mind even
when it got her into trouble
 Cassie would have argued that she was
just as good as anyone else, and would
have joined the baseball game anyway
 Cassie would have been confused about
why she was being mistreated—and
would not have just walked away!
but Cassie’s bravery is timeless!
SparkNotes. "SparkNotes: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry."
SparkNotes: Today's Most Popular Study Guides. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 17 June 2010.
Taylor, Mildred D. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Puffin
Modern Classics) (Puffin Modern Classics). New York
City: Puffin, 2004.

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