Chapter 8 Notes from Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Chapter 8

Cassie starts flattering Lillian Jean, trying to be her friend. Her brothers are shocked, but they keep quiet. Cassie tells her father about Lillian Jean. Her father tells her that she has to decide which battles she is going to fight and which she will let pass. He tells her that she must not make such a big deal out of it that Lillian Jean's father gets involved, because then he himself will have to get involved too. Cassie forms a plan, and it works perfectly: she is so nice to Lillian Jean that the girl tells her all her secrets, as well as those of other girls she knows. After school one day, Cassie hears that T.J. has cheated on exams again, and been caught....again. T.J. runs off, angry and ashamed, and then Cassie goes off to find Lillian Jean. She leads her into the woods, promising a "surprise." When they are well hidden, she throws Lillian Jean's books down, and they begin to fistfight. She forces the girl to apologize for ever treating her in a racist way, then tells her that if she complains, she will tell all the secrets Lillian has been telling her all this time. The white girl is amazed that her "friend" could be so mean, and Cassie leaves, "not wanting to believe that Lillian Jean didn't even realize it had been all just a game." Chapter 8, pg. 181

Topic Tracking: Racism 9
Topic Tracking: Family 8

Soon after, Cassie is at school when she sees Granger and one of the Wallace brothers come to the school with another man. Pretending she has to use the bathroom, she follows them to her mother's classroom. That day, Mama is teaching about slavery, and what a terrible business it was. The men smirk and pick up a textbook. When they see that she is not teaching from the book, she explains that the "facts" in the book are not true. Granger replies, "I expect you'd best just forget about teaching altogether...then thataway you'll have plenty of time to write your own book." Chapter 8, pg. 184 Everyone realizes Mama has just been fired. At home that evening, Mama is very unhappy. She has always wanted to teach. The next day, Cassie learns that T.J. was the one who let the Wallaces know that Mama wanted to keep people from shopping at their store. T.J. had been angry Mama had failed him. Stacey and the others attack T.J., but he denies the story. Stacey knows he is lying, and tells him he will punished--later. T.J. gradually learns that no one at school will speak to him. When he sees he is being rejected, he says, "Got me better friends than y'all! They give me things and treat me like I'm a man and...and they white too..." Chapter 8, pg. 194

Topic Tracking: Quiet 8

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