Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry | Study Guide

Mildred D. Taylor

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Study Guide." Course Hero. 13 Apr. 2018. Web. 5 Aug. 2020. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2018, April 13). Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved August 5, 2020, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2018)



Course Hero. "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Study Guide." April 13, 2018. Accessed August 5, 2020.


Course Hero, "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Study Guide," April 13, 2018, accessed August 5, 2020,

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry | Character Analysis



Cassie Logan is a smart and articulate girl. She comes from a family of storytellers. This combination explains much of the sophistication of the narrative. She has, as her father notes, quite the temper. She is as bored in school as any bright child has been. The way she frets over what to do about the store owner's actions in Strawberry is quite vivid. Her extended plot to get revenge on Lillian Jean, followed by the actual fight, shows Cassie to be patient, intelligent, and self-controlled.


At the start of the novel, the Logans consider T.J. a friend. It is, however, a prickly and complicated friendship. T.J. can be entertaining, likes to tell stories, and have adventures. In some ways T.J. understands their society better than the Logan children do. However, he is also sly and deceptive, and ultimately, a trickster who ends up tricking himself. T.J. is proud of the way the two older Simms brothers spend time with him. He doesn't seem to realize these young white men view him with contempt, until it is too late. Ultimately, T.J.'s willingness to break the law and act unethically by stealing from people gets him in trouble when the brothers lash out at him after they rob the mercantile.


The oldest of the Logan children, Stacey is transitioning from boy to man. He can still do impulsive or foolish things, as when he lets T.J. trick him into giving up his new coat, but throughout the story he is largely responsible and balanced. He tries to take care of his younger siblings, and weighs his actions. He has a temper, which he demonstrates when he fights T.J., but that temper largely surfaces when he's trying to do what he thinks is right. Stacey's experiences parallel those of Taylor's father most directly.


Mama (Mrs. Mary Logan) is an intelligent woman, a proud mother, a loving wife, and a teacher. Given her race and when and where she lives, this means she is continually under stress and navigating a complicated path. She must continually balance how to best protect her children from the world in which they live with how to best explain it to them, so they are ready to deal with it. She steps in inventively to protect the children in her class from experiencing the offensive racism documented by the formal papers in their school textbook. Later that school year, she loses her job, presses on, rarely complaining and working late into the night to care for her family.


Papa (David Logan) can be a stern disciplinarian. Cassie makes it clear no rule breaking goes unpunished, and punishment is often physical. He is also an intelligent man who works hard to strike a balance in raising his children. On one hand, he tries to be honest with them about the terrible nature of the racism they will face in the world. On the other hand, he tries to protect them from it. He's also a hard worker. He leaves home to work on the railroads, then comes home to work the cotton fields, repair things, and buy supplies. Finally, he can think outside the box, as when he chooses to start the fire at the book's end rather than confront the lynch mob directly.

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes