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ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY PLOT SUMMARY
In the evening Mr. Morrison returns from Strawberry where he had gone to make the August mortgage payment. He has bad news from the bank-the loan has been called and is to be paid immediately. David prepares to go back to town to try to argue about it, but Mary convinces him to wait until morning as the bank will be closed by the time they get there. The next morning he goes into town, but soon returns to tell them that he has called Hammer who has promised to get the money.
On the third Sunday of August, the Great Faith Church starts their annual revival services. While all are feasting and chatting after church, Stacey spots a man coming up the road. It is Hammer, and he has sold his new car to get the money for the land. He brought the money in person because he didn’t dare trust the mail or wire service. He only stays one night because of the family’s fear of the enemies he may bring upon them with his presence.
On the last night of the revival meetings, T.J. and the Simms boys show up. T.J. is loud and obnoxious, makes rude comments and tries to put a hand on Cassie. When his former companions turn away from him, he taunts them by introducing them to R.W. and Melvin. He brags about a suit coat they gave him and says that they will give him anything he wants because he is their best friend. He goes so far as to volunteer that they will even get him the pearl handled pistol that he wants. R.W. agrees, then Melvin tells him that since they came with him to the revival meeting, he has to go with them to Strawberry like “he promised.” T.J. doesn’t follow the Simms boys immediately. The last glimpse Cassie has of him before entering the church is the image of a desolately lonely person.
Mr. Morrison’s complete self control in moving the truck is more of a weapon than his fists. When Mary expresses fear of retaliation, Mr. Morrison explains that Kaleb Wallace is the type of person who can only carry out his threats when he has a group of his own kind to support him. By himself he is a blustering coward.
Hammer does not at first tell them that he has sold the car, but when he is finally pinned down about it, he is nonchalant. You can’t grow cotton in a car, is his explanation. He cannot stay because his success is a threat to the white people of the area. They don’t want the tenant farmers to start thinking that they could have things better for themselves.
T.J.’s manner is typical of someone who wants to believe a lie. He doesn’t appear to notice when Melvin smirks at him behind his back, but his loud rude behavior suggests that he is trying to prove something to the Logans and his other school friends. The Simms had not actually promised to get him the pistol, but once T.J. thinks of it, it gives the Simms boys ideas. They apparently already had some deviltry planned in Strawberry and only used the visit to the Black revival meeting to get a return favor from T.J..
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Ruff, Dr. Karen. "TheBestNotes on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry".
. 09 May 2017