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How Does Taylor Use the Structure and Language of Chapter 5 and 6 of This Novel to Explore Racism Effectively?

  • Date Submitted: 11/04/2013 09:52 AM
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How does Taylor use the structure and language of chapter 5 and 6 of this novel to explore racism effectively?

In the chapters 5 and 6, the audience can see the increasing problem of racism faced by the Logan family. During chapters 5 and 6, the writer, Mildred Taylor demonstrates how the different characters have different reactions to racism. This is displayed effectively by the structure and language used throughout the chapters.

Big Ma is portrayed as a wise character, who knows a lot about racism and discrimination, she uses her personal experience to try and stop Uncle Hammer going to the Simms. This is shown when Big Ma cries, “Don’t go making unnecessary trouble!”   From Big Ma’s plead, the audience can identify that Big Ma, is aware of what could happen, if Uncle Hammer goes and visits the Simms and creates “unnecessary trouble.” The adjective “unnecessary” implies that it is not needed for Uncle Hammer to go down to the Simms, as it can also inflict in more trouble, to the family. The imperative “don’t” shows Big Ma as a firm person who is very aware of the safety of her own family.This is also consolidated when Cassie and Lillian Jean are fighting; Big Ma decides to stand up and orders Cassie to apologize. Her stern words “Go on child… apologize,” demonstrates that she had very little choice on how to deal with the racism, the imperative “go on,” also demonstrates her direct order to Cassie. Taylor’s use of an ellipsis, illustrates a pause, this is revealed to the audience that she knows her place in society and the social hierarchy.
Likewise, Big Ma is played to be a character of when Cassie talks to Uncle Hammer about her trip to Strawberry, Mildred Taylor shows Big Ma, as a person who is very aware of what Uncle Hammer is capable of doing and what could happen to him.This is shown when Cassie narrates,“Her eyes, frightened and nervous, were on Uncle Hammer.” The audience can sense the fear from Big Ma, by the adjectives “frightened” and...


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