Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
A little over a week later, Papa is finally sitting up out of bed for the first time. Cassie overhears her parents talking about the family’s finances—they’re going to have to stretch what they have as much as they can. It’s too dangerous for Big Ma to go to the market in Strawberry. Mr. Morrison has been out looking for work every morning, even though Papa says that he won’t find any. Papa is furious with the Wallace brothers and says he would like to take a bullwhip to all three of them, but Mama tells him that that would only get him killed.
The Logans are struggling to stay afloat even though society seems to be conspiring against them. No one will offer Mr. Morrison a job, and Big Ma can’t go to the market because the family is afraid that there might be another act of racist violence.
Themes
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
Cassie hears Mr. Morrison coming up the drive and runs out to meet him. He says that he’s heading over to help Mr. Wiggins sow some seeds, and Cassie asks if she can come along. Soon, all of the Logan children are riding on the wagon with Mr. Morrison. The work at the Wiggins’ place doesn’t take long, and soon, the Logans and Mr. Morrison are heading back home. However, they run into Kaleb Wallace, who uses his pickup truck to block the road. He threatens Mr. Morrison for what happened to his brothers. Mr. Morrison calmly asks Kaleb to move his truck and when Kaleb refuses, Mr. Morrison physically lifts the truck out of the way. As the wagon rides away, Kaleb recovers from his shock and yells after them, threatening to kill Mr. Morrison.
Kaleb Wallace uses his motor vehicle—a sign of his white authority—to block the road, but Mr. Morrison is able to muscle it out of the way. Kaleb continues to threaten Mr. Morrison and the Logans, however, and his threats also showcase how unfair society is. If a black man were to threaten the Wallaces in the same way, he would likely eventually be physically assaulted or killed, as the law looked the other way.
Themes
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
In August, the Logan kids escape to the woods after their chores are done to get away from the heat. Sometimes Jeremy Simms finds them and talks. He tells the Logans that some people in town are glad Papa’s still hurt and can’t work at the railroad. Cassie is furious. Jeremy reports that T.J. is still hanging out with his older brothers too, and they’ve been stealing things recently. Jeremy offers to take the Logans to see the tree house he built, but Stacey refuses. At first, Jeremy is hurt by his cold manner, but then he brightly offers to help the Logans build their own tree house if they ever want to.
Stacey remains cold to Jeremy after his talk with Papa, even though it seems a little unfair to them both. Jeremy continues to come by, however, and he tells the Logans about some of the racist sentiments that people in town have.
Themes
Racism Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
Mr. Morrison returns from Strawberry one day with a note that their mortgage is due immediately. Papa goes to Strawberry the next day and finds out that their credit is no longer good there, so he has to call Uncle Hammer to see if he can get the money. Hammer says he’ll find a way to pay.
Harlan Granger is a powerful man in town, and he manages to convince the bank to demand immediate payment of the Logan mortgage. The Logans, desperate to keep their land, resort to telling Uncle Hammer, even though they’re afraid he might do something drastic.
Themes
Land as Independence Theme Icon
Injustice and Dignity Theme Icon
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At the end of August, the annual revival brings the black community together for feasting and celebration. Uncle Hammer shows up on the first day, and Papa goes to greet him. It turns out that Uncle Hammer sold his car to get the money for the mortgage, which he’s brought with him. He heads back North the next day.
Uncle Hammer seems to be at peace with his decision to sell his car to pay for the land, however. He hints that the land provides for the Logan family in a way that a car never could.
Themes
Land as Independence Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
On the last day of the revival, a big storm starts brewing, but the Logans decide to attend the revival anyway. While they’re there, T.J. shows up with the older Simms brothers. He tries to talk to his old friends, but everyone ignores him, and they head to service. Cassie looks back as she walks away, and she almost feels sorry for T.J. because he looks so alone. The Simms brothers tell T.J. he has to go with them to Strawberry now, since they accompanied him to the revival. They say they’re going to get him the pearl-handled pistol he admired at Barnett’s store.
The community continues to band together against T.J., especially since he shows up at the revival with two white boys from a racist family. T.J. has completely isolated himself from the community from which he would otherwise get support.
Themes
Family and Community Theme Icon