Essay on TJ in Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

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TJ in Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

TJ is a 'tall emaciated -looking', poor boy of thirteen/ fourteen years of age. His family are sharecroppers who work for Harlan Granger. He along with his younger brother Claude walk to school with the Logan children. From the very beginning of the novel we as the readers see that TJ doesn't get presented in a very positive light. Cassie, the narrator doesn't like him much and finds him quite irritating.

We learn a lot about his character in the first chapter, TJ went to the Wallace store and blamed his brother Claude and Claude got whipped because of TJ. From this incident, TJ is shown to be a coward, Claude didn't defend himself as 'he
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TJ tricked Stacey into giving him the coat and then he brags on about it in front of his school friends.

Although he managed to not get caught cheating last time, Mrs Logan catches TJ cheating in the final exam and fails him. Out of spite TJ runs to the Wallace store and told them that 'Mrs Logan failed him on purpose and said she wasn't a good teacher'. This incident shows that TJ is very foolish and he is hurting his own community because of something he did wrong. When the Logan children find out, as usual, TJ denies the whole thing and blames it on Little Willle. Little did TJ know that his foolishness would cost him his friendship with the Logan children, especially Stacey and he realises that there 'aint nobody even speaking to me no more' and he is left 'standing alone in the middle of the road'.

It is quite difficult to like TJ because of his behaviour and character, however we can still sympathise with him. The Logan's have their own land, they work for themselves, although they aren't rich they are quite independent compared to the rest of the black community. However, TJ's family are share-croppers, they are very poor. Just from the family background we see that he is
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