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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

by Mildred D. Taylor

Analysis: Writing Style

Simple yet Ornate

Okay, we admit that sounds contradictory. But check it out:

Taylor uses a lot of plain dialogue in conversations between characters. Once you get used to the dialect, the speaking style is quite true-to-life and conversational. This breaks up the longer passages of exposition and commentary, not only making the text fairly easy to read, but also allowing the pacing to be fast and intense.

And now for the ornate: Some of the longer passages are more complex and even dense. For example, here's a description of Mama: "She was tawny-colored, thin and sinewy, with delicate features in a strong-jawed face, and though almost as tall as Big Ma, she seemed somewhat dwarfed beside her" (2.4). These longer and more complex sentences give the novel some welcome ornate—even literary—touches.

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