, Research Paper
I will be discussing the role of Jeremy Simms in the book ?Role of Thunder Hear My
Cry?. Jeremy is a white boy. He lives with his family who are racists. Jeremy reaches
out to black children in his community particularly the Logan children (Stacey,
Cassie, Christopher-John and Little Man). I will look at the role played by Jeremy
Simms and I will look at what he represents.
We first see Jeremy walking to school with the Logan children and TJ, Jeremy does
not get the bus to school with the other white children he walks with the black
?When Jeremy Simms spied us from his high perch on the forest path, he ran
down hastily joined us.?
This shows that Jeremy is not afraid of what the other white children think. This
shows that Jeremy has a strong character and that Jeremy is reaching out to the black
community. He is above the others in society and not afraid of what others think. He
can see past the colour of peoples skin and see what is inside.
Jeremy does not take the school bus with other white children he walks with the black
This shows that Jeremy is concerned about his friends and concerned about the
situation in society at the time. The fact that Jeremy does not get the bus with other
white children shows strength of character. This strength of character could enable
Jeremy to make a difference in the future.
At Christmas Jeremy visits the Logan family house. He gives Stacey a gift of a flute:
Jeremy… handed a slender, paper-wrapped object to Stacey. ?Made this for
ya,? he said?
The flute symbolises harmony between the races, the fact that it is a musical
instrument is also significant. Music is an international language which can bring
everyone together despite their race. Stacey takes the gift and he puts it in his box of
treasured things. He does not play on the flute, this shows that Stacey is not ready for
the friendship with Jeremy. He treasures the flute which may indicate a possible
friendship between races in the future.
Papa is not too certain about Jeremy, he tells Stacey to be careful. Papa is obviously
very wise and he believes that the blacks should keep themselves to themselves. He
feels that the friendship could be dangerous to Stacey and possibly to Jeremy.
Papa is obviously a huge influence on Stacey and Papa?s scepticism rubs off on
Jeremy tells Stacey, Cassie, Christopher-John and Little Man about the tree house he
has. He says:
?I can see and hear things only the squirrels and birds can see and hear?
Jeremy?s is literally above other white people and emotionally above them. He can
see things others can not this could mean that Jeremy can see more than others. He
can see past the colour of somebody?s skin. This shows us that Jeremy has knowledge
that others do not.
Jeremy has a dream for the future, he wants to live in a treehouse. The trees represent
a strong foundation for the future. He has the freedom to dream, Stacey is not willing
to accept this dream at the moment. This shows that at the moment a strong inter race
relationship can not take place, maybe in the future Jeremy?s dream could become
When reading the book I noticed a huge difference between the Family of Jeremy and
the Logan family.
This shows that the Logan family is closer together than the Simms family. The Black
family have had to stick together and stay strong to keep the land dispite the racial
discrimination in their society.
Jeremy is currently a very weak symbol of future peace. He is currently too weak to
change anything in the society and eradicate racist views. Jeremy has a slight speech
impediment in the form of a stutter:
?Jeremy stuttered an apology ?I-I just meant we could still see eachother?
Jeremy wants to voice his opinions but is held back by a stutter. The stutter represents
Jeremy not having freedom of speech. This shows the restrictions on the society
Jeremy can not speak up for what he believes in.
Mildred Taylor probably aimed this book at the young people in todays society. She
represents many different types of people with the aim to break down the stereotypes
held of the era.
Jeremy in the future may become a stronger figure in the society. Jeremy plays the
role of hope for the future he represents that one day there will be an integrated
society with freedom of speech. The future hope is indicated with symbolism.
Foundations for the future are being laid in the way of Jeremy?s tree house and future
harmony between races is shown with the gift of a flute.