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Warriors don't cry.docx

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Political Science
Lee Ann Fujii

Warriors don’t cry Characters: Melba Patillo Beals :  Main character and narrator  Melba is one of the Little Rock Nine (i.e., the first black students in the United States to attend a previously all-white high school)  She fights racism in its many forms throughout her life  quickly learns that she will not have a normal high school experience  knowledge that she has fought on the right side, and that she has, according to Grandma India, fought God’s fight.  has a single purpose: to survive to the end of the year, and to prove to the segregationists that she can’t be beaten  When people slap her or spit on her, she learns to say “thank you” and not fight back  replaced her innocence with a sense of purpose  her experience at Central, the adult Melba finds she can’t back away from a fight Grandma India:  Grandma India acts as Melba’s steely backbone during her struggle to integrate Central High School  Melba considers abandoning the struggle, Grandma India encourages her to persist  Grandma India who tells Melba that God’s warriors don’t cry  Grandma India always assures Melba that God approves of what she is doing  India repeatedly shows Melba that she is not afraid to stand up to white people when they are doing something wrong  that there are peaceful, respectful ways of standing up to the white people  India dies during what would have been Melba’s second year at Central (had Faubus not shut down the schools), it is as though Melba has lost her will to fight  India is the living embodiment of Melba’s strength; when she dies, Melba has to learn how to find that strength inside herself Link:  son of a prominent white family  white student who helps Melba escape time and time again from the violent segregationists who want to kill her  father is pro-segregation but appalled by the attacks on black teenagers and children  Link is popular and bound for success in the white world, he helps Melba  spite of his racist family, Link has a different perspective on black people because of his close relationship with Nana Healey  Nana Healey is black, and Link loves her and resents the treatment she receives from his parents now that she no longer works for them  Link undermines the efforts of the violent segregationists, he is never able to openly defy them and declare his friendship with Melba  wants to help Melba, but he is fearful of becoming an outsider  Link hides behind them. He still helps Melba, but he does it in secret. His secretive attitude about their relationship is in part why Melba never seems to return Link’s romantic feelings  important to Melba at this time is proving that she cannot be defeated by the anger and hatred of the segregationists. Because Link is just a normal teenager, and because everything has come rela
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