In chapters seven and eight my dislike for Mrs. Brown expands and grows even more. The more I read about the way in which Mrs. Brown runs her classroom and beats the children with her whip, the angrier I become and the more I loathe this character. Mrs. Brown idealistically in her mind would like to be a white man. Conroy says in reference to Mrs. Brown, “There was something very wrong in the fact that a black woman in 1969 cast her lot with white men whose thoughts and actions dated back to 1869.” This statement is depicted not only in Mrs. Brown’s method of treating the children and punishing them with the whip and by embarrassing and humiliating them in front of everyone but also the way she talks about them. She does not want to see the children excel and succeed. All of the children despise Mrs. Brown.
The system of hierarchy in the school system kind of resembles the backwards ways of Mrs. Brown. Nothing is getting done unless Conroy goes directly to Dr. Piedmont because everyone seems to be so intimidated and under his control that they are too scared to say something that might offend or make him mad in order to induce needed change in the schools. Conroy has a hard time going on field trips, getting change for the school, and the conflict we see at the end of chapter eight, negotiating his travel expenses because of the chains of command he has to go through that are not willing to help. Chapter eight exhibits many frustrations for Conroy but he does not let the system or Dr. Piedmont intimidate him. I really like that he goes after what he thinks the children deserve and that he is really passionate about the children’s future and well being.