Thursday, February 23, 2012

“I never saw Mr. .38 but the idea of a loaded gun being pointed at my head by a woman who thought the Yamacraw people were out to get her made my stomach do handstands and somersaults.”

              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. 


  1. I believe that Mrs. Brown needed all of the protection that she could get. I do not blame her for answering doors with her gun. I am surprised that none of the parents had come to question her about her treatment of their children. I really hated how Mrs. Brown treated the children. I would never talk to a child the way that she did. I think that her character gives us an example to not repeat. As a teacher we should stop and report anyone that is treating their students in this type of manner. However, I am glad that Conroy is learning and trying his best to help the students in any way that he can.

  2. Let's pay close attention to Mrs. Brown's character. We may need to reflect a lot on her by the end of the book because... well, think a bit about what Courtney says here too. I'm not at all defending here methods of discipline. But I think Conroy will show us the real problem might be something else. At any rate, I'm in total agreement with you about how upsetting it is to read these things.