Cassie, the main character, tells the story from her own perspective; this helps the reader think like her. She is a mother figure and has a strong sense of her individuality, shown throughout the book. She is loyal, inquisitive, clever and forthright. T. J. , also a main character, is quite different to Cassie; he is disloyal, a cheat, lazy and he talks a lot. His disloyalty is shown especially when he lets others take the blame for his own wrong doing like the cheating incidents. He ,like Cassie, is very clever, but uses it in the wrong way. Both Cassie and T. J. speak in the southern dialect and accent.
Cassie does not, and cannot accept the way things are between black folks and white folks. This is shown in chapter one when Cassie refuses to take the new school book, like her brother Little Man, because the front page classified them as nigre and that they got the book last: See Miz Crocker, see what it says. They give us these ole books when they didnt want em no more. It is also shown in chapter five when Cassie goes to Strawberry and Cassie cant accept the reason thems white folks wagons, and later on, Cassie fights back to Mr Barnett because she thought it was unfair he served white folks first, especially a child.
She is persistent and her short-temper shows through. She takes revenge, is outspoken and says things like you got no right. I aint nobodys little nigger. and I already know what I am, but I betcha you dont know what you are, you ole ¦ . After this, while still in much distress, she bumps in to Lillian Jean, who demands an apology. Cassie doesnt want to as Lillian Jean is not much older than her but is forced to by Big Ma: her voice cracking as she spoke. go on child, apologise. and a painful tear slid down my cheek, Im sorry¦ M-Miz ¦ Lillian Jean.
This is because, in the Mississippi, things like this happening is very risky and I dont think Cassie understands this and so far, she has been lucky. Cassie is also very clever, in school and out. Cassie got top exam marks for her year but she is clever also for the readers benefit; she asks lots of questions for the reader, many of which she already knows the answer of: like in chapter four when she asks questions about their family history, for which she already knows the answers. Cassie also eavesdrops quite a bit and is curious; without this, the story would be quite different.
This is also an example of her knowing what others want to know and what people are thinking e. g. in chapter three when Cassie realises Stacey, her older brother, blames himself for the night men coming she says: aint no call to go blaming yourself, we all done it . Cassie knows the difference between right and wrong, but doesnt always follow the right and covers up! Cassie still has a lot to learn about the bitter situation and her family are reluctant to show her. Cassie thinks through carefully her actions before doing them.
This is shown in chapter seven when, at the beginning, she talks through to herself as she wonders about how she can deflate Lillian Jean for making her apologise. The actions are carried out in chapter eight when Cassie made out she understands why she should apologise and later she led Lillian Jean into the under growth and fought back and made her swear not to tell anyone about the incident. Cassie refers to it as just a game. This is because Cassie thinks what she did was only fair and doesnt fully understand the reason as she is still quite young.
Cassie is also caring and protective. This is shown in chapter four when T. J. cheats in a history test and allows Stacey to get the blame. Stacey follows T. J. up to the Wallace store to take revenge, even though they were forbidden to go there. T. J. and Stacey fight and Cassie cheers on. It is also shown in chapter eight when they meet up with T. J. , just after Mama had been fired because of what T. J. said. Cassie and her brothers all went against T. J. and stood up for Mama. Cassie also gets jealous- of Miss Wellevers new dress.