full title Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High
author Melba Patillo Beals
type of work Memoir
genre Nonfiction, memoir, biography
time and place written 1990s, The United States
date of first publication 1994
publisher Pocket Books
narrator Melba Patillo Beals
point of view The book is the story of Melba’s teenage life, and the adult writer, Melba, is both the narrator and the protagonist. Melba tells the story from the first person point of view.
tone Restrained anger
setting (time) Early 1950s
setting (place) Little Rock, Arkansas
protagonist Melba Patillo
major conflicts The attempt made by Melba and eight other African-American students to integrate into Little Rock High School
rising action The Supreme Court rules in Brown v. the Board of Education that separate schools are not equal; Melba volunteers to go to the all-white Central High School; Melba and eight other African-American students enter Central High.
climax Ernie becomes the first black student to graduate from Central High School.
falling action Unable to return for a second year at Central High School, Melba moves to California and lives with a white family; she becomes a journalist and reports on injustices around the world.
themes The shifting of power through resistance, the prominence of race relations
motifs Self-reliance, the loss of innocence
symbols Central High School, Melba’s Easter dress, journalism
foreshadowing After Melba’s grandmother rescues her from the all-white bathroom and sneaks her past the police, they drive away from Central High School. Melba wonders what it is like to go to school there. This foreshadows her eventual enrollment at Central and the subsequent struggles that she will endure.