Danny and God

In Warriors Don’t Cry one of the characters that I found very interesting was Danny. Danny was the soldier that was placed in charge of making sure that Melba or the other Little Rock 9 students were not killed at school. Acting as a personal bodyguard, he was there in hopes that it would discourage the white students around her from hurting her, though he was not meant to step in unless she was in big trouble. The more Melba got to know Danny, the more she counted on him to keep her safe. She listened to the advice that he gave her and learned how to handle the abuse after he had left. In Melba book Warriors Don’t Cry, there seem to be many similarities in the Melba’s relationship with Danny, and her relationship to God. 

One of these similarities is when the soldiers started to leave the school, each night Melba would hope and pray that Danny would be there the next day to protect her. This was similar to the way that Melba would pray that God would do something to protect her at school.  She counted on both God and Danny for protection. Another thing that made me think that Melba’s relationship with Danny was similar to her relationship with God was how Danny would walk a few feet behind her. There was a distance between Melba and Danny but she still had faith that he would step in and save her if she needed it. This is again similar to Melba knowing that even though she could not see God, he was watching over her and making sure that she would survive. In Chapter 16, after a boy sprays acid in Melba’s eyes, Danny saves her from being blinded. At the end of the chapter, Melba writes in her diary “‘Thank you, God,’ I whispered, ‘thank you for saving my eyes. God bless Danny, always.’ ” She is crediting both God, and Danny for saving her eyes.

Here is a picture of Danny and Melba, many years after walking the halls of Central High School together.

3 thoughts on “Danny and God

  1. Hi Eliza! I really enjoyed reading your post, I’m so glad you expanded more on Melba’s relationship with Danny! I also thought it was interesting how she prayed for Danny, especially after the scene in which he saves her from being blinded–even though Melba is going through an extremely traumatic and troubling time, she still has goodness in her heart to pray for everyone in her life. Going off of our discussion in class today, I might argue that Danny is a different character than Link in that he often goes above and beyond the requirements of his job to make sure Melba is truly staying safe at school. Danny befriends Melba and offers her advice on how to fend for herself against the white students at Central High School, which was much more helpful than the other soldiers from the Arkansas National Guard were. He genuinely cared for her wellbeing and helped Melba become stronger. While I also do not think that this is a case of a “white savior” character, since Melba still did the work to protect herself on her own after Danny had to leave, I think he is a special character who stands out among the others in Central High School because of his dedication to keeping Melba safe.

  2. Hi Eliza, this was a really interesting post! I agree that Melba views Danny as a protector much in the same way she does God. I think one of the reasons Melba has such faith in Danny is because he’s one of the only adults who both sees what she has to deal with on a daily basis and is willing an able to help protect her. Melba’s family is unable to do much to stop the abuse she faces, and the white administrators at the school either don’t care or don’t consistently care about the students they are supposed to be protecting. Danny repeatedly shows himself to be someone Melba can depend on, and it’s clear that she really values that based on the number of times Melba hopes he’s at the school or that he would come back to school that.
    I also loved that you included the picture of the two of them together years later! I think it’s great that they both had the chance to reconnect like that.

  3. I really enjoyed your comparison of Danny to God. I think that it is a really apt allegory. However, it is interesting how she credits many of Danny’s actions to God. I wonder if there were times when she questioned how God had allowed it to get so bad. It really is interesting to see them in this way. Also that picture is so heartwarming, yet sad at the same time.

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